IndieWeb Carnival January 2024: The Feeling of Being Myself

This entry was written for this month IndieWeb Carnival on the topic of Positive Internalization.

I have to admit, that I am not entirely sure what this month topic is. So we would need to talk about the positive part of ourselves? Or something positive, that we want to become the part of ourselves? Maybe better if I write my entry early in the month, so that if I went into the wrong direction, the host for this month can course correct the rest of the people. :)

It is the beginning of the next year. After the year I had, I really did not want to have any goals for the next year. Taking it one piece at the time seems better for my mental health - no matter that it is occasionally stress inducing for me.

But I guess that if I had the intention for the next year, it would be something like be weirder? Or maybe less rule abiding? I am not sure, I can explain, what I mean by that.

Around the time I started primary school, being weirder was both a survival strategy of staying sane and a point of pride. The social interactions did not make sense then and do not make sense now. But finding a weird way of doing what people wanted was fun and playful.

For example, when I was about the second or third grade, I found the whole 'let's say hello to everybody' stress inducing, maybe? I would need to keep track of who already said hello and I would get interrupted in what I was doing with doing it with other people? My memory of this time is not that strong.

Well, I came up with the solution. If I screamed 'Good Morning' (in my local language) every morning, then I said hello to everybody and I did not need to sweat it again. I was so proud of my solution.

Well... the teachers were not. At least not all of them. But since they did not provide a better solution or model, I continued doing that.

I remember in high school, I once asked one of my classmates, why is she always asking for my grades. She did not seems to be that interested in them. Apparently, the rest of classmates were interested, but I was too scary to ask. At that time I though that they heard rumours, that I was getting into the fights in primary school (we had 8 years (now 9) of primary and 4 years of high school, no secondary school). So I clacked it to that.

I mean, if I had the time to read at my desk, who cared? My books were more interesting then the parties that they had. I was invited to a couple in the later part of the high school, so I am sure of that statement.

Then the masters studies happened. I was in Vienna in the study exchange. In the time before the second lecture of one of the classes, I was talking to my classmate for that class. And after some time she said something like 'You are not as scary as you appeared during the first lesson.'

My first though at that time was, that she could not have heard the rumours from my primary school. So I was interested in why? Apparently, I can be too passionate about debating? At least the half decade of Toastmasters was good for something. Even if it could be argued, that its role it in trying to remove that part of the public speaking, just at its role is to remove the fear of public speaking.

Another one in my memory is also the time, when I wrote a rebuttal to school to make them retract the reprimand. Here was the situation - in my school there was an option for the children to have two meals in school. One was after the second class and another was at the end of school day. For the first one, the class generally took it together. And we had a rotating pair of a role, where one of the roles was, that it needed to make sure if was clear after the meal.

I was the only person in school, who did not take that meal at school. I am picky, so there was no point of my having a meal at school, if I would not eat it most days. So I was just not with the class at that time and therefore did not clean after them. Why should I?

Well, they have to provide their reasoning in the reprimand. And their reason was my non-cleaning after the meal. I remember writing it. My parents remember me declaring, that I will deal with this myself.

I got back the notice, that this was not the only reason, why I got it. Even the fighting mentioned above was probably not the only unmentioned reason. My not doing homework was also not the end of it. I don't know, if they removed it. But they left me more alone after that, so I consider that a plus.

Or if I take my master thesis. We have a double degree option in my country. So since I was not accepted to my first choice, I enrolled in economics and then tried the first one as the double degree option. But since I was not sure I will get accepted there in that way either, I also applied for the exchange in the economics program. I did limit myself to the places, where the second program had required exchange.

On the end, in order to get some of my classes accepted, I needed to bring the papers to one of the professors and told them where to sign. And the professor asked me what grade should he write me. Honestly, as long as it was the passing grade, I did not care. I think I might still be the only example to try and get the second semester subjects approved at that program.

Or I remember one summer. In the Toastmasters, there are different roles. And since it was still less organised that it is now, whoever was the leader of the meeting could do whatever they wanted with the meeting. So instead of meeting at the museum, as usual, I took them to the nearby square and we had the public speaking meeting in public among people. Nobody paid us any attention, but I could still see how people had to go over some of their preconceived notions of having their speeches in public.

It is a public speaking club. I don't know what the problem was?

What all of these moments have in common is how happy and playful they seemed to me. It was just the feeling of trying something for pure curiosity or provocation. It was the distilled conviction of what I though was right and where I though the people were wrong.

Even since I started to work, I have the feeling that I had slowly started to lose this feeling. I had become more fearful (not that I did not have my phobias and social anxiety before). Maybe it was also covid, since for me this was mostly the same period? I started to work about half a year before covid started.

I want to bring more of this back. The person that did something just for provocation or curiosity. Somebody that was not afraid to express themselves in public. Somebody that did not feel like they need to pick their battles. The one that did not settle.

For any comments, feel free to send me either email or webmention.