I’m Christian Foremost, a Filipino Blogger/Writer/Podcaster and mental health advocate who writes personal stories of growth, life advice, and refreshing perspectives to inspire you to love yourself. I promote daily journaling as a healthy outlet to express and explore one’s honest thoughts and feelings. The path towards self-discovery and actualization starts by acknowledging your truths and facing your problems head-on.
Perfect doesn’t exist. It’s our nature as humans to have flaws and make mistakes from time to time. We learn. We grow. We change for the better. But what if no matter how many times we try to change, we can never be the person we want to be?
I’ve hit a roadblock in my personal growth journey that caused me to stop and backtrack a bit. I often find myself exhausted after forcing myself into situations just to prove that I am capable. I’m capable sure, but only to a certain extent. I keep pushing myself to fit boxes that are too small. I constantly compare my progress to those of other people and end up disappointed because I can never measure up. Being a try-hard will never measure up to people who can do things naturally and instinctively. If you don’t have it, you don’t have it.
Getting my own outsider’s perspective
There’s this thing that I caught myself doing. I keep looking at myself from an outsider’s perspective. I picture my being in the body of a stranger who doesn’t know anything about me at all. If I were to observe Christian from across the room, what would be my impression of him? I know that random people’s opinions about me don’t define me as a person, but they do fill in some details that may give me the full picture.
Christian looks like a good guy. Smart with his glasses, but timid and awkward with the way he carries himself. He’s doesn’t seem to be talkative, especially when surrounded by a group of people. When his friends are talking, he seems to switch between listening and zoning out to a place deep within his head. He doesn’t like talking about himself. His friends keep mentioning how quiet he is or how he doesn’t contribute to the conversation. “Are you okay?”. “What are you thinking about?”. These are what I overhear from his friends. He says he’s okay and he’s listening, but he seems tired or too absorbed by whatever is going on in his head. He doesn’t seem to be fully present at all.
If I would return to my body and regain my full conscious memory, here are the answers to those questions. I do talk about myself, but only at a minimum and I kinda don’t repeat stories I’ve already told because they seem unnecessary to me. I feel like I constantly share too much of myself in my blog and social media already that people are sick of it. I do listen to my friends and appreciate their physical company, but I sometimes can’t help but get sucked up in my own thoughts especially when they talk about things I couldn’t relate to. I also don’t think that most people could understand what’s going on in my head so it wouldn’t make sense if I share it with an audience of more than 3 people, right? My presence alone is already uncomfortable so why would I bring the awkwardness up a notch, stuttering through sentences I couldn’t even make sense of myself?
I’m a wallflower
That’s the big thing that I was trying to work through actually: being an introvert. It’s just funny because I also thought that the only reason that I kept to myself and didn’t like to talk was that I was in the closet for the longest time. Now that it’s been years since I came out, I had this idea that I would be extroverted and have a ton of friends. Some nights, I am like that and I do have a ton of friends, but most of the time, I cannot shake that part of myself that would prefer isolation and silence. Yes, I could open my mouth, talk, and be friendly, but most of the time, I would prefer not to.
Do you guys know what a social battery is? A social battery according to The Quill, describes “a person’s extent to mingle with groups of people in one setting”. Well, my social battery happens to have a very short lifespan and takes quite a while to recharge. I love being with my friends and spending time with people, but it would cost so much of my energy. And I used to feel guilty about it and felt kinda ashamed because I, like most people equated being alone to feeling sad and depressed.
Conserving my energy
But now, instead of wanting to change to be more sociable or trying to overuse my social battery, I learned to let go. I’ve been doing a lot of letting go recently. Being an introvert is just part of my identity that maybe isn’t such a bad thing? Once I stopped being so hard on myself, I was able to relax and appreciate my time alone more. Instead of the constant overthinking and self-doubt, I began to enjoy my own company and the surroundings, truly feeling at peace and in the moment. Silences become comforting and there’s a sense of beauty in the calm as you look around and see the world around you.
Going outside is something I wish I could do more often instead of being stuck in the dark corners of my room, browsing through social media. Driving to distant places, walking around with no particular destination in mind, taking your time having each bite of the food in front of you, and drinking coffee without the need for the conversation to fill in the silence. I know it’s weird, but these are what I find fun now, at this point in my life anyway…
I’m okay with it
I can never be a perfect person and get people to like me especially when I’m not sociable, and that’s okay. I don’t like being around too many people, and I should stop feeling bad about it. I accept this part of myself, but that doesn’t mean that I’m closing myself off to other people. I’m open to meeting and talking to all kinds of people in this life. I guess I just need to shake off the awkwardness brought mostly by how overly conscious I am that I am quiet. I need to be more comfortable with my introverted self, and I just won’t try hard as much and just let things flow naturally.
I can’t be everything I want to be and that’s alright. I don’t have to change that part of me. I’m accepting my weaknesses, but not proclaiming defeat. I’m still trying to be a better version of myself, but I don’t need to rush the process. There are flaws that I am still working on, but they may take some time. We have to be more patient and gentle with ourselves and see how things play out.
For now, just know that you’re doing great. You’re already amazing and it’s gonna be a joy watching you grow.
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