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Friday, 19 August 2011


I was listening to a short interview with Doris Day on BBC Radio 4 yesterday. She's doing a little promotion for her new collection of songs which will be released in September. I'm looking forward to it immensely and I'm loving the renewed attention Doris is getting as a result of this release. Beautiful voice, wonderful actress, altogether adorable woman. Watch her performance in Love Me Or Leave Me if you think she's only a singing star. Anyway, that isn't the point of this post.

In the interview, Doris said something that I think relates to me. She was asked whether her reputation for being a recluse was all it seemed. This was her response: "The town is so crowded now, you know, we have so many people. And I don't really like to get in crowds, that's just not for me." That sums up my feelings almost entirely.

I don't hate socialisation; I just dislike the pressures of it. I like people; I just have a hard time communicating with them face to face. I think a lot of writers have this in them. It happens that I'm a more articulate writer than speaker and my strength lies in my ability to put words on a page - possibly with the intention of then having them spoken by someone else. Other people may get fed up with my reticence to meet (and I get fed up with my own reticence) but I battle down my insecurities and do it more than I'm comfortable with. While I accept that life is not supposed to be easy, I don't accept that I constantly have to put myself in situations which increase my stress levels in order to 'prove' I'm normal. Sometimes, you know, you're allowed to be selfish to the point that if you want to stay in and hide behind a computer screen, you're perfectly within your rights to.

Of course, I do get out of the house. I have a select few friends who command my attention every now and then (and I love them for it). I have a boyfriend who insists on 'taking me out of my comfort zone'. I have a family who drag me to smelly monkey houses in order to give the kids a day out. I like all that. Perhaps what I don't like are the stressful meetings with my PhD supervisors, or the interactions in the doctor's surgery, or the prospect of going to see my little play performed in a few weeks.

How I'll cope with that one is yet to be seen. But at least Doris has made me feel a little better about myself this week. I'm allowed to want to stay away from crowds of people. I'm allowed to put it into practice. However, due to my own exacting standards, I'm not allowed to hide from people indefinitely.

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