Who am I?
I will tell you who I am, because no-one knows who I am, and everyone I meet in real life invalidates who I am or doesn’t understand me, and I ache with the desire to be seen.
I am the girl who spends her time on the bus watching the other people and the people on the sidewalk outside the window, delighted to the point of ecstasy by their quirks and mannerisms, and making up stories about their lives.
I am the girl who pauses in the middle of the sidewalk to stare at a trail of ivy curling up against a building’s face, enraptured by its beauty.
I am the girl bloated with characters and worlds, my insides a-swirl with glimmering universes waiting to be tethered down and given form through words.
I am the girl so wracked with insecurities and a sense of apartness from the rest of society her soul burns with yearning for other people’s spontaneity, their confidence, their ease, their ability to not see the shadows in the street corners and the blood in the gutters and the bones amongst the rocks.
I am the girl who will imagine a relationship with a boy who barely even notices her to alleviate her loneliness because no-one understands her, then have that fantasy shattered by a real life encounter, leaving her feeling stupid and delusional and very, very pathetic.
I am the girl who will pause beside a patch of flowers and peek into their pollen centres, imagining tiny sleeping fairies curled up on them.
I am the girl who escapes, into books, imagination, into art, because the magical and strange and surreal make her feel euphoric, and because reality is so despicable and disgusting a creature she always pushes it out onto the welcome mat whenever it comes knocking on the door.
I am the girl who, whenever she asks someone whether they ever “feel” that way, divulging a personal experience of self-hatred or self-consciousness or the way she notice little things like a tarnished coin in the gutters or a golden break in the grey clouds above the city, receives only amused confusion, sometimes an outright shrug, sometimes an outright “Nope, I have no fucking clue what you mean!” And then she laugh in return, telling them it was all a joke, as a corner of her soul curls up and dies. “Just my social anxiety acting up!” “I do not really hate my face when I go out sometimes so much I want to peel it off like a mask! Ha-ha!” “Who cares about the sky!”
I am the girl so introverted fifteen minutes’ worth of conversation is enough to exhaust her, but who forces herself to smile and grin and talk, because that is what people tell her she should do. Her mind is like a turtle, buried deep in its skull-shell, peeking out now and then only to peer curiously at the world without.
I am the girl who receives flashes of divine inspiration and knows she will be a writer one day, even if she is so scared of not achieving that goal sometimes it feels like her heart is throwing up.
I am the girl who believes she knows, intuitively, how someone is feeling and the terrain of their mental landscape just by observing them for a few minutes, even if people say she is being delusional.
I am the girl who believes that the universe speaks to her, through coincidences and signs and sychronicities, because too many strange and unlikely things have happened for it to be anything less than that. Of course, when voicing this belief to other people, she is met with further disgust and disparagement, and has henceforth chosen to decline telling people that she also believes she is clairsentient, and can feel how someone is feeling, even if they are faraway, just by focusing on them.
I am the girl who wonders about the line between creativity and madness – whether her ability to make connections between disparate objects makes her, in many ways, delusional: in short, is she mad, or is everyone else simply asleep?
I am the girl who thinks so much about everything, from the nature of reality to why particular animals developed patterned fur, that she feels odd just for researching random facts every five minutes.
I am the introverted girl, the sensitive girl, the crazy girl, the shy girl, the smart girl, the idealistic girl, the romantic girl, the creative girl, and I feel sick and sad and mad and deliriously happy and achingly lonely on most days, often all at once, and hate myself and love myself and doubt myself a thousand times over every second.
I am me. And I want to be seen.