Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Year of the Introvert.

Charles “Teenie” Harris, Girl reading comic book in newsstand, c. 1940–1945. 

I remember being chastised for this. My dorm mates cackled like crows near the doorway, guffawing at how I could want to stay inside during the most pivotal party of the year. I’d glance them over, taking in the bustier, fried hair, and greasy lips. I smiled at them, praying that all their hopes and dreams would magically appear in the club.

Good man.
Blissful Future.

No diss to any girl who’s actually discovered this while posted at the bar, but it’s just not me. On the nights when they pulled me out of my shell, I couldn’t help but quiver at the fact that I was far from my element. My breasts would be pushed against the too-tight dress that my roommate picked out for me, I’d swallow my gut in, and pray that no one could tell I could barely breathe. The speakers were my respire, I’d lean my back against them, enjoying the music that vibrated from its bass, and sip my drink slowly.

Fiddle with my phone.
Smile at folks I knew.
Tell a brother or two that I wasn’t interested in a dance.
Party, over.

I didn’t get it. Most of my girls were huddled in a circle, the entire party, dancing amongst themselves. If they did dance with a guy, they’d probably score iHop and a few dates afterwards, until they realized he was a jerk that frequented the club every weekend.

Surprise, surprise.

They’d wasted time, effort, and money on a night they could’ve done something that actually benefited their lives. I’m all for letting my hair down. Metaphorically of course, you all know I’m sporting a fade. However, I’d rather let loose somewhere that I can truly relax.

Jazz Club.
Open Mic.
Real Lounges.
Tea & Coffee Spots.

Bring it on. 

I longed for places that promoted discussion and swooning: A dwelling where I could hear the tenor in the voices of my comrades and pick their brains.

I was a sucker for Matilda, back in the day. I was fascinated with Harriet the Spy, Hermoine (Harry Potter), and Sydney Shaw (Brown Sugar). From the age of ten, I’ve always been riveted by the introverted heroine. I identified with their adventure and aspiration, which sparked within their minds and homes. They were women who were content with mountains of books, pens, paper, and finding love in the strangest places. 

This year I want to be that woman again, completely. I’ve pretended to enjoy the bass behind my back and the beckoning of the nightlife, a sacrifice for friends I love. However, 2013 is all about Erica. At twenty-five, there is no chastising when you’ve chosen lattes and chapters over booty shaking.

Everyone wants to network and socialize and become hailed as the know-it-all, deep down inside. Even me. However, that one fellow or gal that champions the table’s conversation was once an introvert too. His/her quick wit, charm, and knowledge are derived from self-reflection and the consumption of all that papyrus’s relatives have to offer.

I sit and listen to my mentors, successful authors and geniuses in their fields, croon about the roots of our trade and tenacity it took to get there. They were once crouched shadows near bookshelves. They listened to the epitome of their future, before they started to manifest. They knew they had more than enough time to dance, sing, and delve into the sweet sin of the world.

I envy that.
I want that.
I need that.

I realized, in order to reach my fullest potential, I’d have to cut the social butterflies’ wings for a while. My cocoon was still filled with plenty of things I hadn’t had the time to sift through. How can I flap about the world when I rarely know its roadmap?

A few of my friends called days before New Years Eve.

Girl we going out?
There’s a great party! Plenty of drinks.
We have to start the New Year right!

True, we absolutely do. & if this is the year of solitude and understanding, for me, I wanted to begin with kissing my first true love, writing a blog, planning my future, and toasting to tomorrow.

It was step one to my resolutions. I refused to begin the next day or the day after that.

Nietzsche says, “He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.

Flap, flap.


Raven said...

You always say what needed to be said, what was begging to be said, in a most amazing way.

Unknown said...

Completely relate. Last year, I consciously decided that I was done compromising in that aspect of my life lol. My friends now know that they can miss me with any event that 1) requires six-inch stilettos 2) involves a ridiculously long line outside of a club 3) does not guarantee seating once inside, and 4) costs more than $20 to get in. Needless to say, I've been spending a lot of quality weekend time with my books, Food Network and journal - just the way I like it. lol

juju angeles said...

Nice post, Riva. I was totally in the house for New Years. I thought I was the only one! Not really, but you know what I mean. I am all about this writing life! See you at the top or at our first writing circle. Peace to you. -juju

Angela Wehrli said...

I, too, have retired my social butterfly wings, to raise this beautiful boy. Sacrifices we make for things we love, and then I can sit here and read your wonderful blogs!

Jessica Jupiter said...

As a introvert, it was a relief to read this piece. The club scene was one I never felt comfortable in but was often times guilt tripped into going by friends. Won't be much of that this year, though.
This year will be the year of the introvert!

Great piece!

Unknown said...

I've had similar experiences when going to clubs over the years with my boys, unless we were already with some ladies. These days I prefer exploring New York City with my wife, looking for places we have yet to enjoy or relaxing at home with a good book.

Introverts, unite!

p.s. dope photo!

cutwright93 said...

Finally someone who feels the same. I feel this way right now... People expect me to go out and club, drink, and get wild just because I'm in college, but the truth is I HATE any place with large masses of rowdy people (including football games, parties, step teases, etc)