Dec 25


in the past, 
it was just a thing to say. 
a quirk, 
or on lazy summer weeks full of other people being on vacation, 
a superpower. 
i just don't feel social urges strongly.
this was the first time
i'd ever been made to feel
like it was a defect. 
i think some people see me as off-putting. 
i have the mother of all resting bitch faces,
i tend to wear black, 
and i have been known to be considered socially awkward. 
i don't usually initiate conversations with people
when i don't want to.
and i often don't want to.
none of those things
hurt me. 
i have friends,
friends who didn't care that my resting facial expression was a little off-putting
or i wasn't very good at seeming like i liked them
when we met. 
i do smile,
a lot. 
just not in pictures. 
i am funny, 
when i want to be. 
i don't greet people i barely know
when i see them in situations where i'm barely paying attention.
not because i don't like them
not even entirely because i don't care--
just because i don't feel it's necessary. 
and i feel it would be too forward, 
and i don't necessarily want to talk to them.
if they greet me i'll greet them back.
but if they don't, i'll probably just move on.
and i realize
that this is a little strange. 
but what you said to me
didn't make me feel i was a little strange.
it made me feel like i was doing something wrong. 
like i was lying to myself. 
like i was lying to you. 
why would i want to do that anyway? 
you have me questioning my social skills. 
you have me questioning whether everyone is afraid of me. 
you have me feeling like you think i'm missing something
or losing something
or like there's something wrong with me
because i'm sabotaging all my chances of having relationships in the future.
because that time i saw someone i barely knew in the grocery store and we didn't say hi
will make them think i'm unfriendly,
make an indelible impression
and they won't speak to me later. 
more than that, 
you didn't trust me when i said i don't talk to people because i don't want to,
you thought i secretly wanted to, 
but was uncomfortable. 
and yes, 
i am uncomfortable. 
i am uncomfortable and don't feel the urge to push past that
because what lies beyond that particular discomfort
isn't interesting to me. 
i am uncomfortable
because i hate feeling anything other than genuine
and pretending to have a polite, pleased interest 
in small talk with people i barely know
doesn't feel genuine
and makes me uncomfortable. 
and yes, 
one day i'll probably learn to fake. 
i'll probably have to. 
put away that one layer of the need to tell the truth or tell nothing,
smile slightly and say, 
'nice to see you' 
while making an excuse to walk away. 
maybe if i weren't so anxious
i would have an easier time with that bit of fakery. 
at the same time,
i'll make friends. a few. enough.
i'll learn to dislike people.
i'll meet people i don't care about at all
not like one way or another.
the friends i'll have will be enough
and i will be enough. 
i am enough. 
i'm not missing something
just because i can go for weeks without seeing people
and feel just fine. 
i'm not missing something
just because i only have a few friends
and don't need more. 
things are wrong with me.
things are wrong with everyone. 
and i know you didn't mean it like that.
i know i'm overreacting. 
you won't read this but i hope you understand that i know that.
i know you want to understand me
and i think you genuinely thought
it might help me somehow 
if you suggested my limited social urges were due to social anxiety. 
but it's just not true. 
i have friends i love
and people who annoy me
and people i really don't care about 
and right now,
i would only greet one of those categories of people in the grocery store.
the others,
i would pretend not to notice. 
i can't fake a polite 'hello'
and i don't need to
i am enough. 
my social inclination
is a part of me
and it takes up as much space as it needs to. 
and it's enough
because it's enough for me.