Monday, 28 October 2013


People have told me that when they meet me for the first time, I come across as being a very 'together' sort of person. 

I appear (I'm told) calm, self-assured and relaxed. 'Quietly confident' was how one person put it. 


I have no idea how this illusion came about, but an illusion is what it is. It has always been so. Teachers at school complimented me on my calm and orderly attitude and over the years, I've started to accept - indeed rely on - this impression that I give. 

Inside is a different story. If on the outside I'm cool blues and mauves and soft and reassuring tones of green, inside I'm a jumbled mix of clashing colours and pessimistic purple and grey overtones. 

I don't like crowds. Or at least, I don't mind crowds, if I am allowed to be anonymous in them, it's when I'm supposed to interact with them that I have a little internal panic. I don't much like groups of people ('Now, get into groups of about six or eight,' is a phrase guaranteed to strike fear into my heart) because such a group discussion makes necessary a degree of engagement. I don't know what to say to people I have only just met. I am not good at small talk.

A friend of mine will vouch for the truth of this as I am often found, limpet-like, at her side in territory that demands skills that I don't have (but she does, in spades). She introduces me, gets a conversation going, and then I'm sort of ok, but left to myself there's a good chance it'll founder.

I like one to one, and then usually with people I know. I am a creature of habit, routine, familiarity. My comfort zone is my well-worn groove. If I have to climb out I am looking from left to right for predators but it's unlikely that you'll notice. I appear to have it together. I can try hard and hold my own. I can do what is necessary. I can do it, but it wears me out.

So, the knowledge that I come across as together even when I am falling apart, is reassuring in a world where it is not always possible to retreat to a small room with a big window, books, coffee, and a computer with WiFi and stay holed up there indefinitely. 

I'm hoping one day to find that I've grown into my togetherness. I'll wake up one morning feeling just the same as always but I'll walk into a crowded room and find it easy - no - joyful to plunge into getting to know people. I will relish social situations. I shall be as together as I appear.

Until then, it's my secret.

Linking up with Five Minute Friday in a better late than never sort of way. 


  1. I lOvE this my carpet buddy :-) xxx

  2. I just found your blog through Lisa-Jo's. I wish I could sit down with you one-on-one and know you for real over coffee! I can relate.
    From what you wrote, it sounds like your togetherness is both blessing and curse. On the one hand, it sounds very nice to let others think you're cool and collected...on the other hand, it might be a little scary. What if people find out?

    I'm guessing this is why you called it your "secret" even though you're brave enough to blog about it?

    Thanks for your bravery! I'm sure it will encourage more people than just myself.

  3. I remember the first time someone complemented me on my "togetherness". To say I looked incredulous would be an understatement. My open secret is how very not together I am; I can totally relate.


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