A happy memory came to mind the other day. I was in my young teens. I was at camp. I had gotten up early and walked down by the river the flowers grew, and gathered an armfull of fresh, dew-covered blooms. And I stood at the doorway to the mess hall at breakfast time, smiling and offering flowers to everyone who entered. I don’t think more than one or two, boys of course, refused them. I saw so many beautiful smiles…
Yeah, I’m a hippy. Shut up.
I’m an introvert on anyone’s chart, shy of crowds, nervous about meeting people, awkward in nearly any group. But lately I’ve been reflecting on the effect that a little positive attention has on me. I change into a different person almost – more open, more confident. I’m beginning to suspect myself of having latent gregarious tendencies. When someone does something to cut through the pall of fear that surrounds me in any social social situation, it’s like long-curled leaves uncurl and open inside me. And I want more… it’s easy for me to get overstimulated, so unused to the feeling I am. But I like this side of me, and I wish I could see it/be it more. I wish I could prime the pump myself, instead of waiting, hoping for some kind-hearted extrovert to happen upon the key.
I miss that Avdi – the one who hands out flowers, the one who leaves anonymous notes of encouragement, the one delights most of all in bringing joy to people. Most of you probably know me as the protective casing – the critically rational cynic. Yeah, I keep my cynicism somewhat in check, but it still forms the dominant feature of my public face.
Forgive the self-indulgence, but sometimes I hate being me. My dad was an engineer and my mom was an artist, and I am both of those things trapped in one head – the rational and the intuitive, the passionate and the conservative, the sympathetic and the coldly analytical.
I wish that years and years of isolation had not stripped me of any ability I might have had to initiate human contact. I wish I wasn’t so intimidated by a jaded demeanor and an elaborate outfit. I wish I had no fear. I have no time for fear. I want to always walk in that mental place where creating love and joy is paramount and every other concern pales in comparison. Because that stuff really is most important to me, and every day that I forget that fact is just lost time.
Yeah, I know, I sound like a fucking new-age hippie stoner. Fuck you.