This is going to sound annoying. Living in a town for 29 years, all I ever heard by others is that I'm so quiet. They literally couldn't get a word out of me. I was too busy daydreaming in my head to realize how I looked on the outside. I actually never knew it made me look stupid. Non-family can be vigorous that way. I always used MD as a way to escape my frustrations, but it did me more harm that good, so I had to quit. It was the best decision I made. 

What reasons did you start doing MD? We're their any social issues involved that triggered this? 

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Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on June 16, 2021 at 2:09pm

Only if you meet more people, you'll get new opportunities to know and find your partner. But I just can't seem to "be interesting" to them.

When I was 13 (circa 1999) My dad strongly advised that I do just this and get out of my room. I wish that I knew this as a teenager, but I wasn't smart or experienced enough to realize he was giving me good advice that I will not regret.  In my mind, I thought "Why the haste and urgency? I will get loads of chances in my teens and adulthood stages to experience relationships and friends." But then years passed, and I stayed being introvert and unsocial, tending to my own work, but hardly paying more attention to others. I now realize it's sad that I didn't follow his great advice. 

Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on June 16, 2021 at 1:29pm

I did want people to notice me and I sometimes did get attention. But it wasn't the attention that I had in mind. Either people just ignored that I was there, or they were mean and critical on me. They always brought up the same stupid, boring remark. "Are you stupid?" or "Your quiet!" Others expressed it with sarcastic humour, "Calm down. Quiet down. Easy does it." And I would just be sitting there all quietly and emotionless like stone. In my mind nothing was wrong with me, and I was normal. But to everybody else, I was very weird, they couldn't help but stare, laugh and point at me. I guess, it's because I wasn't normal, chatty and outgoing for them. Most of my teachers kept their business on teaching their class, though some of them did make comments. 

It never escapes my head, I had this one weird teacher in middle school who treated me like a mentally challenged kid. He was a jokester and got students to do some stupid and hilarious things for class entertainment. However, he kept on looking directly at me and insinuated remarks about my strong silence. At one moment, I sat by myself at the front of class, when everybody else had seating buddies. A student named Andrea pointed at me, saying "she's just sitting there alone, like an island." My teacher erupted in a loud holler, literally took me by the arm and dragged me to sit with Andrea. Can you imagine how embarrassed I was? Other times, Mr. Allen would crank more jokes to me and even pull me aside in class to explain that he meant no hard, and he once took me out of another class, standing there, looking at me intently, wondering if everything is all square, because he's just wasn't sure how I felt. I was so quiet and stoic. Even if I did freak him out with my mysterious behaviour, it was really none of his business. I should've told my parents, but I never brought up this teacher, funny enough. If I had, my mom would've went to the school to have a nice, sweet chat with the principal. 

Comment by Kiruba Victor on June 16, 2021 at 10:59am

Yeah, while eating, I focus on the food definitely. Ain't nothing getting in the way of that. But yeah, in group settings, people don't usually notice if I'm there unless I talk and often, they respond briefly and go about their normal conversations. I'm quite quiet in general but if I open up, I can't stop XD. 

And yeah, only if you meet more people, you'll get new opportunities to know and find your partner. But I just can't seem to "be interesting" to them. I'm putting in effort to change it and one day, the results will be positive for it (It's so funny how the word positive is one of the most feared words in this time XD)

Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on June 16, 2021 at 9:09am

I think I'm like you. Yes in social situations I try to be friendly and want to express my own opinions in conversations. For some reason, I end up being extremely quiet. I feel that people talk about things that are over my head and perception. There's food and drink, which I find distracting. I feel I talk better when I'm not having a feast. Overtime, I feel very bad and anxious. Eventually, a person turns their head at me and asks me "Are you OK? Your very quiet." It's quite horrible. I've had some people treat me like I have a problem or maybe I'm having a bad day or I should go to bed. Then something comes out of my mouth, and someone is like "Wow she's actually saying something. She can talk." So if I want to attend a party, wedding, grouping or whatever, I would never just stand there and be quiet. They'll just think I have no friends. All social butterflies and extraverts will say that about me. Even my closest girlfriends have all mentioned that I'm just a quiet person. 

Trouble is when I was a kid, I thought it was OK to be quiet, and I can still have relationships, because people have always said how beautiful I looked. I was just complacent that way, and continued to dream of having a relationship with a guy. But over the year, I stumbled onto the same problems, where people avoided me for being quiet and incapable of social interaction. It was a slap in the face, but they were right. I was mad at myself for being so ignorant and not changing my ways. Now I realize why all the students in my high school clacked my full name in the classes and hallways. They found my behaviour abhorred. Important thing is I learned a lot and will try not to let this happen in future. 

