Outfit Details: ASOS floral dress with fluted sleeves // thrifted belt // vintage slip // Swedish Hasbeens Braided Sky High Heels // Strathberry MC Mini satchel // Miu Miu round sunglasses // Sunbody hat
I should like to change into a sunflower most of all. They’re so tall and simple. What flower would you like to be?
I can’t see a sunflower (or field of daisies) without thinking of my favorite movie, Harold and Maude, and her commentary on being an individual — how a lot of sorrow comes from allowing oneself to be treated as just another nameless face in the crowd, and fading into the background, rather than standing apart. Lately, that’s been on my mind.
I’ve had social anxiety my entire life, and though moving to NYC certainly forced me to confront it, to grow and adapt and cope with it, it has never completely gone away. I’m leaps and bounds away from where I once stood, which was a) isolated in my room or b) surrounded by my closest friends and family, exclusively. As a perpetual homebody and professional invitation turner-downer, I completely floored my family by deciding to move (alone!) to a city with all of the scariness I constantly avoided. If I’m being completely honest, I don’t think I even realized I had that much of a problem, until I moved here…because I was so used to myself. Once I was completely outside of my comfort zone, with no one to hold my hand, I became hyper-aware of my shortcomings in socialization — and that forced me to confront it. Over the years, I became more comfortable in group settings, with new people and unfamiliar situations. I’m a far cry from the girl who used to throw up on the first day of school, fake an illness at sleepovers, and stay at home on Saturday nights. Okay, I still stay home on Saturday nights. But now, I’m engaging with new people on a daily basis; I’m often hopping on a plane to go and work with people I’ve never met, in cities where I’ve never been. I might get a pang of nervousness — but I’m functioning, not cowering and thinking of ways to squirm out of the situation, before it even happens.
Except, lately…I can feel it creeping back in. It’s really anxiety as a whole — I’m generally a pretty anxious person, always worrying about something — but the social part is tugging at my limbs and leaving me with pins and needles in my extremities, a knot in my stomach, a weight on my chest. I’ve had a few embarrassing panic attacks on the subway, one while in traffic (NOT TODAY, SATAN), and a couple of minor meltdowns before an event or a big job…and all of them, very recently. What is happening? I’ve had a lot of little snags, and each pulled thread has led to complete unraveling. It’s nothing I can’t handle or get in check, but it bothers me. More than anything, I can feel myself willingly fading into the background. I know that may sound completely antithetical to this blog and my entire identity therein, but the internet and real life are very different things.
I’m usually fine when I’m one on one, but when I’m in a group of people [whom I do not know] with big personalities, I become a little more withdrawn. I’m always afraid that my shyness / awkwardness might come across as being cold or uninterested, or that in writing myself off as forgettable, I end up acting the part. Even now, as I sit here in the dark and ponder my presence, I’m over-analyzing everything to the point of wanting to go back and delete it all, leaving you with nothing but the quote from Harold and Maude…because I’m very aware of how overwrought this stream of consciousness (and yes, even my stream of consciousness is overwrought) is, especially when so starkly juxtaposed with these happy, sunny photographs.
By the way, I was happy, in these photographs. It’s impossible not to be, when in a field of stunning sunflowers. I’ve been trying to pinpoint my reason for being so persnickety, because I want to change it. I want to calm my nerves, to be more confident, and stop backsliding.
I don’t want to be a frightful flower in a field of daisies.
I want to be a sunflower, most of all. They’re so tall and simple. What flower would you like to be?