Introvert Fail.

I feel incredibly awful about having not written anything in nearly 4 months.  I ‘ve half written like 8 posts that just fizzled at some point.  I actually can’t even believe how much time has passed.  Mostly due to incredibly busy schedules and adjusting to new jobs and adult life which, as it turns out, sucks as bad as I always feared it would.  See, I thought, I hoped, that it would be one of those things that I built myself up for so much and then when it came it would all turn out to be okay.  Nope.  Nope nope nope nope nope.  Sucks.  Real bad.  Hate it, hate everything about it.

prince

Long story short, I may have entered adult world, but I am still my 5 year-old self who clearly wants to be left alone to play with my Legos and watch X Files in peace, and please don’t interrupt me while I’m reading.

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And, as it turns out, that is not how a functional adult functions.

ariel2

This is a fact I was not prepared for.  And it has now gotten me in trouble.  Gone are the days when I can kick ass and do my work alone in peace and kick ass at it while I make snarky comments under my breath because at least I know I kick ass at the work that I do.  No, apparently and this sucks real bad, I have to do this socialize thing.

garth

I’m going to blame my parents for not preparing me for this “office politics” thing.  I don’t really have a basis for this, but I can’t afford therapy right now.  Sorry Mom and Dad.  😦  I’m sure you did your best with me, but I fail in the functional socialization aspect of life.

picard

Anyway, apparently I don’t smile and chat enough at work and everyone hates me.  I seem to come off as “disengaged.”  Not sure what to with this information other than feel really bad about myself.  Can’t seem to get past that stage….

nervous

But this is where I get so frustrated with myself.  I fully recognize that I am bad at interacting.  I don’t like it cause it’s genuinely hard when I first meet people.  I am one of those people who has to mindfully tell myself to look up from the ground, to look at people, and to smile, and to show interest.  It would be wonderful if these things came naturally.  But they don’t.  I’m usually not paying attention to my surroundings because I’m lost in my own thoughts, focused on whatever I’m doing or some random thought that popped up in my head.  I also have to mindfully tell myself to compliment or comment on people around me.  But I also have to focus on filtering the weird, tangential thoughts that I have to something more appropriate.  This, my friends, takes a minute.  So it ends up in this situation where I have to take a minute to put together thoughts into something socially appropriate, at which point the conversation has usually taken a turn or I have missed my opportunity.  And again I end up seeming disinterested, no matter the effort I’m putting forward.  These are the things that suck.

sherl2

Now, for my own self, I prefer just embracing the introverted thing.  That gives me the leeway to get used to a situation, see how much I actually have to filter and what I can get away with not filtering, also reducing the anxiety that makes the filter work slower.  Most of the time, this has worked out fine.  I spend a few months looking like a quiet weirdo and then come out of my protective hate shell.

But I promise if you get to know me I'm amazing!

But I promise if you get to know me I’m amazing!

But adult world does not want to be this patient.  So I am here now, drinking wine and wondering if Irishing up my coffee will help things when I return to work in the morning.  Introvert Fail.

I promise I’m really not a cold, disinterested bitch!  At least not on purpose!

awkward

Although, in all fairness, I don’t ask anyone else to give a fuck about Asimov’s Foundation Triology or which David Bowie Era was the most creative.  <—Defensiveness

Long story short, absenteeism=shy adult anxiety stifling word writing ability.

neverland

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Why I’m not smart

Yay new semester!  That means new classes, new profs, and new classmates!   Yeah, not so much.  See the problem with grad school is that you are constantly surrounded by the same exact people, peers and profs.  No such things as new beginnings.  Even if you don’t know a prof in particular, they know you by reputation already.  For some people this is good.  For others, not so much.

Some people are really good at playing the Academia Game.  This means using big words, acting as though repetition of mediocre theories is some great breakthrough in the field, knowing which theories are appropriate to criticize and how, and acting like your opinions are facts.  Being smart is defined as being right and being right is defined as not letting anyone else be more right.  The best way to win an argument is with a cocky shrug of the shoulders, followed by an apathetic “Well I suppose we just see things differently”/”I guess it just comes down to theoretical differences.”  This is most expertly done with the eyes closed and the head tilted slightly upward and away from the person being debated.  The implication is “I’m so pure in my convictions I don’t even have to convince you that I’m right.  You’ll come around to my way of thinking because I’mjust that right.”

I suck at this game.  I just can’t get down.  I’m regularly told that I’m too casual.  Mostly because I say things like “I can’t get down.”   And have several times told my research mentor/dean of the school “naw son.”  I once told a classmate “sometimes you just gotta smack a bitch”—this had nothing to do with class material, I was telling a story about my weekend (don’t worry, no bitches were actually smacked.)  Oh, and I love humor.  When I was a little kid, I got teased for being smart.  So I developed this really awesome wit and combined it with my natural ditzy-ness.  This is looked down upon in academia.

But in reality, I’m really bad at using big words, I’m socially awkward, I hide in corners at conferences, I hate talking about myself (in person, I’m good at it here!), when I try to make a professional comment it’s always the completely the wrong thing, it takes me a good 2 minutes to put an idea into a comprehensible sentence, and when someone asks my opinion about things that I haven’t researched, rather than just say “Ya know, I’m not sure, I’ll have to look up some info on that and get back to you,”  I just stutter into oblivion.

So, in sum, my casual demeanor and social/verbal awkwardness officially make me worthless in the academic field.

Here is why that sucks though:  For one, well I’m stuck here for a few more years, probably longer considering that I’ve grown to like research.  For two (told you I suck at words), I get really really annoyed when I see people acting “smart” when, in my head, I can poke a thousand holes in their arguments or, at the very least, request some evidence for their claims.  But, my word-suckiness and my social awkwardness make this sound dumb or bitchy.  So I’ve given up.  I let them be the smart ones.  I sit hunched over and alternate between grumbling and making jokes…to myself…defeated.

The few profs who know me really well are cool with me and have come to accept the way I act.  My diss chair even said “you know, your word vomit is actually fairly clear.”  I downplayed my reaction, but really it was like the biggest compliment ever!  Sadly, the academic world as a whole will always regard me as a complete ditz.

Oh yeah, I’m also super-clumsy.  I have fallen on my face in front of profs.  That doesn’t help.

**Now, of course, not all profs and peers are like this.  I have had some very excellent profs that have truly challenged me and my peers.  Those individuals deserve real praise and admiration.