Wednesday, October 29, 2014

For The Last Time, I'm NOT AN EXTROVERT

Me after being around people
I would just like to state this in case anyone was confused, because a lot of people seem to be, I am definitely not an extrovert. Sociable, yes. However I am definitely an introvert. Let me explain.

To really understand the difference between an introvert and an extrovert, it is important to know that the difference between the two is where energy is drawn from. Extroverts get energy from being around people, they feel invigorated when around large groups of people, they feed off the energy of those they are with. Introverts are exactly the opposite. Being around large groups of people often makes the introvert tired, and they feel much happier being alone or with small groups of people. Introverts rarely see the importance of small talk, and are often quite horrible at it. They tend to over think insignificant details of social interactions and can be awkward at times. But these things vary person to person.

I am not an extrovert. I do not like being in large crowds of people. It exhausts me. Please see the photo above. You know what was going on around me? Full-Cast director's notes. There were 50 people plus the techies and production staff surrounding me and it made me so tired I had to lie down. That's not a joke. I freak out if it gets too busy in Wal-Mart. I'm horrid at small talk, because talking about important, relevant issues seems more important than the weather. When I'm alone I'm really happy, because Netflix gets me. I'm full of energy at home, because there is no one else there (except for my housemates, who are great. But there are three of them, versus thirty). I am an extremely social human being. I make friends easily, I can be chatty with strangers, I'm a waitress, for goodness sake. But I will never be capable of being a "social butterfly" or extrovert, for the simple reason that I cannot handle that many people at once. I have a core friend group of about five people, and I'm content with that. Also, that many people doing that many things, its so overwhelming. Like, I can stay relatively busy, but I like to be busy in places that don't have a lot going on, because I get overstimulated so easily its almost akin to ADD. Then I get frustrated, because I'm overstimulated and can't focus, and it's a vicious cycle, that's all I'm saying. Also, being out for too long is just so exhausting. I know my fellow introverted friends will relate to me when I say being out and about for too long can cause a literal shut down. I have been reduced to tears after spending too much time in a mall before, and I LOVE the mall. Being out expends a lot of energy I normally don't use up at home watching Futurama.

Here's a really important thing to realize about me: yes, I do theatre. Yes, I was a cheerleader. Yes I work in customer service. But when I'm performing, I'm not mingling. The most stressful part of being Dorothy was the meet and greet afterwards. I'm not even joking. I always get nervous and tried to hang out in one spot and (this is hilarious) try not to attract too much attention. The amount of people in the lobby was crushing me, metaphorically, and while its easy to be caught up in the spirit of just finishing a show, the fear of mingling and saying something wrong can ruin it all. Also, when I'm at work, because I'm a waitress, I often feel like I'm performing. Everything I say is part of my job, it's all kind of like a script to me.

So pair all of these things with my resting bitch face, my ridiculously light eyes that force me to wear sunglasses on even the most overcast of days and what do you get? Alexis. A very textbook version of an introvert, who happens to be able to hold a conversation.

Not all introverts are shy, and not all extroverts are outgoing. Learn it, love it, live it. I'm now retreating back to my blanket fort until I build up enough energy to go to the store for a soda.

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something waitress who frequents senior centers looking for the ugliest sweaters she can find. She is currently prepping for Into The Woods auditions and trying to not overdose on crochet. For more rants, reviews, opinions, and useless facts about her life, check back often.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Senior Reflection Paper

12th grade me.
Photo by Shakanna Inman
I have thought about posting this for a very long time, now. I haven't because I have worried that people might think me self-indulgent, or pity me. But I have finally decided to post it, because this blog is a chronicle of my life, and my senior reflection paper, which is by far one of my most vulnerable papers I've ever written, is also a story of my life. So. Here you go.

