If you could hear me now, I am howling at the coincidentally full moon as I write this. And if I don’t finish this post, then you don’t have to imagine what happened…
So, as you may have been able to deduce from my blog so far, I am a little bit of an introverted recluse, but a content one, and you could probably tell from the way I reveal just enough but never too much. I don’t know if I can call it a defense mechanism or it’s simply second nature now, but it’s the way I’ve been for such a long time. I tell people I’m an open book, but you in actuality have to pry this book open, and you’ll still find pages that have been torn out and burnt so no one will ever know the contents.
When I was growing up, quiet and reserved was a word that was used to describe me quite frequently, and while I’ll admit it was partly because I was the shy kid, it’s also because I was the shy kid with a wild imagination who wasn’t sure he could share his musings with a less whimsical audience. So teachers often chalked down my day-dreamer tendencies to possible personal problems I could have been having when the truth couldn’t have been further from that. So, while my crazy imagination is part of the reason I became a writer, it’s also part of the reason I wouldn’t divulge my inner-most thoughts with the people in my life bar the select few I was comfortable enough around, and I guess that somewhat started a trend which has become a big part of who I am now.
Because of that, through the years, I’ve always had to go through a process of selectivity in conversations regarding what I am going to reveal and to whom, and this calculatedness made it hard for me to form meaningful bonds with other humans and fuelled my reclusive nature, and it being coupled with my nomadic habits meant that even when I did find someone with whom I could remove all inhibitions, they wouldn’t stay in my life for a long enough time. So, I grew to master the balance of having people close enough so I wouldn’t turn into a sociopath or anything, but not so close as to be deeply wounded when the bond would have to be seared and I’d have to move on. And of course, there have been a few exceptions but generally, that’s how I have gotten by.
Still, family has always been a big part of my mental well-being, and because I move around a lot, I’m never with my natural family for that long, but through the years, I’ve found family in places I least expected and having that kind of environment has been all the difference. A good example is a group that came together during a year I spent interning at a science research facility. I wasn’t too fond of the job, but these people made coming to work that much easier, and even though we’ve since all gone our separate ways, we still have the magic that brought us together and we maintain those tethers as often as we can. Another good example is a study group I joined during my senior year at college. Initially, I just wanted people who would help me stay motivated enough to study, but then we became more than just a study group. If you’ve seen the comedy Community, that would be a good way to describe it. Even their escapades were very similar to the ones we had. We ate together, we studied together, we partied together, worked hard together, and played hard together. Did life together. And it was during times like these that even though I was still somewhat of a lone wolf, I felt like I had found my pack.
The pandemic nearly screwed up everything, though: I spend almost every minute of every day at home working on my art, and even though I’m a content recluse like I said, I still stay connected to the pack with the conventions of modern technology doing things like weekly Zoom calls and those long ass texts and voice notes. And when this too passes, the progression can resume until, perhaps, I become a properly functioning human being.