When people actually get to know me, two things seem to surprise them. First, I swear like a sailor. Like, it’s getting out of hand and I should begin some sort of intervention. Second, I actually house an extremely passionate personality in a rather quiet vessel. Those few people who have burrowed their way into my inner circle can feel the flames, but I come off cold to almost everyone else. I may be able to offer an explanation of sorts because I think it goes a little deeper than simple introversion.
I’ve been trained to say that I don’t care, and I can be pretty convincing. It’s a mechanism that I’ve used primarily to combat discord, but now that I’m looking back, perhaps too many moments of my existence have played out in neutral territory.
Inside, I hold some radical, burning opinions that could very well cost me my friends, my job, who knows what else. I don’t always mesh well with those around me. My instinct is to bounce ideas off of others, but life experiences have taught me to bite my tongue instead. More recently though, my easy-going persona feels like a trap. At work, my boss has mistaken my quiet working style for apathy. At school, I have a counselor who thinks I could be depressed because my willingness to cooperate and be flexible somehow comes off as disinterest for other things. It’s a narrow line to walk.
I think my nature to remain neutral stems from a desperate desire for calm. My adolescence and this last year especially have been emotionally taxing. I’ve had some of my highest highs and lowest lows all in the last eight months. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so distraught. However, there are still things lighting fires inside of me and making me want to create and explore and love. It’s just that adding on the friction of day-to-day life makes the heat less welcoming and more stifling.
So when I say I don’t care, I mean that I’m easy-going. I mean that I’m low maintenance. I mean that I’m aiming to be considerate. I mean that I can be flexible. I mean that I’ll put you first. I mean that I’ll sacrifice my desires for yours. I mean that I care enough to spare you the argument.
I say I don’t care, but I do. I care a whole hell of lot most of the time. If you’ve already figured this out about me, we’re certainly good friends. If not, here’s your chance to dig a little deeper. Because if you can strike one of my passions, you’ll forget I ever seemed cold.