Article by Desiree Xu
Edit and Post Design by Christy Zigweid
My name is Desiree and I’m a detourist. I am a bit different from my peers. Often times, I feel like I am spiritually couple of years younger than a lot of my friends. Some may call me immature, but I like to see myself as youthful. This is a story that tells about how I became more mature, the battles against myself that I faced during the process, and how I kicked my own butt to become a happier person.
Throughout my elementary, middle, and high school years, I was an introverted, conventional good girl who was heavily influenced by her parents to focus only on academics and anything related to school. All my life, I listened to my parent’s advice regarding school and personal matters because I thought they were most wise. I thought that blindly following their words would allow me to fluidly travel through the road of life. This quiet, complacent, meek behavior also described the majority of my interactions with my friends at that time period. Such a persona carried me through my social life, but it was not the real me. It was sometime during the last year of high school when I realized that I needed to introduce to the world, the bold side of myself that I had been hiding for so many years.
During my college years, I realized that my naïveté was more than ever, a hindrance. I was caught in the middle of an identity crisis and it affected everything from my academic to social life. The once soft spoken me, now wanted to be outspoken. I, who was once buried nose deep in books, now wanted to live a more balanced life with slightly more time dedicated to leisure and merrymaking. Unfortunately for me, I was enrolled in an academically rigorous school, and the conflict I had with new friends regarding our attitude towards work made me feel even more like an outsider. But, there was something else that bothered me.
I had stumbled across the realization that I did not know how to effectively project the persona I wanted to project in a way that was maintained within boundaries of social norms. Consequently, I received a lot of rejection and reprimand in the form of people I had befriended turning their backs on me after discovering from mutual “friends” that I was a “nutcase.” This constant fear of being ostracized left me sad and fearful in my room most of the time. I cried to myself in grief and anger as I told myself how unfair it was for some people to be better received by others due to their wit, looks, or social charms. I usually attended class in jeans and hoodies, could not express the same amount of enthusiasm for meeting each acquaintance, and made esoteric jokes and references. I loved initiating dorm shenanigans, to which others did not accept fondly. People found me odd and alienating for some reason, but I swear I am just like every other person. I kept telling myself I should be mingling with people, but I dared not venture near others after seeing how they reacted to my initial presentations of my honest self. I was constantly in a “down” mood, and was horrified that socializing with others who did not understand my situation would prove fruitless. They would just distance themselves further away from me. At the same time, the solitude left me in a position with enough time to think critically about my conundrum.
I started out thinking to myself about what it was I wanted to do and be, and what I currently embodied. There were certain things missing from my train of thought and I beat myself up when the wonderings became stagnant. However, I was very lucky to have discovered Paralign later on. Paralign is an app that is dedicated to thought journaling and building rapport through anonymous networking, both of which helped me realize what I wanted and needed. I had access to speak to every user with whom I had matched because both of our thoughts shared a similar theme. My chat partners were able to bring up ideas, solutions, and new perspectives toward viewing a situation that I had never before considered. It’s thought pattern tracking system allowed me to detect recurring mistakes I had committed, which prevented me from reaching my ultimate goal of being able to express myself honestly.
Communication helped to alleviate problems. It was through Paralign that I realized that support did not venture far from my domain. Paralign empowered me to express myself freely because the opinion and negativity from people physically closest to me was no longer relevant. The app was my tour guide during my trip of self-discovery. It made me more self-reliant in resolving my own inquiries.
That is why I love my detour.
About the Author
Desiree is an independent blogger and one of many who constantly feels that society and or, everybody else around her is against what her values and beliefs. Many of her pieces recount her own experiences and reactions to puzzling situations, as well as things that bring her comfort during those times. She did not hesitate to join Pouria Mojabi, CEO and founder of Paralign, and pour the residue from her struggles into the inspiration that can better the lives of those who are going through the same state of life she had once experienced.
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