In high school, a kid who barely knew me told me “You think you’re mysterious but really you’re an open book.” At first, I was offended because I used to take pride in being hard to read. I didn’t want anyone to know me because I didn’t want anyone not to like me. But here I am 4 years later proving him right. I now choose to put a lot of my life on display. I write Odyssey articles that read like diary entries and I keep few things to myself.
I’m the type of person who reads a lot into people’s reactions. Therefore, when someone disagrees with me I immediately panic. I’m not even talking religion or politics. Those are for a different article on a different day. I mean general interest questions. When you tell someone that you like a movie they hate or listen to a genre they don’t, you can see the difference in their face. They look dumbfounded. Incredulous. If you’re confident enough in your choices then that look would be the cue to defend them. But I was not that person, so I didn’t. Thus began the non-established and silent judgment. I was wrong and they were right and I was left with a strange sense of foreboding. After too many of those looks, I stopped telling people things.
I don’t know when I made the switch from not sharing to oversharing. I think it was when I realized that I loved learning from other people. Whenever I’m tired of listening to the same songs I’ve been listening to for ages, I pick a friend and shuffle their favorite band or an artist they’ve recently mentioned. It’s a really nice way to get new music. And while sometimes I don’t like their choices, they give me the chance to try something new and get to know them a little better.
I used to hate having an opinion because mine never seemed to be the right one. But I’m slowly starting to realize that you’re the only one who can put value to your thoughts. And in the end, I think my insecure little brain was making up a lot of the judgment I thought I was receiving.
It’s scary to put your name on definitive statements because people make associations. For example, I have a friend who loves Sam Smith so now every time I listen to him, I think of her. I think it takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there even if it’s as simple as claiming a favorite something. It’s giving people the chance to tell you that you’re wrong or to make you question yourself but I think it’s better than the alternative. I heard someone say that they loved a good weirdo and I tend to agree. The people who own what makes them different are the best to be around. So now I write these articles that only my mom and my roommates probably read. They serve as me finally taking a stance on who I am and who I want to be. And at this point in my life, I’m okay with being an open book.