We begin our lives with a foundation of who we are. We start by experiencing and seeing with our eyes the world that shows itself in many ways we could imagine. In a childhood full of endless possibilities, we start structuring ourselves bit by bit, with layers based on people present to us. Growing up, we are unlike in a sense that we establish ourselves as unique and alike to those that had nurtured and influenced our youth, with the advices and reprimands that we received. In the years we remember by feelings and not by exact memory, a wonder that crosses our mind always: “Why can’t I remember what I did when I was a kid?”
In almost 20 years I have witnessed and lived in this world, and I say this in a way that many others have expressed like a sad truth: We will never be like we are when we’re young.
So let me tell you how I became Greg.
I was not always that outgoing and welcoming of the presence of others. That I can proclaim I remembered correctly. When I was young, gullible, and energetic, I did socialize with the young boys within my community. A fun and exciting challenge to be within a competitive circle and outdo all the boys. Through them and many significant teenagers I have learned many skills that prove to be quite a good thing to have. Being able to ride a bike at a certain age was an inexplicable feeling to have. Not owning any without training wheels was a letdown and a friendly neighbor had allowed me to borrow his for a day. This was my first deadline. I didn’t know how I did it, or who helped me, but I know that I accomplished something that I’m very proud of. Those firsts had great impacts to who I am today.
Year after year after year, I have left the scene of routines that involved playing and in higher education, I’ve looked as a spectator the many characteristics of human beings. Public speaking affected me like a dodge ball did, as there was no comfortable ease at being coerced to speak in front with expectations of you to share something about yourself. I asked myself then, “Why would I do that when I don’t even know any of you personally?”
I was always a wallflower. The introvert that keeps to herself, the essence of alone but never lonely and laid back and calm amidst the noise. It is then that through adolescence, I have been unconsciously and gradually going out of that inner shell of who I was and sharing it in increments to the people who mattered. I never held too long in the status quo, the cliques and stereotypes of my age, I’d often find in a close group of friends, peace in silence that never was in the roars of attention. Solace in a few I had welcomed openly, while in front of a class I’d spoken with too much reserve that I sometimes choke.
Recently, I realized I had become Greg. Gregarious and confident, sociable and outspoken. So much had changed over the years, and the Greg that was always within me that hides behind that noxious stimuli of being painfully shy, came out and breathed the fresh air of human beings.
But I have retained my roots: a spectator. Still inevitably calm looking and unfortunately laid back and lazy. Quiet and reserved amongst the crowd, seeing what others have not seen, noticing and not saying anything.
Might be indeed, and I say this with conviction, that I am undeniably part extrovert and part wallflower.