    I remember that day like it happened last week. The rain is falling, and my daddy, his long legs stretched out, is walking away from our apartment. His long hair has been cut short so it no longer fits into a ponytail like he normally wears, and his once dark skin has long been bleached white from drugs. My mother, short and stalky, an ape compared to my antelope father, is standing outside the door, rain falling down her face, yelling at him. Daddy won't take Russell to the park and he wants to go. I can go, but Russell can't. Daddy won't take Russell for some reason, and Russell is running behind me and daddy crying. I don't care because he is my daddy, and Russell can't have him. Then my mom says the words that have come to haunt me every day for the rest of my life. "If Russell can't go, then leave Alexis here." My father, tired of the fight, puts me down and walks me back to my mother, the ape. With that, my father, his long graceful legs stretched out, lopes away. Without me. This is the last memory I have of my father. Flash forward ten years. In my mind, it happened the next day. I'm sitting in an office relating my life story to a police officer who is hurriedly taking notes, the principal who is working to keep up a manly facade, my counselor, who started crying twenty minutes ago, and my grandmother, who I have come to rely on most in my life. I sit in a tiny back office and tell them everything I have experienced, from being hit by my mother all the way to sharing a tiny room with three brothers and a dog, and having lice that never went away. The police tell me that I never have to go back to my mother again, and I tell there where all of her drugs are stashed. I finish up my school day and go home, to hear that my mother and her newest leech have been arrested. This is the last memory I have of the ape. In my mind, however, I have always been an orphan, and this has shaped me into who I am today.
    Growing up an orphan has allowed me to become very self-reliant. Whenever I think of myself as self-reliant I think of Shirley Temple saying "I'm very self-reliant, my mother always told me to be that way." Except it wasn't my mother who always told me to strive for independence, it was my grandmother. And because of my self-reliance I have succeeded in life. I'm graduating from high school, something that not many members of my family can brag about, and I'm not pregnant, which is more than my mother could say at my age. I have never felt worse than the moments in life when I forever lost my mother and father and I know that if I go about procreating I will ruin life for some other helpless soul. I am determined to succeed in life and be everything that my mother and father never were.
    On May 12, 2011 I am a typical teenage girl sitting in English class listening to music and texting. No I'm not supposed to be texting, but a crucial high school survival skill is learning how to text on the sly. I have become a functioning member of society, and I am driven to succeed in life. I'm so driven to succeed that I never stop going. I want to do everything, and excel in it. Until I was thirteen, I was never allowed to do anything, and once I got the chance, I kicked down the door to freedom and strutted through the empty frame. The world knew that I arrived. I have many insecurities, and I believe that these things come from my age. Every day I repeat the mantra of Captain Up from Starship, "When I look into your eyes, in the mirror, I get a pleasant feeling. You're not a failure, overall. You can laugh at yourself." I have been shaped by my past experiences, and I know that because of my drive to succeed and my self-reliance I can go anywhere I want to go in life.
    Now that I am about to graduate everyone expects me to look into the future and magically decide where I'm going to go in life. The answer I really want to give all the scholarship and college people is "hell if I know!" I know I want to go to Whitworth and get my teaching certificate. I know that I want to be a theatre and English teacher, and I know that I'll eventually graduate from college. But that's about it. No Mr. Schneider, I cannot tell you where I'll be in ten years, I can't tell you where I'll be in five years. I just know that I'm going to college, and that's all that I want, is to go college, survive, and eventually get a doctorate.

Alexis Olmstead is a 20something blogger who struggles with the reality that she is in fact old enough to do everything except rent a car. She recently took her first big trip by herself and is now contemplating bigger and brighter things for her future. For more reminiscing, rants, and updates on her life, check back often. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Every single time it rains I picture your face. And every time I see a bottle of Chardonnay I remember the way you said "I love you" that first time, but didn't remember it in the morning. I remember how a week ago you kissed me with two lips too bitter from wine. Maybe that's why I can handle everything except red wine. Because seeing it reminds me of all the times you used it as a reason to forget my face. In the same breathe you once told me I should never change because I was perfect and beautiful and curvy in all the right places, but that a 5 mile jog every now and then couldn't hurt. You got me so drunk I threw up on the bed and then called me a drunk for a week. Told me I should never drink, if I was too childish to handle it. You told me your parents were getting a divorce, through words so slurred I could hardly make them out, so I stayed to help you, stayed to make sure you didn't get hurt, and you told me to get the fuck out and never come back.

It has been raining ever since I met you and will not stop until you are completely out of my life. Because you, you are chaos. And you are pain. And you make me fucking crazy. Never have I screamed at someone the way I scream at you, and NEVER have I told anyone they deserved the crazy they were getting from me. Never have I BEEN crazy. But you. Oh you, just drove me to the darkest place I had ever been and then expected an apology.

No more. No longer. I'm done.