I have to confess that I have another very bad habit. I sing a lot. I know, there‘s nothing wrong with singing. Unless you do it too much. My family got already used to it. It‘s considered perfectly normal in our house when I randomly start singing and shouting. I perform every day in the shower:
Me and my sister love to sing together, it’s our favorite thing to do on weekends.
The problem is that I love singing too much. Sometimes I get an uncontrollable urge to sing. And the worst thing is when that happens in a public place. In such case I have no choice but to repress this urge as much as I can.
But sometimes I‘m walking on a street when I feel a strong desire to sing. The street looks empty, no one is around. So I take a risk and start singing. Usually I don‘t get caught, but it happened to me a few times that out of nowhere, a person appeared a few meters from me. It‘s like they literally manifested out of nowhere, and of course, they‘ve heard me singing. In this situations I feel extremely uncomfortable. As much as I‘m okay when my family hears me singing, when a stranger hears me singing, I feel like I want to disappear out of this world.
I just walk away and act like nothing happened.
One time an awkward moment happened when I was casually having my concert while home alone. I sang my favorite songs REALLY LOUDLY. Suddenly the door bell rang and I went to open the door. It was a postwoman. She had this weird grin on her face while she was giving me my letters. As she was leaving, she told me that I have a nice voice and I should audition for X-Factor. Till this day I have no idea if she really meant it or it was supposed to be sarcasm… But I felt really awkward afterwards. I should have realized that the whole street could hear me when I was singing.
One thing I hate is doing presentations in front of people. Sadly you can‘t avoid them while you’re in school. I‘m always extremely awkward when I speak in public. I tend to have nervous tics, I stutter, I mumble words which make no sense or forget everything that I‘ve learned.
I could tell you many awkward stories about how I failed my presentations, but one of them really stands out. Once I actually ran away in the middle of my presentation and went to the bathroom. Yes, you read well. My presentation was so poor and so very bad. I stuttered at every word, I forgot almost everything I wanted to say and I was so red in my face like a tomato. I choked hard and stood there, completely quiet, with my face searching for something I couldn’t find really hard, while my eyes were just staring at people with this blank face. You guys should’ve heard the ABSOLUTE SILENCE while I was struggling horribly to find something to say…
People were just gawking at me with their eyes and mouths open……
The longer I was standing here trying to remember something and save this awkward situation, the worse I was feeling. And the more I needed to go to the bathroom… I‘ve literally felt like I was going to vomit in front of everyone. So what did I do? I did what I know best: I ran away.
Without saying a word I stormed out of the class, shut the door and ran to the toilet. I bet everyone was just sitting there with their mouths open asking themselves what did just happen. Everyone already knew that I was awkward, but no one expected me to run away so suddenly. The teacher sent another girl to the toilet to check if I‘m alright. I wasn‘t alright of course. I felt like vomiting, crying and ending my life at the same time. After I calmed down a little bit I wasn‘t sure what to do next. Should I return to the classroom and finish my presentation? Or should I return, sit on my place and act like nothing happened? When I came back to class, no one forced me to finish my presentation anymore. Thankfully, no one was laughing at me, they all looked at me like they were regretting me probably thinking: “Poor girl, she has a serious problem. I wouldn‘t want to be on her place”. Well, this story is maybe more sad than funny…
I‘ll admit it. My thoughts are really weird. If someone could see what is happening in my head, they would think I‘m psycho.
I do remember once, a long time ago, I was in class and I was staring really hard at this pencil.
And the guy next to me is like: “Hey… what are you doing…?”
Me: “Well, I was trying to imagine what it would be like if the only two entities in the universe were me and this pencil.”
The way he looked at me…
I never know how to handle eye contact… I tend to swing between two extremes. In social situations involving conversations, either my gaze is lost in space, fixed on some random point while nonetheless listening to whoever’s talking (at least for the first five seconds if it’s something I’m supposed to be listening to, less if I don’t care, and more if I do, but yeah, I inevitably drift off), or, I look directly into their eyes, which does take conscious effort. This means I don’t blink for a prolonged period of time, and the look I give, as it’s been described to me by others, suggests either that I’m planning to kill them or that I’m ripping their mind or soul open (or something to that effect)…I had a staring contest with a friend, she ended up freaking out a bit and continuously asking me to please blink. My reply: “Hold on, I’m pushing for a new personal record.” It appears hostile, in any case, and yet I don’t mean it. But I do tend to avoid eye contact with strangers, sometimes even acquaintances, or pretend I didn’t see them.
Another weird thing that I do a lot is that I make corresponding facial expression to my inner conversations. It happens to me all the time. Walking on a street, sitting in a bus, in a classroom… I‘m having an interesting conversation with myself in my own head and I don’t realize that the emotions I feel so deeply inside are evident on my face. This makes other people think I’m completely insane.
The thing I struggled probably the most with during my time in school was solving math problems in front of the entire class. Don‘t get me wrong, I‘m not stupid and math wasn‘t a big problem for me. The problem I have is that when I am called to perform in front of people, I suddenly forget everything I know, even my own name. If you asked me how much is 2+2, I would probably just look at you with a stupid gaze on my face and the answer wouldn‘t hit me. That‘s how bad it is.
I‘ve had a panic attack every single time a teacher called me to solve a math problem in front of a blackboard.
It always resulted in public humiliation. The weird thing about it was that the teacher knew that I wasn‘t stupid and math really isn‘t the problem. I used to get best grades in tests. But in front of a whole class I acted like I was retarded.
After a few failed attempts, the teacher realized that I probably won‘t get better at it. So the funny thing was that each member of the class solved something on the blackboard and the only person who always got left out was me.
A situation that happens to me a lot:
Person: Oh my god, I love your dress! The color really suits you!
Me: Thanks! I like yours too. It’s, um…
(Internal dialogue: it suits her? No, she just said that to you, it’ll sound like you’re copying her. Nice color? Not only did she say that to you, but you’ve already said that to at least four different people today, you can’t just go around saying the same compliment to everyone. Good things about dresses, good things about dresses… damn, what are some good things about dresses? Cut? No, only people who are actually in the fashion business can talk about “cut” without sounding stupid. Size? No, always gets misconstrued as a fat joke. That decorative thing on the front? You don’t even know what it’s called! Damn, she obviously realizes by now that you’re struggling to come up with something…)
Me: I have no more compliments left!
I honestly did like the dress.