The minds of people like me

Being social is an idea that some have come to fear, this fear stems from the idea that people will judge them. There is major warrant to these fears and it's very understandable to feel the weight that socializing can bring with it. The looming circle of shadows around you that shuts you in, that is judgement. The average person has a healthy fear of this, but some people fear it like the devil. I was one of these people, I shut myself into my little bubble. It felt secure, safe, and it made me happy. But then the unthinkable happened... The world became a dystopia in which I couldn't even go outside let alone talk to people. This dramatically shifted my life in such a way that I now crave the socialization for fear that it may be gone once again. The world has gone mad and the shut-in nature that I opposed upon myself has become my own greatest downfall. At least, that is what it felt like. In reality, all that happened was me sitting in my room like everyone else watching the news waiting to see when the world would open up. People seem to view 2020 as some hellish yeah that we have suffered through, and many have, but there are some bright spots. The void of socialization that I so needed filled in this time was filled by something much more precious, the love and support of my family. I never realized how important family was to me until I spent almost all of my time with them. Of course I had the idea in my head that they were important. I always told myself, "Yeah I love them and they love me." My appreciation almost always seemed to stop there, a simple "please", "thank you", and "I love you", exchanged, but it stopped there. There is a wide gap between knowing and understanding, I knew that my family was important, but I never truly understood it. There is a certain peace that true understanding brings. When I spent the time of quarantine with my family, it really reassured me that the people I was with really loved and cared for me. It can be hard for others like me to open the gates of their minds to others. Not because we don't like you, but because we fear that you'll get sucked into the black hole that is our true mindset. We hold a feeling of sonder that prevents us from wanting to shove our lives and problems onto others. I always knew my family loved me, but I always feared their judgement and scorn if I were to bring unto them a problem that they may deem irrelevant. I came to realize that I had made this all up, it was a narrative I had written for myself rooted in nothing but my own lies and insecurities. Don't make up lies for yourself from problems that never existed. But that's what I had done my whole life. The only reason I was able to break through this social wall was by talking to my parents about hypotheticals. I had some deep talks with my mother and father that I had never been able to have before because of my self made bubble. It was one day that I anxiously sat at my couch and asked my mother if we could talk, she said yes, and I spent close to 2 hours talking to her about all of the things that I had kept in my own space. To what at the time was my surprise, she didn't tell me I was being stupid, instead she listened to me. It was something that I had wanted my whole life, for someone to listen to me and care, and this quarantine I was finally able to get back that time that I had lost over my years of life spent afraid and alone. This quarantine hasn't been the best time of my life as I'm sure many can agree, but this was one of the few positives and I encourage you all to try and do the same If you've felt the way I have. Opening up can be hard but it is really important to your health and happiness. Trust that the people around you, especially family, are there to help you and that they aren't out to get you or get rid of you. Family is important, so while it lasts, use this time of quarantine to get close to your family, and hey who knows, you may learn a life lesson while talking to them.

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Tiana Mar

Poet & Aspiring Author

Srebrenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina