Walking down the hallway, she hunches her shoulders over a huge pile of of textbooks cradled in her sleeved arms. As the clock tower blasts it's bells to campus, she makes her way to her destination with her eyes pointed downwards, silently counting the concrete squares. The entryway of the building looms five steps before her and a couple more steps in, she enters the crowded classroom. With a small burst of speed, she slips quickly and quietly into the room, gliding past the groups of people talking animatedly, huddled together in their little cliques. Into her cold and lonely seat she slides, her eyes fixed curiously on her happier peers. After half a minute of quiet observation, she disappears behind her textbook and huddles, trying to make herself as small as possible, trying to find a comfortable position to weather out the next hour. When class ends, she inserts earphones into her ears and turns on music that gives her company in her solitude, and then she vanishes from the premises. Who is this ghost?
Me. I suppose. nicer people always tell me that I'm too quiet and too reserved. Other times, I hear through my friends that some people think that I'm sullen, stuck up, too stupid to speak and everything in between. People encourage me to be more outgoing and friendlier. Apparently, gregariousness is always appreciated. The unspoken rules that predominate the social scenes are not unbeknownst to me. Contraily, I am quite aware of these invisible guidelines. Many say that my quiet nature that characterizes me is unfit to exist in this Darwanian society. But, I am not quiet by nature, but my general attitude is a actually a matter of how I perceive social etiquette.
My parents always taught me to be quiet and polite around other people and talk only when needed. And most importantly, I was taught to respect my elders and address them politely. For example, I absolutely cringe when people start calling older adults by their first name. I'm always used to addressing people as Ma'am, Sir, Mr. and Mrs..
Around unfamiliar faces or those who I do not know very well, my silence is a respectful gesture, not scrutinizing or critical. I speak when I am spoken to. I am not prideful of my reclusive propensity by all means, but am too afraid of criticism to change my social personality. Though I look antisocial and solitary to the casual passing eye, I am not. Look deeper!
"The skin of my [true] emotions lie beneath my own."
-Fiona Apple, "Never is a Promise"
Judging first impressions is a tedious act atht I fear and avoid doing. Those judgements seal my reputation and dooms further conversations. It is fear of being spoken badly of that keeps me modest. It is fear that drives my words to tedious cautiousness as I pass through the herds of people virtually unseen. But, around those with whom I feeel comfortable and around my friends, I am a completely different person. When I feel sure that I am safe from the scrutiny, judgments, and first-impressions from unfamiliar people, my ghost mask peels away.
I am quite cheerful, creative, and a talkative person. I love to make my friends laugh, especially when they are feeling sad. I may make a fool out of myself purposely, but at least I replace a frown with a genuine smile. It feels so good to do that. If the situation permits, especially at social outing, I turn the "social switch" on in my head and allow my inner perkiness to bubble up revealing my true personality and an honest smile. Actually, I may border on the slightly insane category, but that's another story.
So, I just wanted to say, please, abstain from immediately juding other people because there are subtle colors that lie underneath dull outer shells. It's sort of like those rocks that are gray and dull on the outside (I forget the name), but when somebody slices them open, there is an amazing array of beautiful crystals and colors inside.
Human eyes are guileless windows capable of being deceived, but the brain, simple logic, can separate truth from fiction, so use it. The quiet may not be sy, and the brash may not be so bold, so don't call me sullen or shy without looking through the pretenses that surround me. Talk to me. Get to know me--the real me, and then make the final judgement.
Fiona Apple, "Never is a Promise" : http://www.lyricsfreak.com/f/fiona+apple/never+is+a+promise_20053671.html