Deep breath.Friday, April 08, 2011
|The Twigster. Via here.|
Tomorrow I am doing not one, but two Very Scary Things.
First, the hair. Yep, that's actually happening. Eek!
Those of you who have the misfortune to follow my hair inspiration board on Pinterest will already have endured multiple permutations of cropped haircuts from every conceivable angle. Sorry about that. What can I say? I like to be thorough.
You might recall that I was worried I would end up looking middle-aged and/or like a man, but then my sweet friend sent me the above picture of Twiggy rocking short hair, with the message "I think this is what you would look like with short hair." (I know. Like I said, she is sweet. If delusional.) Anyway, how could I pass up the opportunity to look like Twiggy? Clearly, I could not. Of course, I doubt there will be much of a similarity, but I'll let you be the judge next week...
|Image by D Sharon Pruitt|
Second Scary Thing: I am meeting up with one of you lovely internet people tomorrow. IN REAL LIFE. Double eek.
I don't know if this will come as a surprise or not, but I'm quite an introverted person. Not in the obvious ways, perhaps; I'm quite comfortable giving presentations at work; I will happily, when suitably pressed, sing in front of a roomful of people; I relished being the centre of attention at our wedding, something I know a lot of people struggle with. I probably never even thought of myself as an introvert until I started reading Penelope Trunk's blog. (The woman is a genius. Also a *wee* bit nuts, but I could read her blog all day.)
I now know that the easiest way to distinguish between an extrovert and an introvert is that an extrovert recharges their batteries by spending time with people, preferably lots of people. Being alone with just their thoughts is actually draining for an extrovert. In contrast, an introvert craves solitude, time alone to process and recover from the exhausting experience of social interaction.
My brother, Ali, is the classic extrovert. Even as a kid, when he wasn't eating or asleep, he would surround himself with pals. I would say 70% of the population of North Berwick know him by name, and the rest know him by sight. To be fair, there aren't too many guitar-playing, pickup-driving, Viking-esque blonde giants kicking around those parts, but still.
I, on the other hand, was never happier than when I was curled up on my own with my nose in a book or constructing complicated, fantastical plots involving my embarrassingly large Barbie collection (we're talking week-long story arcs, multiple wardrobe changes and sets that took over my entire bedroom floor). Ali always wanted someone to play with, but unless GI Joe wanted to be part of a tragic love triangle with Barbie and Ken (he didn't; he wanted to shoot people), I was quite happy on my own. That's not to say I didn't (or don't) have friends - I'm not a complete loser - I have just always needed some alone time to balance things out.
|Image by Bethan Phillips|
Today, my introverted nature manifests itself in a certain level of social anxiety. Meeting new people makes me nervous - oh God what if they think I'm really dull, what if I run out of things to say, what if I crack a joke and they look at me like I'm a weirdo or just ignore me, what if what if what if - and it takes a looooong time before I truly feel comfortable enough with someone to call them a friend.
I think that's part of where the fear of getting an "edgy" haircut comes from, apart from the fear of looking like Eddie Izzard - it's the fear of not being able to pull it off, of holding myself out as someone cool and trendy and stylish and then bringing that illusion crashing down as soon as I open my mouth. Usually about the time I mention I'm a commercial lawyer.
Blogging breaks down so many of these classic social barriers and, for an introvert, it can be incredibly liberating. If I have nothing to say, well, that's fine, I don't need to say anything. If I crack a bad joke, people can't look at me like I'm a weirdo. Or at least, not to my face. If people didn't think I was funny, or interesting, or had something valid to contribute to a conversation, then they could simply stop reading my blog. (Erm, please don't stop reading my blog.)
Hopefully, someone who already "knows" me through this blog is unlikely to then be shocked and appalled by the mundane and potentially awkward nature of my real-life chat. Yet crossing that divide, leaving behind the safety net of my computer screen and going out into the big bad world to expose my real self, my real personality and all the insecurities that come with it, is still a Scary Thing. But, I hope, a Good Thing.
I won't name the lucky person who gets to experience the joy of meeting me in real life tomorrow, though. Just in case it all goes horribly wrong and we have to pretend it never happened. Hey, at least I'll have a cool haircut.
Deep breath. Wish me luck.