I don’t know who has to hear this, but I’m here to say it. Containing multitudes is 100 percent okay!
As some of you may know, I am a very introverted person who goes from not talking at all in particular social settings, to keeping everyone awake with my very loud and very Mexican laughs, (if you are Latinx, you know EXACTLY the laugh I mean). A few years ago, a close friend of mine affectionately tagged my seemingly random outbursts of fanciful thoughts as “just Nat containing multitudes.” I immediately loved this saying and latched onto it, using it to gently remind others around me that it’s okay to contain multitudes, or as society would call it, “Being too much, or knowing more than people thought.” I loved it so much that I eventually used it as my tagline for this site!
I could best personify containing multitudes as an onion. There are layers upon layers upon layers of personality, and you might not even know all of them, but that’s OKAY! As soon as I started adopting the idea of containing multitudes, things got easier. Figuring out that being introverted and not having a huge group of friends became a fond part of me. Knowing my personality and randomness attracted the people meant to stay instead of the people that would ditch you at a night at the club. That kind of meaningful relationship with people is what I thrive from.
I don’t do well with idle conversation with strangers. And that’s okay. I can’t stand in a line at the grocery store and come out chatting with Beth from accounting who was on her lunch break. That’s perfectly acceptable. I can’t respond to a compliment or a flirt by anyone and not have some snarky response to a shallow comment. And guess what? That’s still okay.
What I can do, in my opinion, is far better. I can go months without speaking to someone and pick up where I left off as if nothing happened. I can stand in a line at the grocery store and have a moment of bonding over my dog with a complete stranger that I will remember for weeks afterwords. I can, and do, find someone worth caring about and stick around with them in my quiet, quirky ways. And guess what? Those kinds of people will love your multitudes. From your loud laughs to your nerdy moments. Your complete inability to cook something the exact same way twice. Your sass, your smarts, your weaknesses and strengths. They will love all those multitudes and expect nothing less than you just being yourself. If the standard that is being set is that your multitudes will shape how you will respond to a situation, then rest assured you’ll have a better outcome.
So yes, I contain multitudes. Some people don’t believe I’m shy, some don’t believe I ever talk. Most definitely don’t think I have my own opinion, but to the people that matter the most to me, they get I’m complicated. They understand that I am introverted, anxious, goofy, smart, sassy and so much more and our relationships will last longer because of it. Don’t doubt yourself when you don’t fit into the box society is so excited to offer young adults and nervous teens. Let people go all out, dress funky, be more than one dimensional and boring. Embrace everyone’s complex natures and learn to not expect the same thing from everyone. Accepting that I contain multitudes has been the best thing for me, and I don’t know who needs to hear it, but it’s okay for you, too. Contain those multitudes. Rock the look. Most importantly, rock the boat of forced expectations.