I know I am not the only one to do this, but may be one of the only to readily admit I do this quite frequently. I love to people watch. It isn’t creepy, I promise. I consider it research, you know, for when I get to be a doctor and have to interact with all kinds of people. But in doing this, I seem to find myself quite frequently saying, “There is no way in HECK that you would EVER find me doing that.” Which is, of course, a lie. Most of the actions I say that to, I already do. Then I become all self conscious and feel like I have to change my whole life.
You see, I’m not really someone who is really comfortable with who I am most of the time anyway. My mother always called me a “floater,” which obviously means that I am someone who fits in with multiple social groups, and has difficulty becoming attached to one single group. (Here I grew up thinking a floater was one of those annoying clear-ish things floating around in your eye. Glad my mother was able to correct me before I got into the real world.) I always thought this wasn’t too much of a terrible thing. That is, until it comes time to plan a party. “I’m not coming because so-and-so will be there!” Yeesh. Recently, though, I have started to become concerned that it is in the “Terrible Thing” category.
Again, I’m one of these “floaters” (for lack of a better term) in med school. I study with different little groups, but don’t have a solid core group. Yay for getting to know people, but boo for feeling like I never have a home base, a comfort zone. This leaves me feeling awkward around everyone, like a third wheel for each group given that I only dedicate part of my time to but because they are around each other all the time, they all know each other so well. And feeling awkward around everyone makes me feel like I don’t fit in anywhere. Which, naturally, leads to feeling alone.
In case I was being all coy about the point, I have been feeling alone a lot lately. I really hope I am creating this scenario in my head. Wait a second, that makes me sound crazy. Let me rephrase. I really hope that I am, in my insecure self, imagining that I am being alone less often that I actually am. And now I just sound paranoid. Excellent.
Don’t get me wrong, people that know me call me a confident, strong young woman. That, for the most part, is because I am very good at covering all the annoyances, pain, insecurities, and whatever else I deem as weak. I leave them in a box at home under my bed.
Now I have come to a point in my life where that box eerily keeps finding its way from under the bed to on top of the bed as if some paranormal activity movie is being filmed in my room. Sometimes I even find it sitting at my desk when I get to school. It is in my locker, on the bus, and even in restaurants. No matter how many nights I bring it home and put it back under the bed, it keeps mysteriously showing up. And I am really sick of seeing that stupid box.
I wonder if anyone else can see me carrying this box around? Is it as big and obvious as it is to me? If it is obvious, is there anyone that wants to look in it with me? Is there even anything in the box at all? Is there anything in there that someone is willing to take out, to look at and inspect? Will they be just as scared of what is in there as me? Will what is in there make better friends or push the ones I have away? Will I be able to find the perfect dumpster again, one where I can just throw the box away and hardly remember I had to store it? Or will I be alone?
Now, what I actually do when I people watch is wonder what boxes they leave at home under the bed or why they decided they had to carry it along with them shopping that day. Then I close my eyes and cross my fingers that my box isn’t as large and heavy as some of the others I see being carried around by others.