In my 20-something years residing on the great expanse of this wild and wonderful universe, I've been called MANY a thing:
Melodramatic. Provocative. Loud. Outgoing. Outrageous. CRAZY. Wild. Sensitive. Dramatic. Flirtatious. Hyper-F*cking-Active.
In the ever-expansive laundry list of adjectives that have been used when describing little ol' me, however, there are two simple words that are noticeably missing from the seemingly endless word inventory:
Subtle and shy.
Maybe it's the way in which I can't help but vehemently express and vocalize my radical opinions regardless of how direly looming the consequence.
Maybe it's because I'm infatuated by the pressing mystique of absolute strangers and always seem to find myself deeply engaged in meaningful conversations with the diverse smatterings of random entities I encounter whilst baking beneath the harsh flourescent lights of a moving subway car.
Maybe it's because I'm one of those girls who lights up from within the very moment the sky transitions from a powder daytime blue to a deep royal midnight blue, and can often be found lingering in dark bars making new friends over warm glasses of soul-spilling whiskey at 2 am.
Maybe it's the just the sensory overload that is my physical appearance:
My arms boast a plethora of colorful, sparkling bangles that wildly clash against one another; a different color of polish adorns each individual nail, and obnoxiously loud mega platforms are perpetually strapped to my feet and dramatically clank as my steps grace the delicate marble floor.
I have massive, intense eyes and a sea of dark hair.
There is nothing quiet or understated about me.
Yes, I am, indeed, a WILD extravert. An irrepressibly thunderous force of girl nature energized by the electric spark of human-to-human interaction.
I'm overcome with an acute high, an addictive buzz, a soul-penetrating rush that sweeps through the contents of my body when I'm stimulated by my ultimate drug of choice: conversation.
I've blush-lessly spoken about sex (in all its gory details) in panel discussions for audiences of 500 conservatives. I've been on stage more times than I could ever stand to count on all 10 of my cocktail-ring-embellished fingers.
I'm ravenous to get to know all of you: I'm a woman teeming with relentless curiosity. I'm a lady who thrives in social environments.
There is one little area, however, in which I find myself bizarrely timid and cripplingly shy: love.
Yes, I'm a deranged extravert in life, but the purest of introverts when it comes to delicate matters of the heart.
I will luxuriously sprawl my beating heart out onto my precious friendships and ambitious work desires, but find it oh so terrifying to nestle into the intimate little space of love.
The moment I'm hit with so little as a crush, it’s as if invisible walls made up of iron and steel instantly appear around my orbit.
I'm speechless. Stammering to find the right words, stifled by the suddenly trite confines of language.
The girl who appears to leave the pages of her book widely open to the masses shuts down when in the wicked throes of love sickness. Because love is far more precious and complex and consuming than anything else in the whole world.
Love is so strong. Its powerful force strips away the artfully applied makeup, serves to question the slew of aggressive opinions and rips off the perfectly orchestrated outfits, leaving you naked and exposed.
Love taps into what's lurking beneath the perfectly exfoliated surface and crawls into the raw essence of who you actually are. Love lives in the nitty-gritty core of your soul.
It's gorgeously enticing and fabulously seductive and powerfully fulfilling, but also scary as f*ck.
When you're bare and without a protective shield, when you finally allow love to seep into your bloodstream, you're putting yourself at high risk:
Suddenly you have something sacred to lose.
Being an introvert in love but an extravert in life can make you feel like you’re living a paradox.
After all people often fall for me because I'm loud, outspoken and ambitious.
And then, when sh*t suddenly gets bitingly real and true intimacy begins to manifest in my relationship, my partner can sometimes be so thrown by the reality that the "wild" girl is actually teeming with anxiety and nerves and fear.
I’m ambitious with work, but cautious in relationships.
I've always been wildly ambitious regarding my career aspirations. I have sky-high dreams and actively work to make them come into fruition.
Love is different. Love resides in the heart, not in the head. The beast that lives in the heart is scary to unleash, for getting rejected by another human being cuts far deeper than being rejected from a job.
I’m wild with friends, but reserved with my partner.
I have a colorful sprinkling of bat-sh*t crazy, eccentric friends. I'm drawn to the unconventional spirits that don't give a flying f*ck what anyone thinks.
We are a gloriously wild collective, a group of weirdos fearlessly dancing on tabletops dressed to the f*cking nines.
With my partner, however, I'm far more reserved. I find myself shy, guarded, unable to unabashedly express myself and caught in the tempestuous tornado of lust and love.
I'm bold in fashion, but modest in love.
I'm a fashion risk taker. I don't really f*cking care if I have the occasional style fail. I like to fearlessly mix together different genres of style -- sometimes I crush it, and sometimes I miss the mark, completely.
Regardless, I wear what I feel like wearing. I don't care if I look out of place. I wear shiny, silver strapless cocktail dresses to the office, regularly.
My riskiness in style doesn't always translate to riskiness in love. When I'm hit by the first of love, it hits me hard. Unlike a fashion faux pas, I know I won't recover so quickly if I hit the pavement and crack my fragile f*cking heart.
I speak loudly, but love privately.
I was blessed/cursed with an unstoppably loud voice. I have a large, vocal family and had to learn how to exercise my vocal chords at a young age.
But my voice softens when in the presence of love. The loud, outspoken force of girl nature suddenly can't find the words...
Maybe because love is a feeling so elusive it's hard to attach something as simple as a word to? I don't know. That or the heat of lust attacks my brain cells and makes me a stupid, blithering idiot.
I speak confidently on stage, but struggle behind closed doors.
It's far easier for me to speak to a crowd than it is to open up to someone I'm in love with. When you're speaking to an audience, you are safe high up on that lone stage. No one can touch you.
Being intertwined with a lover is a feeling of total, drug-like bliss. It's a high unparalleled.
But it's not something that's easy for me to relax into. When you're wrapped up in the arms of a partner, there is no empty space. It's you and your partner breathing the same air.
I can shout at bars, but I'm terrified to tell you I love you.
Love isn't a word to toss around with the frivolity of yesterday's dirty laundry. It's not like slurring your drunken creative ideas to your wolf pack of comrades at the local dive bar.
Love is the most powerful force in the universe. It attains the ability to fuel you and break you.
Once you utter the words "I love you" and those three little words leave your lovely little lips -- you're in the most vulnerable state possible. You're allowing someone to break into your protected little life.
It's a f*cking risk. But isn't anything worth having a huge, massive, high-stakes risk?