How many of you who like to write find yourselves frequently apologizing to your friends and making excuses not to go out? In high school, I was perpetually guilty of this. Whenever school got out, it was like I'd used up my quota of energy for socializing and being outside of my own head. I just wanted to go home and be alone to write, or read, or do whatever it was that appealed to me. I spent years feeling like a horrible, selfish friend because of this.
What I always thought to be the strangest part is that I do love my friends. I love meeting people, and under the right circumstances I can be a total social butterfly. None of this made sense to high-school-me, and it left me feeling even more like a horrid excuse for a human being.
Since then, I've met a lot of people from all walks of life, most of them artists of some form or another, and if this particular topic comes up, I usually hear my song sung back at me. Recently I was talking to a friend I've known for years, and discovered that she went through her childhood feeling the same way I did, but we were never comfortable admitting it to each other or anyone else.
I'm going to spill the secret: we both still feel that way. If too many people call me in a certain week, if I have too many things on my calendar, I start to panic a little inside (sometimes more than a little). I've lost too much Cayla time. My friend needs her time too, so even if she's free to hang out with someone (maybe me), she might say she isn't.
And this is the realization I've come to -- she actually isn't free. When I say to someone, "I can't go out tonight," but have no alternative plans, it doesn't make my statement any less true, and I want people like me as well as people who have friends like me to understand that. To the creative, intuitive person, which most artists and I'm certain many of you readers are, that alone time isn't just preferable, it's necessary, and that's okay. I know that I would go insane without it, and instead of believing that this makes me a weirdo, I've decided I'm done apologizing for it.
Don't be afraid to admit that sometimes, maybe frequently, you need to be alone. Depictions of the introverted, creative-intuitive mind aren't altogether prevalent in our pop culture, largely because the creative underground is a sort of private playground, like Wonderland, and it's different for every person who explores it. I need that time to explore it, because it's about opening and exploring my own mind. If you need the time, take it. Embrace it. And if you don't need it for yourself, try to embrace it in other people. If they're anything like me, they'll already be thinking they're strange, and your support could mean a lot.
And that is the magic of Wonderland, children.
In the odd, rambling opinion of Cayla.
Rock on and peace out.
Are you a member of the underground playground? What's your Wonderland like?