Hello, I’m finally on break from design school for two weeks. Now for an update.
I would have written this post sooner except on Sunday my window, goaded by wind gusts, decided to fall out & shatter onto the street. Now my window is cardboarded up & I’m waiting for it to be replaced; no idea when.
But I digress – this post is actually about how making friends became absurdly excruciating.
Returning to polytech has been a godsend to me. I am very much enjoying communication design & feel like I’ve found my element:
- I storyboarded an idea I had floating around for a long time (I’ll make a post about this later).
- Been learning about various design movements, like Art Nouveau & Russian Constructivism.
- Been introduced to drawing tablets & currently have an animation assignment I’ll do over the next two weeks based on an old dream (again, this will be its own post).
- I’ve been (more) properly introduced to photography. Didn’t realize how much there was to portraits & how experimental you can be (got really into collage & cut-outs).
Perhaps the most significant aspect is that I seem to actually be making friends. I realize that probably sounds banal but, given my reclusive nature & the way my life has been going, its just… very nice to have this happen, even though I feel my behaviour just made things more difficult.
Truth be told, I found that for most of the past semester I’ve been highly emotional. I would keep wavering between having happy & sad evenings on a day to day basis depending on how social I’d been. I didn’t know I had this kind of disposition. Maybe I’ve truly become so sick of being a recluse that its become painful to be that way.
I’d be happy because someone that day took an interest in me & proved my worries wrong, which happened more than I expected. Maybe someone would comment on a sketch I was doing, or chose to sit with me in between classes; & from there a conversation would probably occur. Given the right state of mind, I can be surprisingly chatty.
These interactions became more prominent after my first assignment – a three minute “I like” presentation. I did mine on lucid dreaming & it was perhaps the smoothest presentation I’d ever done (no stuttering or anything, which is highly unusual for me). Afterwards I had like five people approach me going, “You can control your dreams?! Wow!”
Having people take an interest in me was… alien. As someone who has spent years being the silent background character (the guy that deferred people to other people), suddenly being noticed is weird, yet nice. So, of course my natural instinct was to wall myself off.
This leads to me becoming sad because I kept seeing myself instinctively act in ways I didn’t like. Things like avoiding eye contact, pretending I wasn’t listening, walking away, or just generally being cold; the opposite of how I want to be with people (that or I just say really dumb things, but that’s nothing new).
By the time I realized what I was doing, I sensed that I’d put-off those who tried to reach me. Those initial random interactions became more distant & people had seemingly formed their own social niches. I’d inadvertently shown a disinterest in people, yet this wasn’t true at all. I got paranoid that I’d fucked up; that I was destined to endure this disconnection & that there was nothing I could do to stop myself.
I knew I had to change things. I resolved that I would at least try to make peace with those who were the friendliest towards me, & test the truth of my madness. Of course, this was delayed by both myself & the circumstances of the time.
When I eventually acted, half way through the last week, I immediately started having lunch with these people…
All those social barriers I saw. All those issues I conjured. All that fear, worry, & paranoia – gone like it never existed; all because it took me nine weeks to ask someone “hey, are you having lunch here?”.
I truly am a social idiot.
Now with this silliness out of the way, I feel like I can breathe. It’s kinda cruel that I could only break out of my shell on the last week, but I’m just thankful for the turn of events.
Returning to polytech has given me new life. Its been so long since I’ve actually looked forward to something. I don’t even want to speculate on how things will go later, I just want to enjoy how things are going now (even if right now my window’s gone 😐 ).
Oh, & in case someone from polytech reads this – hi… thank you for accepting this weirdo.