- an outgoing, overtly expressive person.
If you would have asked me six years ago, whether or not I considered myself an extrovert or introvert it would have taken me .3 seconds to shout EXTROVERT from the tops of my lungs. Making a point, you know? Lately, though, I’ve had to really think about what I consider myself now days. As I scanned my brain for examples, I sadly started to accept that maybe I’d turned into an introvert over the years, and that thought bothered me. For years I was known as the loud, rambunctious, girl who never knew when to SHUT UP! Teachers would always start parent-teacher conferences with “Bethlehem is a bright young lady but she has a tendency to talk, a lot.” One teacher, Mr. Doval, went as far as to say that I had “oral diarrhea”. Gross.
My parents would berate me for being so talkative but also beamed at the thought of me being a lawyer, because God knows; with a mouth like mine I could only be destined for big law talk. Please. I always knew what I wanted and where I wanted my so-called big mouth to take me. So when I moved to Los Angeles, and realized that talking to folks didn’t quite hold the same meaning as it did in Minneapolis, I started to hold back from talking to anyone; to the point that I just gave up talking to anyone at all. My journey was leading me into a downward spiral of being an anti-social bitch in the most awful way. I allowed myself to be bitter, to hold off on the quips and repartees that used to easily flow from my soul.
I blamed LA. This city with its unrealistic standards on beauty and the vanity, but this is LA, and I knew that coming in. Suddenly, I realized what the core source of this new found behavior had been. Me. I had allowed Los Angeles and all the intimidating factors it held stop me from being who I once was. No one stopped me. No one questioned me, yet I allowed it. Why? I didn’t understand it, but I had had enough! I wanted to break free from this introverted bitter bind that I now found myself in. So I started to let the guard that had crept up come down, I found myself talking to strangers more, being a lot more freeing with my thoughts and feelings and it felt great! Unfortunately, the bitchy part stayed. Guess that was always there 😉
It wasn’t easy, by any means, and I still have a ways to go but I’m finally starting to feel like I belong in this city and not like I just live here. The hunger that has risen while the shyness has diminished is reminiscent to that of me at 12 and that is the driving force for pushing through this city. It’s tough, I won’t lie but I’m not afraid anymore, and THAT is grand!
~ 11/5/13 Bethlehem Awate (aka: Baby Jade)
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