True Story: I’m An Emotionally Unstable Extroverted Introvert

Yes, we do exist.

Gemini’s are special creatures. Some people say they have two faces. I say, as a Gemini, that we are simply misunderstood and multifaceted. The same could be said about my self-doubts and insecurities. Yes, I am full of emotions and, at times, one step away from pulling a Britney and shaving my head. Or pulling a Mariah and showing up on-set with an ice cream cart. Or pulling a Marissa Cooper at any point in her character’s life.

Oh, yeah. It’s like that.

Someone who I’d like to point out is not a doctor once diagnosed me as a manic depressive. I asked him to explain himself and he said my mood swings were legendary. Like…was he comparing me to Angelina Jolie’s character in Girl, Interrupted? Was my life turning into…Gay, Interrupted?! In that moment, I totally agreed with him.

Hold on, hold on. Let’s start from then beginning.

I have a speech impediment that made my childhood somewhat difficult. I would very easily get tongue-tied so I talked more in my head and when I thought no one was really paying attention. I didn’t want to speak in front of other Black kids because I would get teased for “talking White.” On top of that, I preferred silence because I was certain everyone would know I was gay even though I didn’t fully understand my sexuality myself.

It’s safe to say I grew up with a lot of tumultuous and spooky thoughts swirling around upstairs. I’d like to think I’ve leveled out but hey…are any of us ever really leveled?

Even as I have matured and learned the true definition of confidence, I’ve remained somewhat introverted and, to be honest, sorta emotionally sketchy. An extroverted introvert? We totally exist. I love people watching but I don’t want to engage with them. I like attention but I don’t always want to have to perform. My perfect weekend? Yeah, it consists of me doing a bunch of shit by myself.

Wanna see that movie that just came out? Don’t mind if I do! Spending the afternoon going from bookstore to bookstore? Gee, that sounds like fun! Brunch? I’ll pick the place…and the time!

Does it ever get lonely? Sometimes. On average, one in five of my solo adventures will cause me to I’ll stop and wonder how things might be if I were experiencing my day with someone else. But then I get over it because I like spending time with myself more than most others. I don’t have FOMO when I open up Instagram. I have FOMO for an alternate universe. What if instead of waking up hungover on Sunday, I was waking up to the smell of breakfast being cooked in my parent’s home back in Ohio? What if instead of struggling to find something on Netflix to watch while I recuperated, I was walking with my mom on the nature trail that runs through their neighborhood?

I think that’s why I’ve historically turned to reading and writing. Literature gives you so many different people to love and hate, worlds to explore and experiences that feel so incredibly real. I’ve had to stop reading mid-sentence because it can so quickly pull an emotion out of me. If I were to continue reading, I know I would surely cry. Living in New York City, we do a lot of reading on the train but no matter how great the book, no one wants to see you crying into your novel.

On the flip side, you are the master of the universe as the writer. What you say is gospel. You can be describing a perfectly happy situation only to switch gears in the very next paragraph and introduce a life-altering destruction that emotionally cripples your protagonist. It’s a magical feeling.

Last year, I met up with Patrick Robinson, founder of Paskho (and former visionary for brands such as Gap and Giorgio Armani) and the conversation that took place between us opened my eyes. He said I couldn’t live exclusively within the pages of a book. This sounds simple but it made so much sense when he said it.When a man as experienced and well-rounded as Robinson tells you to live, you listen.

It’s a process I have initiated but I’ll still always choose a book over people. Sorry not sorry.