Monday, September 28, 2009

Peanuts, M&M's, and Me

Consider this something of a riddle... What do peanuts, M&M's, and I have in common? You'll get answer by the end of the post. (How's that for a teaser to keep you reading?)

I was never a performer as a kid. I'm actually the only one of my siblings that never participated in a piano recital and though I may have been in dance under the age of 4, I have no recollections of being on stage solo as a kid. Through elementary and junior high I had a couple bit parts in chorus shows, but never took a lead; and by high school I learned that I was better with behind the scenes work than being on stage. By the time I reached college I was pretty sure that I was overall a shy person.

Yet, most people that know me now consider me to be pretty outgoing. I actually talk a lot in social settings and sometimes I might even be that person with a little too much to say. I love parties, too. (Not to be confused with "partying" - I've never been big on the bar or dance club scene, but if it's a get together with friends for games, movies, or sporting events I'm sure to enjoy myself.) But I still have an inner conflict with my shy-self. When I'm invited to social events, it's a challenge to persuade myself to go. Don't get confused, you read that right: I love social outings and I always enjoy myself, but convincing myself to go is like pulling teeth. I almost wonder if I have some borderline social anxiety or something. I really do enjoy meeting new people, I just get nervous going into situations where I know I will. There's always plenty of perks to putting myself out there; I'm still just struggling to understand why it doesn't come naturally to me.

Now comes the answer to the riddle: like peanuts and M&M's (and I suppose also Peanut M&M's), I have a shell. There's a definite game face that I wear in public and social settings and the me underneath is nowhere near as bold and confident as the mask most people see. I don't think that concept is foreign to many people, I would bet most of us have an inner self that rarely goes on display. The true challenge though is to form the mask to look as much like a true-me as I can. I want to be genuine, never fake. In recent years, I think social-game-face-lisa has come to much more closely resemble private-inner-sanctum-lisa than ever before. Or maybe that's vice versa. Or perhaps the mask has just become a little transparent. I'm still a shy-reclusive-wallflower but I'm also the bold-smiling-butterfly. I'm not even sure how that makes sense yet nonsense could be the most relevant aspect of my personality so I try not to over-analyze disparities.

It just might be incongruities that make individuals a little more interesting.

1 comment:

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El) said...

You have always struck me as a little shy but so earnest in your want to get to know people. Maybe your shell isn't as thick or tough as you believe. I like the you that shows on through it!

Sometimes we all have to push ourselves socially to talk, to visit, to question--but isn't it always worth it?

Thanks for following my blog, I was touched to learn you added on!