on going where everybody knows your name …

According to the theme from the TV show Cheers, "You want to go where everybody knows your name …"  Well I just got home from a place where a few people knew my name and it made me feel like I need a prescription for some Prozac or something.  Let me explain …

I grew up in a fairly small community (an island) so it was fairly common to see people that you knew from one place, in another place.  As a kid it wasn't uncommon, for example, for me to be at the local Long's Drug store with my mom and see my teacher buying toilet paper and SPAM.  I don't know if it is just the kind of kid that I was (and apparently the person that I am), but my first instinct in those situations was to try my best to hide until my teacher was gone.  The strange thing about it is that with one or two exceptions (Mrs. Akutagawa was a mean old hag and Dr. Berry was a dick, but other than those two) I pretty much really loved most of my teachers.  I was a bit a a rascal, but I liked school and I liked my teachers. In spite of the fact that these were people that I liked and generally admired, seeing them out in the real world doing real people things made me feel really weird (Think of like seeing your neighbor's dog driving an SUV …). 

Anyway, one of the very best things about my job is that my commute to work is only about five-and-a-half miles. Tonight, I found out that one of the worst things about my job is that my commute to work is only about five-and-a-half miles.  S/O and I decided to head over to a nearby mall to grab some dinner and take in a movie.  OMG … the mall was crawling with my students.  I was walking through the food court when two teenaged girls literally screamed my name out across the entire length of the food court.  I ran into another set of kids gathered en masse outside of the Pinkberry, and finally a group of young men the greeted me outside the theater.  One one hand, they didn't feel the need to avoid me which I think is a good thing.  S/O insists that I should just take it for what it is and that it is nice that they like me, but I find that I haven't outgrown feeling like that strange little kid that wants to hide when I run into people outside of the normal context of our established relationships.

Feeling such a strong need to keep my life compartmentalized doesn't feel good to me, but when I'm in the situation in real time, all I want to do is get away.  The weirdest thing is that all the kids that I met up with tonight are kids that I liked, so it wasn't that I had anything against any of them.  The whole experience has just made me feel weird and I feel like I'm back in high school where people thought that I was aloof and stuck up when the reality was that I just didn't know what to say or how to act so I just didn't say or do anything. 

High school was okay.  I wasn't the most popular kid, but I had some good friends.  Tonight made me realize that I'm really tired of living with my high school insecurities when everyone else has grown up and moved on.  I mean, even the kids I met up with tonight who are IN high school could come up to me and say, "hi."  I don't know … Being introverted and feeling insecure and shy just doesn't feel good and I'm tired of it. That's all …

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2 thoughts on “on going where everybody knows your name …

  1. Time to let go of that H.S. insecurities!But I know what you mean about running into students outside the walls of the campus. It's FREAKY! I am not comfortable with seeing them at all. I'm actually horrified by the prospect of running into students. Oh well. We are real people I guess. 😦

  2. i was introvert myself in grade school,,, and managed to grow out of it in high school. Still, i have a lot of grade school memories where i remember feeling sick and ready to vomit just seeing my teachers outside the campus. Freaky indeed.

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