Comment by Kiruba Victor on June 16, 2021 at 8:52am

Well, you definitely know what you want to do. I don't even know what I'd like to do for a job, my interests and all. All I know is that I just want to be peaceful and happy. I took the wrong degree because of that, although it does open 90 percent of doors here in India XD (Engineering degree opens a lot of doors, that 90 percent of the people who are B.E graduates here in India, don't often end up in an engineering job)

As for relationships, I also thought that I'll get dates in my college life. I did find ways to meet some people, like you. But I didn't take a step forward in a romantic direction out of fear that the friendship I have will be lost and things will be awkward afterwards. So I think I might've missed out on some people who maybe did like me that way (And it's a pretty big "might", XD). I suck at group settings where everyone has something to talk about already, I feel like my brain is blank at the moment (how ironic, isn't it, that as someone who has enough creativity to MD, runs blank on social situations). So often times, people don't even notice if I'm still there. It feels like my throat freezes whenever I attempt to "infiltrate" a social circle, so to speak. I'm always looking for ways to get rid of that anxiety. Lot of my friends tell me that I'm quiet sometimes and sometimes I'm extremely boisterous (happens only when I discuss something I'm quite interested in), that it's unpredictable XD.

Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on June 16, 2021 at 7:39am

I used to have fake feelings towards what's ahead all the time. I actually do regret it. You don't get ahead believing strongly in your own thoughts. Your going to be disappointed. Nobody knows what your pondering about and they don't care. The answer is, prove yourself out there, and others will eventually respect you for that. 

For example, I thought of being a designer. So I got my degree and hoped to land an exciting job in an advertising agency or labeling & packaging company. But I should've been warned the design industry is fast and furious, and the designs must be kick-ass. People who truly live and breathe it, come up with wicked stuff ever make it through. But I was more of a fine artist and I found web programming to be hard. I simply got the degree, all because it opens doors. My dad told me to start a business, so I decided to freelance for clients. Next thing woke me up, the clients weren't very impressed by my designs. They felt I didn't think like a designer, my work wasn't very good and I needed more training. If I got excited to apply to future places, they didn't even give a thought to phoning or emailing me for an interview, an often declared they moved to other candidates. Then 10 years went by since I got my degree. I was stunned that I look no different than where I started out. I didn't progress and get much better. I then realize that I wasn't ever driven. It was best I stuck to art. 

In the relationship zone, it's nearly the same. I thought I was going to find a boyfriend and begin a relationship in my 20's. I did find ways to encounter people through college, work and meetups. But I kept on getting same answers from most of them. "Your quiet. Your so serious. You seem nervous. Smile." They simply found my appearance and demeanour a turn-off. They socialized all the time, and I didn't. Plus, they didn't daydream like me, so they just replied, "Where'd you go? or Are you here?" I can't tell you how embarrassing this was for me. When I started freelancing at home and stopped taking courses, things were extremely quiet and solitary for a while. It disturbed me when my peers and co-workers were no longer there, how I lacked the skills to reach out of people. Of course the pandemic didn't make it any easier. There were times, I expected to just randomly meet people around the coastal area of my home or at the parks. It was total BS. I realized you must get into social gatherings to ever make this work. Now I know. *Burn*

Comment by Kiruba Victor on June 15, 2021 at 9:18pm

Right now, I'm feeling that false confidence. But also dreadful of what lies in store for me. I don't exactly believe it will all unfold like my daydreams since there's some really high standards up there XD.

Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on June 15, 2021 at 1:11pm

When I was doing MD, I was so confident that I knew what life will look like in 10-20 years. I was so complacent too. When really, the real answers staring at me in the face. I was that kind of person that didn't concretely think of the what-ifs and just wanted to go with the flow. All the more, I actually believed in my daydreams. They felt so strong and real.

Comment by Kiruba Victor on June 15, 2021 at 8:17am

Yeah, that was spot on. Cool kids and sportspeople fit in better than geeks or artistic people. And after that, there won't be much contact, so you can move on from that part of life. The people who bullied me in high school , I don't care about what they're doing now. I've managed to bolt and lock those doors for good. We all will eventually find our tribe as you say. Time changes everything. It's that powerful.

Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on June 15, 2021 at 7:20am

To be honest, high school wasn't for me. Artists and geeks tend to be the lesser popular stereotypes. Only cool kids, cheerleaders and party-goers really ever do fit in. High school is a social event, but it's also a blur. Whatever persona you carry in high school means nothing in the real world. So if you were prom queen or football jock, still what are you afterwards, when it's all over? When we separate and go to universities and workplaces, nobody's going to know or care how popular you were. Plus in adulthood, people don't hang out in groups as much. Their social lives are thinner, because they have jobs, responsibilities and kids. After highschool, I 'no longer' still hear people stand around saying, "Where are you friends, Jessica Ballantyne?" Grown ups only tend to their own business. My point is we are tribal. When the teenage bullshit is all gone. Then we mature up and go find our own tribes, so it's no big deal. 

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