Lately I have been trying to “put myself out there” more. I feel like I have been too cooped up at home and really want to make an effort to go out and socialise with other people. In the past, if you asked me whether I was an introvert or an extrovert, I would’ve easily said extrovert. Now, I’m not so sure.
I have only started being active in 2017. My body was starting to feel good and I could go out without having any pain for at least half a day. I started hanging out at cafes and meeting my friends for a few hours. Now I can manage a full day out though my back would probably need some rest afterwards. I realise that I am still sensitive to sunlight. Not only does it make me weak from the heat but it also hurts my eyes which often leads to migraines. I got some sunglasses and it really helps me, though I still avoid going out in the blazing hot sun. Though my immune system is way better than last year, I still get super anxious around large crowds. I tend to avoid it at all cost. Sometimes I want to attend local events, but then I remember the heat and crowd so I know better and find solace in my books instead.
I am still adjusting myself to social situations. I feel awkward and out of place all the time. I worry about the things I say and I’m always afraid of talking too much. Millions of questions are always buzzing through my mind “why is she looking at me like that? did I say something wrong? did I say TOO much?”. It is not easy to be back socialising.
There are also times when I socialise with a new crowd and they do “normal” things that I can’t do like going out using motor bikes, eat at angkringan and other things. It’s just so tiring when I have to explain why I can’t go. When I decline sometimes I feel like a snob for not wanting to join them, but there are other times when I don’t really care because I know my health is more important. I’m trying to put my mindset towards the latter, because after all my health is important and if people can’t/won’t understand then tough luck.
One of the questions I dread most is “so what do you do?”. I wish I could just shove them the link to this blog so that I don’t have to explain myself. My mind immediately goes to my illness and how I’m still doing treatments when I could’ve simply just say that I run a small business. Sometimes I want people to understand, to know my history, but I know they don’t need to hear that. I am still trying to accept that if people want to get to know me more then eventually they will.
Oh I don’t know, is this normal? It’s just so hard to socialise. Most of the time I avoid going out altogether, it’s just easier.
One thing is for sure though, I may no longer be the extrovert that I used to be and that’s OK. People change. I find peace in my solitude. I enjoy being with myself and I love surrounding myself with books and paint whenever I can. Cancer has definitely shifted my personality. I am still trying to accept that it is OK to feel what I feel when I socialise, after all it is a journey that I’m still learning. Step by step I guess?