I was the kid who always was immersed in a book, as books were my haven. Didn’t matter what kind of book. I would read romance novels, mysteries, thrillers, non-fiction, encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, newspapers and magazines. I had no preference. When I was very little, I even remember eating the corners of the pages of my storybooks. In some weird way I think this was how I showed my love for books. I’d never eat the parts that had words, only the blank areas.
I always sat in the middle of the classroom. Never to the front, and not in the last row. The teacher might call on me. Only when none of the other kids in my class were getting a question right, and the teacher was about to give up, if I was one hundred percent sure of my answer, would I timidly raise my hand to answer. Sometimes they saw me, most times they didn’t.
I’m not one who particularly cares for being loud or around people who are, or being in crowds, or large group activities. I’ve always detested scholastic group activities, summer camps, Christmas church pageants.
Unfortunately my lonesome tendencies have followed me into adulthood. I’ve always had friends, lots of them, but I always preferred my solitude. It takes me quite a long time to warm up to people, and if and when we should become friends, I pour my heart and soul into the relationship…in the best way I know how! Which translates into me feeling as if I am doing everything in my power to sustain the relationship, but to the other person’s perspective, I’m very detached, unavailable, and uninvested in the relationship.
Sustaining friendship is a weakness of mine. Where I’m fine with the occasional lunch or dinner, the once-in-a-while phone call, I’m advised that isn’t how it’s done. I have a lot to learn in that regard. It’s also harder for me to meet and find anything in common with people my age. I seem to gravitate towards older or younger people if and when I am inclined to form a friendship.
One time I tried going to a Meetup so I could meet women around my age. I did what I usually do at group events…smile, nod my head, offer a single sentence as my “contribution” to conversation, left and never looked back. Here’s what really happened. I could hardly hear or make out what anyone was talking about. Most of the attendees had met before and had already formed cliques and spoke of interests they all seemed to know about. I’m not a social butterfly, I don’t know how “cliquing” is done.
I’m introverted, or maybe I have a hearing problem. Or maybe these group things cause me such anxiety I can’t hear above the roaring in my head. Or maybe I’d rather stay home and read a book, or two, or three.