Sometimes I feel like an extraterrestrial. Often deep in thought, making conscious choices about what I say, how I live my life, and how I interact with others; because life is full of precious shit and vulnerable people and I believe we, ultimately, have to be careful with one another. I don’t get it right all the time, but I try my best to be patient, giving, and accessible. I really try to rise above clumsy situations and maintain my sense of calm when I come in contact with people from other galaxies. Calmness, for me, is key. I have been called passive aggressive before, but I beg to differ. I’m remaining calm. All of the time. I’m thinking. All of the time.
In the last year I have come to terms with my introvertism. I often struggle with feeling out of place. And yes, it can get awkward. I’ve always believed 2-4 close friends is plenty. I feel most vulnerable in overstimulating environments. But I love people. People inspire me. People make the world go ’round. Like Beyonce, I also admit to being fiercely shy. However, my reservedness, introvertism, and calmness is also what makes up my superpower. These traits, often considered weaknesses, are what save me from myself and, eventually, these traits will trigger the confidence phenomenon.
Being out of this world can get lonely. Because unlike many, I don’t care about fitting in. I don’t care about the popular thing. I don’t even really care about how people view me… I care about family. I care about these kids and being there for them. I care about my community. I care about love and justice. I never want to be so self-absorbed that I stop caring. On my planet, I care about all of the things that could hurt me and I care about all of the people who could potentially do me wrong.
Another interesting feature about life on my planet: I’m learning to not be concerned with how many times I’ve been misused or done wrong. The end goal is “how many times will I forgive.” (Many times over.) On my planet, I’m learning that sometimes not saying anything at all says everything. Not sulking, withdrawing, or even giving the silent treatment, but showing mercy and grace.
It’s like that infamous phrase in show business, no matter what happens, an audience is waiting and therefore, “the show must go on”. Whether you’re checked in or checked out, whether you’re fully engaged or missing moments, life on this planet, goes on.
Clinnesha is a writer and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.