True Life: I’m an introverted extrovert ..
Hey you with your beautiful face!
I haven’t mastered how to start off a blog in a graceful, witty manor so I’m just going to dive right into it…
Let's start with an Atiya Lee Fun Fact: I was home schooled/ unschooled for most of my life.
The Definition of “Unschool”:
Unschooling is an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen activities as a primary means for learning. The child learns through life experiences as supposed to from a text book or a curriculum.
There’s a common misconception that home schooled kids are often super socially awkward and find interactions with other humans very uncomfortable.
Well my parents did everything in their power to make sure that I wasn’t deprived of socialization with humans.
I was enrolled in acting programs, dance classes, after school programs, tennis and basketball teams. I was on a cheerleading squad, I went to summer camp every year, I was on a home school debate team (yes………I will elaborate at a later date) …
My point is I was a VERY social home schooler.
Looking back at it I see why some people who home school their children “Shelter” them. Because MOFO’s who are not home schooled are CRAZY! (totally kidding…kinda not kidding though, just embrace yo’ cray)
For Instance…I would be so peaceful on my way to my after school program.
On my way home later on that night, after dealing with tormented public school kids, I adapted certain reckless behaviors from them.
It got to the point where I had to come home, go upstairs (not as a punishment) and decompress for 30 minutes (aka shake the public school juju out of my system) before I continued on with my night. It got to the point where I would ASK to take my 30 minutes before I told my parents about my day.
I recently told my parents I actually felt like I was OVER socialized. Moving to Atlanta, I thought I was going to have a whole posse. I just knew I was going to go out clubbing every night. BOY was I wrong. I have actively been avoiding people since i’ve been here (that has changed since writing this blog originally). I’m not scared of people or anything. I’m just sick of them.
Humans have required too much energy from me. Adult interactions are very different from childhood interactions.
When you’re a child, you don’t really take much personally. You don’t worry about a lot. You don’t have too strong of an opinion…….Unless you’re Atiya.
I was literally an ADULT child. It’s not because I was home schooled. It’s not because I “grew up too fast” I’ve just always had a mature mind.
I worried about every little thing, I always wanted to help. I had strong opinions, especially when it came to people not covering their mouths when they coughed and people who wore fur (I made my opinion VERY known, even when I was little).
I literally created two petitions when I was younger, one against deforestation and the other against animal poaching. What 8 year old worries about stuff like that and ACTUALLY does something about it?
I had embraced a lot of emotions that my peers hadn’t quite experienced yet, like self love, etc.
To me, being home schooled helped me get to know myself at a faster rate. Children who went to school (public or private or whatever) were distracted, therefor they didn’t have time to get to know themselves. When they came home……still no time to get to know yourself because you have homework….. after the homework you eat and by then you’re exhausted.
The times I felt the most lost in life was when I was around other people who didn’t have the self awareness that I had.
That’s actually why I isolate myself so much to this very day.
For a while I tried to help my friends, I tried to help them find themselves…but I learned that’s not my job! I thought I was being a good friend by doing that but that wasn’t my place.
I actually never realized how much of a responsibility self awareness was until recently. I’m trying to think of it now more as a blessing and less as a responsibility.
I’ve had my fair share of unhealthy “Friendships”.
Often times young women would befriend me, because they saw something in me that they wished they could be (and I mean that in the most beautiful way) but I had years of self awareness under my belt that they didn’t, I also, as most of my peers did, had some self esteem issues, which is why I allowed these unhealthy “friendships” to last so long.
I honestly think that stemmed from being bullied and it got carried into my later years of life. I’ll get more into that later on, just remind me lol
ANYWAYS my point is, it seemed like every time my friends would think that I could unlock the Atiya within them, it never happened, which led to resentment and them simply trying to bring me down or dim this undimmable light of mine.
Now I feel like my interactions with people are a bit different. I’m more cautious. Less open. I question intentions a lot more. I expected full support from those around me, especially when it came to my animal activism and when I didn’t quite receive that it made me question a lot.
Questions I ask myself:
1. Am I asking for too much in a friendship?
2. Can I trust ANYBODY other than my parents?
3. Are her/his intentions for this friendship pure or do they want something from me?
4. Did she intend to stand me up or was it simply a miscommunication?
5. Is my idea of support the same as my friends?
I’m STILL asking myself these questions.
I read a tweet that said one of the steps to self love and self discovery is isolation.
I go on a lot of “hiatus” and take a lot of “breaks” from friendships…
I think it has a lot to do with learning how to enjoy and experience and embrace my own company. Being alone has helped me discover my self love, especially after moving away from my friends. If I relied on them to keep me company, if they weren’t around I would just feel lost.
Sometimes (a lot of the time you need solitude in order to grow.
that’s why some people ALWAYS have to be around ANYONE, SOMEONE! because they’re scared to be alone. I get it. I’ve been there.
I always feared that if I truly isolated myself from my peers, especially those close to me, that they would just get sick of me going missing and would eventually just stop missing me while I was gone. Although the goal wasn’t really to be MISSED it was more so to be appreciated. The goal was to give us all space and time to grow. I now see though, that I’m still making this separation about others, instead of making it about me.
I always felt like I owed people my time, people knew that if they ever needed someone to reply right away, I was there girl.
Now I’m working on being a bit less available.
It’s an adjustment, more so for others than for me.
But this alone time or “isolation” is in vain because I haven’t completely committed to it. I still communicate with some people. I’m still on social media. Still trying to be a good friend while also getting myself together. I feel guilty some times. I feel like i’ve abandoned my friends, for the sake of my mental health. (which when written out doesn’t look as bad as it sounds in my head.)
Long story short, i’m living my life for other people.
And I’m not allowing myself to do that anymore. That’s a rule that I am breaking. I’m living for myself and that’s that.
I can’t wait to get more in depth and let you guys in on so much more. My life is pretty interesting. I’m still learning, still loving, still working, still trying and that all that matters.
Thank you for reading!
xoxo love atiya