Look, I’m alive!
And I’m back with a little bit of a personal story of self-discovery. Quite literally.
I haven’t lived without an audience for as long as I can remember. I’ve been on Facebook since the beginning of high school. Performing my life for anyone who would pay attention. I guess that’s why I was so eager to start blogging; it was another outlet for my thoughts and creativity. And then the blog sort of lost its purpose, and I was doing it for reasons that weren’t about self-expression. So I stopped. It soon became clear how much I enjoyed living without an audience. Not only because it was exhausting to maintain, but also because I could finally figure out who I was without trying to impress anyone.
Facebook status updates. Tweets. Tumblr posts. Blog posts.
Snaps. Pins. Likes. Retweets.
It was all for the benefit of the people who follow me on those accounts. I was performing. I performed my entire personality and my entire life for the people with one eye on me. And it’s not like I’m an internet celebrity. It’s not like these people care what I’m up to. But I kind of like the idea of having that Instagram perfect life. Doesn’t everyone?
Actually, Instagram is the one thing I do still use on a regular basis. I haven’t stopped loving photography and sharing those photos. But that’s not for an audience. That’s because I like it.
And that’s what I’ve been up to. Finding myself. Figuring out what I like to do without the thought that other people are noticing. (Which, to be quite honest, is why I think this relationship I’m in right now is going so well – because I’m not constantly asking friends for advice on something they are not a part of. I love my friends, but learning what to keep to myself and what to share with others has been key in all of this.)
So what have I learned about me?
Mostly, I’ve learned how I honestly like to spend my time.
I got so caught up in the idea of being the quirky, shy bookworm girl and maintaining that image that I thought it was who I am. I mean, that has been people’s expectations of who I am since first grade – it’s easy to think that’s who you are. Family and friends can’t be reading you wrong for years, can they?
Well, here’s the truth.
I am an extrovert. That’s surprising to everyone. I am kind of quiet and can be nervous to meet new people. But I would one million percent choose to be with someone else over spending a night alone. I like talking to people. I like being surrounded by friends and drinking and dancing and going to shows. Too many nights on my own is what drains me – not too many nights going out.
I do love reading. But I wouldn’t choose it over playing a video game. Painting, sketching, and making pieces of art is something I like to treat myself to as a means of self-care.
I am passionate about learning. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed. But what I have discovered is that I’m not really into learning something by reading a book. I have a mind that learns better through images and sounds, not words on a page. I love listening to educational podcasts and learning new languages on Duolingo. That being said, I’ll almost always prefer to read a book over watching a movie. I guess fiction is still better left to my imagination.
I love to travel. I wasn’t sure if getting on a plane would be super stressful for me, or if I’d be okay when I got to another country. But it turns out I love to lowkey adventure. Iceland was amazing and now I know that I’d be okay getting on a plane by myself and discovering a new place to love.
Sometimes the best thing you can do for you is spend some time living without an audience. Don’t let other people dictate who you are or what you should do with your time. Stay away from the social media for a bit and stop letting other people’s opinions influence the way you choose to live your life.