Monday, February 24, 2014

Why it’s Easy for People like Me to Get Lost in the Mix.

An introspective essay by: Khadija Charles > that weird girl that people really like but tend to forget about.

With all of the innovation that is going on in social media it’s hard to admit that I am friendless. How so, you ask. Well, yeah, I’ve got tons of friends on Facebook, and have been working a little wingspan on Twitter and I’ve also even started dabbling into things like Tumblr  and I’ve got an undercover blog on Blogspot that’s got like 2 fans, and I’ve got a work-in-progress blog on WordPress, but I don’t have friends.
What I do have is a best friend that lives all the way in Seattle and a “friend-of-emotional-convenience” that I’m having a hard time navigating my friendship with. However, that’s not to say that I don’t have people I know and like and actually consider my friends in my lonely, fiendish mind but don’t actually feel like they are when you realize you barely speak to each other. I’m closer to my estranged father than I am some of these “friends”. I’ve realized, over time, that I’m very friendly and people like me. People think I’m cool, interesting, and from time to time oxymoronic by being mysterious and open all at the same time; this leaves me being quite memorable. However, I’m also (very oxymoronically) forgettable. For a while I couldn’t figure out why and then an experience with getting employment made it all very clear.
In the state of New York, in order to work with children you have to complete a special type of background check. This one specifically checks your background for any instances of child abuse or maltreatment in your home as well as ANY home you’ve lived in for the past 28 years. Now, I never had any problem with this clearance because I don’t have any child abuse in my background, as well I’ve always only went back 10 years because everything after that gets fuzzy. However, this time, this company was requiring my entire 22 years of life in addresses. For most people this wouldn’t be an issue, but for me there were two things wrong with completing this form. One: I’ve lived in over 40 different places (5 different states 20 different cities) and Two: close to half of those places were domestic violence shelters (where the addresses have to stay confidential for the security of the women). I struggled, but eventually I got the information. It took a lot of sleuthing into my childhood emails and Google Maps, but I did it. Nevertheless, I digress; this is just a part of the problem. The problem that I realized I had was that with all the moving around I've done, I’ve conditioned myself to be the way that I am now. I’ve conditioned myself to be an oxymoron.
Wait? What? How? I know that’s the first three words that pop up in your mind, unless you’re a psychiatrist then you’re like, “I knew it!” Nevertheless, I’ve literally became what I despise most about my life right now and why I feel like I no friends. I’ve come to find that in my childhood, because I got used to the pattern of moving around a lot, it became easier for me to adjust to making (and losing) friends that way. I could make friends easily because they felt comfortable with me and it was easy for them to move on (making it easier for me to) if they could forget me just as easily. I might have left an impression, or a moment that they might call upon when they think of their childhood with a nostalgic smile and a soft chuckle, but at the end of the day, there's no hard feelings. This worked a lot in my younger years, and got more complicated to achieve as I got older and as technology came into play because now these friends wanted to “keep in touch”. However, I was just left to bear witness to their lives and how they’ve moved on. I ended up feeling resentful and jealous realizing that nothing can replace a friendship that is solidified by proximity and time. Therefore, no matter how cool, sweet, or funny I was people just wouldn’t go the extra mile to keep up an active friendship with me.
Moreover, as time went on, I became harder to want to be friends with. My life was just too complicated and too depressing. Then I discovered a few other issues that played a major factor into my lack of friends. I was suffering from Bipolar Disorder. So in a nutshell I was essentially a nut case. I can’t handle my emotions effectively and end up pulling into myself and pushing others away. In an effort to not burden people with my illness or my problems I saved them the text message breakup and just faded away. In doing that I missed out on a LOT of things, a LOT of opportunities, and a LOT of friendships. Another issue that I noted was that I’m just an oddball. I look very young, and most of the time I act very young, but I’m stepping into that weird ADULT threshold where I can act older than I actually am. I can engage in older activities, but at this point don’t have anyone to engage with.  I wrote a poem called “Weird” that was about this predicament (kind of) *warning there are expletives*:
People are weird.No let me rephrase that.I'm weird. I'm not like other people.
I don't have friends. I don't go out. I don't retell stories that start with, "I remember that time when I...when we...when this..."I don't hang out or chill or "Hey, let's do (insert awesome activity) at/on/this (insert time/day of week/month/year/season).I don't have raging Facebook posts/pics of all the places I've gone/things I've done.
Don't have rings/necklaces/bracelets or tattoos/piercings from when I went (insert awesome place).I'm fucking boring.
I don't have a black book, notches in my belt, or reasons to get dirty looks.
I don't live on the edge or between the lines.
I don't have a tag that says, "I'm cool because I've been/done/had/went/saw/was a part of... etc."I don't have a tag that says, "I'm uncool because...." you get the point.
I'm just here.Not really doing one thing or another. Not really being one thing or another. Not really fitting in, but not really sticking out. Like shit. What am I really? I guess, I’m just weird. Because I'm not weird, and I'm normal, I'm like oatmeal. Kind of bland, but I've got a dash of cinnamon and sugar so I'm not all that bad, but still there's no bang...This needs to change.

I ponder a lot on this, well mostly on that last part. How can I change this? How can I over turn years of habituation? And yet, before I even delve into that I have to ask myself, why is this an issue? What’s wrong with being a loner and having no friends? What’s wrong with just staying home and playing Lego’s with my 1 year old or gorging myself with all my favorite shows on Netflix? Well, because that’s just no way to live, especially not for a 22 year old. I was always one to preach on the soapbox that my life wasn’t over just because I had a child. And it’s not, especially when you have people waiting in the wings to babysit. If the opportunity arises I should be able to jump on it like a San Fran streetcar! But here’s the kicker, it has, and I just let that streetcar pass me by. I live in New York City! There’s no way that I shouldn’t be able to get myself out there and MAKE friends and ENGAGE in cool activities, but I can’t. Why, you ask? Well to be frank, I’m scared. And I don’t know how. These past few years have brought on a lot of changes, especially emotional ones. These changes that have turned me into a shadow of the person that I used to be, and I can’t get past that. This talent that I’ve cultivated over the years has left me hollow and shy, really shy. To top it off the problems just keep piling up and the stress just keeps pushing me down. Every once in a while I raise my hand up to ask for help and it just dangles there in the breeze, waiting. No response. This in turn pushes me farther down than I was before. And as easily as I found it to train others to forget me, I have started to forget myself. This need to change.

As a woman, a black woman at that, I cannot fall into that trap of just letting myself go. I have a daughter to raise, a black one at that. She will have the whole world trying to forget her before she’s even had a chance to make herself known. I have to show her that it’s unacceptable to fall into the shadows. I have to come out of mine, I can’t continue to wait for someone to come along, hold my hand and pull me out. If I cannot be a role model to her, than who can? If I don’t face this fear, this depression, this oxymoron, it will only get worse and I’ve beard witness to countless woman who held this as their only inheritance from their mothers. My daughter deserves better than my pitfalls, she deserves a legacy to build on. So even though I’m “normal” to some or “tainted” to others, I still take pride in being me, I think it’s time I shared that with others.  

If you can identify with some of the things I have talked about and are looking to come out of your shell you can find me at:

You can also contact me if you are interested in being a part of a documentary I am going to be working on about slipping through the cracks.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Thanks for commenting. I love to see feedback, questions, etc. Although the moderation has to be in place I normally review within a few hours. The max is 24. I hope you come back for more musings and share this blog with your friends. Cheers!