[forgettable & happy]
not memorable. unremarkable. wallflower. quiet. shy. introverted. introspective.
however, it’s been said, it’s. been. said. countless times. I’m not saying the above are all synonymous with each other. but in a way, they sort of kind of are, at least in the sense that they seem to characterize (judge?) people who don’t speak their mind, who aren’t loud, who get lost in a crowd…who are forgettable.
at one point, i really didn’t mind this. and then, all of a sudden, i really really did. and now? ..I’m just kind of meh about it
*this reflection melds two things, maybe in a cause and effect sort of way: quiet and forgettable. let’s explore..
It’s happened plenty of times. people i have interacted with on several occasions, not recalling my name or at times not remembering me at all. While I use “interacted” pretty loosely, it still stings a little. to feel that you are easily forgotten kind of sucks at times. true story.
“If you’re an introvert, you also know that the bias against quiet can cause deep psychic pain. As a child you might have overheard your parents apologize for your shyness. Or at school you might have been prodded to come “out of your shell” -that noxious expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and some humans are just the same.” – Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
I’ve talked about things I’ll never be before and how I’m okay with those. Loud is one of them. I am introverted/quiet/introspective, labels I’ve adopted as opposed to one imposed on me, like shy, which I cringe at every time someone says that about me. […get ready for my soapbox moment >> alright, folks, listen up. Quiet doesn’t ((always)) equate with shy. If I were shy, I probably wouldn’t have chosen a profession that requires personal interaction at all times. I wouldn’t be able to stand in front of classroom of students and attempt to teach and inspire. I wouldn’t do a lot of things if I were shy. My choice at not sharing my personal self with others is a choice, not something I have to work at or get over. Sure, sometimes I’m reserved but that doesn’t mean shy. Hell, I’ll even say I’m socially anxious during certain events, but, for me, that doesn’t mean I’m shy. ….alright calm down, Clouds. I’m sure lots of the readers already knew this. let’s bring it back. But first, a few more words from Susan Cain: Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured].
So yes, I’ve always been introverted/quiet/introspective. I’m more in my head. No argument there. I don’t share my thoughts in groups of people unless directly asked. I’d much rather listen. Like, actually listen when someone speaks, hearing what they’re saying instead of trying to come up with my own related story to share once they’re done. You’ve seen it happen, the one-upping story-telling that has replaced conversations nowadays. I explored how we listen before here.You learn so much about people by listening instead of talking. You get to actually hear the struggles, the resilience, the journey of the person through their words. kindasortapretty amazing.
Someone once commented to me that there was so much more to me than meets the eye. I replied “of course” in a split second. This was after a Radiohead song played and I sang along. If I make enough assumptions about the assumptions he (and other people) make based on presentation, I get it. I don’t look like someone who listens to rock (whatever that means). A friend/co-worker once told me that my love of driving fast was not congruent with the image she had set up of me. Again, I get it. I don’t look like someone who more often than not is driving 15 miles over the speed limit (sorry, cop-friends. I’m trying to break that habit, I really am). If you don’t know me and I don’t share, you wouldn’t guess that a night out in the country learning to shoot various guns, smoking cigars, and drinking whiskey was one of my favorites. Or that I hate chick flicks and would much rather have a good gun fight, even if it’s cheesy (like the latest in the awesomely action-packed Die Hard series…don’t judge me). I get it. If I don’t share, you won’t learn.
Now to the forgettable part. I get that people don’t tend to remember someone who doesn’t speak up or share about their lives or is all up in your business. I get it. I don’t think it’s technically that I want to be remembered in the long-term per se. I’ve never had that desire to leave a legacy, to do something so spectacularly amazingly awesome so that people will remember my name once I’m gone. I talked before about how I don’t fear death or dying. I think that’s part of people’s fear, of dying that is. to be forgotten once death comes. Yes, i want to change the world. No, I don’t think it’s necessary that my name be attached to that change. I embrace the anonymity of it all. I guess this trait/description/whatever-it-is bothers me at times because of the whole love thing I talked about in being awkward. I guess I attach forgettable with unloved [*aha moment brought to you by writing].
At the end of it all, I’d rather be forgotten than risk not hearing a person. Yes, I still run the risk of people not knowing my story but at this point in my life, I realize I share it in a way that allows people to take what they will and apply it to their life, sort of like when I felt naked. or how I do on here with you. I like my place on the wall, in the background, in my head. I do admit I could probably take more risks being vulnerable with people in the physical public space sense, like I do here on the interweb. But, I don’t think I’ll stop being quiet; I kinda like it. Plus, being loud is not really my style.
“She sees them walking in a straight line, that’s not really her styleand they all got the same heartbeat, but hers is falling behindnothing in this world could ever bring them downyeah they’re invincible and she’s just in the background”