Let me tell you what it is like to be the heavy girl who sits alone:
The chaos of school was always too much for me so I'd go to the library for the silence. I had friends. Hell, I had some of the best friends in the world, but I needed the silence to cope. I could fall into the world of whatever I was reading and forget that I was a heavy set high school girl with no boyfriend, no date on Friday night, who had to work for the extras she wanted in life. Some days I was Scarlett O'Hara. Other days, I was on the mission to solve the crime in a Victoria Holt novel.
|Yep, this is actually me in high school.|
As an adult, it is a wonder I ever married, to be honest. I married someone whom a friend had set me up with. We'd known each other since elementary school. I sat alone in our home most days and nights. I didn't want to go out and the idea of socializing was too much for me to handle. I could hang out with my family, but that was the extent of it. The world was too loud for me.
After my divorce, I moved in with my best friend. We went out a lot and he had his brother over...a lot! But, looking back, I can tell you that I was happiest when it was just us, hanging out and talking. We didn't exactly hang out with a quiet crowd and the emotions were more than I could handle. I drank too much and felt miserable more often than I would admit to him. And when his brother was here...OMG, he never quit talking! It was amusing and intelligent, but I was exhausted when he'd go home.
Going to college is even more stressful, let me tell you. I'm the woman who is an hour early to class so that she can pop in her earbuds and simply zone out. I need to do this in order to deal, in order to get my mind focused, to keep myself centered, and, yeah, sometimes to shut the world out. If I take my earbuds out to acknowledge you, then please understand that you are special! That you matter enough to me that I want to hear what you have to say and to share my world with you!
|Every seat was filled an hour later!|
I'm not just the fat girl with mulit-colored hair who is anti-social or has no friends. I'm the woman who needs to enjoy the silence and not listen to the cacophony of noises that fill the world. I tend to feel too much so I need the music to calm my heart and mind. IF I let you into my space, it is because I think you are worthy of that space. My world is overcrowded with people who demand of me. If you take the time to stop and say, "Hello" or ask how I am, that means (at least to me) that for some ungodly reason, you want to get to know me. And while that is terrifying, I'll let you in to my space. Who knows? I might not notice as you ease your way into my life to become a friend...or maybe the one I could love forever.
I'm an introvert of epic proportions which is why being an author seems to be the best fit for me. I can sit alone in my home and write away about worlds that I only dream of being a part of. I only need to socialize through social media and I can be in the silence. Unfortunately, the bills have to be paid and that requires me to step out into the world. A place full of noises, people, and feelings. A place that overwhelms me on my best days. On my worst, I suck it up until I'm in the privacy of my own home, then, I fall apart. I shake and cry under the warm spray of the shower. On my worst days, I have panic attacks and have to walk out of class.
So, the next time you see someone sitting alone with earbuds in, understand that this might be their way of coping with the world around them. And understand that if you decide to say "Hello", that you may just find your new best friend...or the love of your lifetime.