The people I like the most are the people who courageously march to the beat of their own drum.
I realized this last night when a friend of mine — one of my closest friends in the universe — told me that she has been secretly writing One Direction fan fiction. (If you knew her, the surprise of this revelation just might kill you.)
I could picture her staying up late at night, huddled in a corner with just the glare of her computer screen, creating intricate stories about a bunch of boys (international pop stars!) she has never met. And you know what? It is ridiculously endearing.
My truest self most often comes out when I know that doors are locked. In the safety of my room, I dance in my underwear or pretend I am being interviewed by Oprah. I stand on the bed and address an invisible crowd as I give an award-winning TED talk, the kind that has everyone in tears by the end of it.
In the car, especially when the traffic is terrible, I launch into a conversation with myself, complete with quips, jokes and sarcastic remarks. Sometimes I laugh at the complete idiocy coming out of my mouth and think “ohmygosh this is pathetic” then laugh some more and it’s all just weird, so weird.
My pastor thinks we’re not as unique as we think we are so I bet there are a group of girls in their mid-20’s who do the same thing. But, still.
Behind closed doors, I am this charismatic force to be reckoned with. But when I’m with people, I shrink into myself. People don’t believe me when I say that I’m shy but I actually really am. I think that’s why I’ve always been attracted to extroverts — they’re loud and comfortable with attention and they want the world to know it.
I, on the other hand, am embarrassed when people notice me. I like listening and being a wonderfully observant wallflower. This contradicts my secret self, my true self, the one just waiting to be seen. (And wanted. And loved.)
I’m working on this. The other day a friend of mine sent me a message: “How are you? I really want to know.” And while most people wouldn’t think much of it, I thought it was a pretty big deal. I thought it was sincere and sweet so I told her everything.
“I’m okay. Sometimes I still freak out when I think about the fact that I’m turning 27 and no one wants to date me. I don’t know where I’m going career-wise, I feel I’ve hit a wall and I have no idea how to get unstuck. A part of me wants to leave this city and a part of me can’t bear to because I love it and feel I can do so much good for it. Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to be the last single girl standing. Maybe I’ll be a travelling spinster. Maybe there’s a city for girls like me. Maybe I’ll just go sit in a corner and eat ten million cronuts then die.”
And she said: “If it’s possible, I think I love you more now.”
I started reading my friend’s 1D fanfic piece. It is beautiful. Her drum resounds so clearly, resonates in ways that are so wonderfully her.
I think I’m getting there, too.