I recently took a serious Buzzfeed quiz that said my taste in bread would reveal a deep truth about myself - mainly because I love bread and wanted to look at the pictures. After choosing sourdough, everything bagels, Olive Garden breadsticks, and many other leavened morsels, I was given my deep truth. Now, I'm going to preface my results by saying, it is a Buzzfeed quiz... So, I know it's legit.
My deep truth: You're more introverted than people realize.
Pause. Wait. Whaaaaaaaat? I squinted my eyes at my phone screen, not having prepared myself for such truth. I sat back, absorbing the last few moments after this unexpected epiphany and thought:
Damn. That is deep.
But, bread wasn't done yet. It continued to spew knowledge: You can fit in with pretty much anyone (kinda losing me here) and go through the motions of being friendly and social (it's excruciating, but bearable), but it's very exhausting for you (Fuck. Yes.). You love being alone (yes, please), and probably don't get as much solitude as you need to be happy (Oh, I find the time).
When your bread just spits too much truth
Although this isn't exactly news to me, I wasn't expecting to have a moment of enlightenment when I was just trying to salivate over baguettes. But, I am an introvert. I am severely introverted. Yes, I can do the whole song and dance of having to be friendly and engage with people. But, only if I'm forced to. Even then, I feel like my head is performing unnecessary nodding and I can't relax the smile that is pasted to my face because I feel like I need to look happy. I need to look friendly. I need to look like I enjoy this. But, I don't. I hate that it doesn't feel natural for me... I hate that it doesn't feel genuine.
That being said, the entertainment industry is a motherfucker for an introvert. I know this is probably the worst business for someone like me to try to break into. I just wasn't built for it. The simple mention of networking makes me shudder. It also didn't help that being an introvert wasn't something that I was encouraged to embrace. When I was a child, I was detrimentally shy. I rarely felt comfortable in groups and loathed group activities. No one around me seemed to understand that or wanted to take the time to. My mother would often deny me something I requested like birthday cake at parties or the basic desire just to leave functions until I got up and danced with the rest of the kids or joined in whatever stupid activity that she felt I needed to be a part of. In my adult life, she would get upset with me if I didn't want to be herded into the cattle call for women trying to catch the bride's bouquet at wedding receptions. A fucking bouquet. I can still see the disappointment and anger in her eyes when I would refuse. She may have felt like she was helping me, but it just instilled in me at a very young age that something was wrong with me.
Why couldn't I just be like everyone else?
*Side note: I hate the sun. I know we need it to live and all, but...
I don't know why. But, I do know that I hate bringing attention to myself which makes social media a complete bitch. And I know that no one may be looking at me or even noticing me, but there's still the chance they might. So, how do I overcome that when the goal of this business is to have people look at you... Notice you... Study you... Feel you... Believe you?
I think there's a misconception that introverts don't like interacting with people at all. That's not entirely true, but...
I do hate small talk. I'm learning Tagalog right now and my teacher pushes me to carry on conversations with other students. I know it's necessary, but my own conversation? I can't even do that in English, how am I supposed to do that in another language?
I do hate networking. It feels disingenuous and slimy. Period.
I do hate going to places where I don't know anyone. Nah, I'll just sit this one out. Again.
I do HATE talking on the phone. I have dear friends who have called me and I just stare at their names on the caller ID, paralyzed at the prospect of having to talk to a faceless voice. Because that's what they are. If I can't see you and look into your eyes and know what you're feeling, know what you're thinking, or know if you're really listening then I don't want that type of interaction.
I may not talk to you, but I will observe the fuck out of you.
I may hate all of the social interactions above, but I live for the deepness that human connection can bring through authentic, honest, and open-hearted exchanges. A person's willingness to surpass the empty chatter and penetrate straight to their own core moves me. It inspires me. I may be shy with surface level communications, but I can cut my heart open and bleed out on the floor when I have a connection and it feels real.
That's why I love filmmaking and the entire world it encompasses. Exploring different perspectives, characters, experiences, connections, and cultures... It's everything I live for because it gets beneath the surface of all the bullshit and pretenses. There is no meaningless small talk in film... Well, there shouldn't be. Because it's a waste of time. A waste of life. A waste of a chance to really get down in there. Actors, writers, and filmmakers are not surface scrapers. We go deeper. Much deeper. We have to or else we're not being honest. I used to feel my desire to avoid generic social interactions meant that I wasn't supposed to pursue this. But, now I know being an introvert has nurtured me for this path. I may not talk, but I will listen and I will remember. I may not get up and dance, but I will observe and I will keep those memories within me. I may not go out, but I will create stories and characters and I will bring them to life.
I used to ask myself all the time, why can't I just create my art without all the bullshit?
But, now I know I can. And I will...
*Side note: I may not catch a fucking bouquet, but I still got married.
*Final note: I love bread.