Those who know me quite well will know that I’m nervous, shy and timid when meeting new people or experience new things. I fear people, worry much, and have no confidence in me. I also easily feel estranged for no reason. But then somehow I realise that I just can’t avoid everyone even if I want to. I cannot simply stop communicating and interacting with others just because I haven’t got enough courage to begin with. No matter how much I want to detach myself from society, I still have this humane feeling telling me that I need people. As Maslow said in his hierarchy of needs, human typically desire to be accepted and valued by others. Even though there are times when I really want to let go the need of approval, I have to accept the fact that it seems impossible because I know our lives somewhat depend on others’.
I don’t really remember how it starts but these past three months has taught me many things I never imagined before. Somehow I leave my comfort zone and found out that life is so full of opportunities. There were things I didn‘t know before and there are so many things that I have yet to try and explore. I’ve met new people, experienced new things and learned some lifelong skills (though I still need many experiences to sharpen them, indeed). I try to open myself and push away my vulnerability. Even “Don’t worry be happy” by Bob Marley fills up my playlist (to examine the effects of subliminal messages in music on behaviour, anyone? Eh or is it supraliminal if we can hear it even if we don’t consciously notice it? *hands up*). The point is I try to motivate myself to interact more often with others by being involved in some events or activities. I still find being in large groups is tiring, but it was surprisingly fun. It’s a relief to know that you have others to rely on when you need to talk things out, share ideas, solve problems and so on. I also learn to be more open minded by seeing a new perspective through others’ point of view.
However, as much as I find it’s fun and exciting to be around people, I still might not be able to express my self freely as it could be. Maybe that’s just how my nature works?
As I’m also getting older (and got some lectures in theories of personality class), I realise it’s important to balance spending time with people with spending time alone if you want to be psychologically healthy. You can’t arbitrarily say you want to detach yourself from society (hello there, myself). And you just can’t either go on feeling awkward with or underestimate yourself (hello, me, knock knock) because you might never understand the essence of interpersonal relationship until you accept who you are internally. Quoting Murakami, “No matter what they wish for, no matter how far they go, people can never be anything but themselves.” It makes me aware of how immature I still am and it sucks to know that maturity doesn’t come in the same package as getting older. It’s time to start digging life harder then, eh?
So many things ahead waiting to be explored and learnt. Still remember to be not-so-pessimistic, don’t you?
Happy birthday, by the way.