Pariah- “A Social Outcast”…
I don’t particularly consider myself a social outcast; I have a friend group that I love, a family that I fit into perfectly, and I love going to festivities, social gatherings, parties, and things of the like. Somewhere though, deep inside, I have always felt a nagging emotion telling me that I don’t fit in. That I simply am not fit, or am not meant for, the circumstances and environment that I have been put into. It is a difficult concept to explain: I simply feel that I am different. Not any less or any more than any other person or being, but simply… different, in a way that even I, as the Pariah, cannot identify myself.
I have always been a raging extrovert. My family loves to tell me the story of when I was younger and followed a woman out of the grocery store, clinging to her cart and asking “what she was going to do with that giant roast.” Luckily I did not get kidnapped that day. I was the first one to get a group of kids together to play at recess or family gatherings with my cousins. Never in my life have I been afraid to jump into social atmospheres- from sports to the openings of galleries, to Spoken Word Club in high school, even school dances. My friends and family would be the first to tell you that I am far from your average introvert.
But I am very much so an introvert. Stresses and obstacles often bring me down to levels so low I sometimes feel I’ve hit rock bottom. An aggressive diagnosis of depression and anxiety when I was seventeen years old, followed by personal issues and dramatics as I continued to grow older, took a heavy toll on my mental and physical health over time. I am just now, at twenty-two years old, learning to finally cope and adjust accordingly in order to live a healthy, low-stress life. Many of the obstacles I have faced throughout life, I have kept as secretive and down-low as possible; my favorite phrase throughout my teens was “I’m fine”, when I clearly was not. I decided to become an introvert in that way, refusing to let anyone see that I was breaking.
Thus was born, the “Introverted Extrovert”, a.k.a yours truly, The Pariah.
I struggled for so long, though with such a genuinely happy face on that what I went through often felt stupendously perplexing. I still struggle, but there is one huge factor that has made the mental illness fade in times of great need- ART. From the time I could pick up a pencil, I was writing all over the place, (the walls; yes, all over the place). By sixth grade, I’d written my first full-length novel, followed by a sequel, the first novel being nearly 2,000 pages. Starting in elementary school, art class became as important, if not more, than maths and sciences. In the confines of my home throughout the years, it has become difficult to find me without a book in my lap. Literary and fine arts quite literally became the light of my life from the beginning of my life. And it will continue to light my path for the rest of my days.
An aspiring published author, poet, lyricist, and mental health advocate, my name is Brooke Owens and I am currently in my last year of obtaining my A.A. in Fine Arts as a Mass Communication and Multimedia major. I hope to transfer in 2020 to a four-year institution, hopefully right here in my backyard- Chicago. Born and raised I am a Cubs lover and former Bulls lover… but that’s for another time. Sports raised me, my teams of soccer, basketball, karate, even cheerleading mates becoming second family fast. As of now, I stick to a small circle and focus on what is most important to me- this portfolio!
Pariah Muse serves as a collective art project in which I practice all of my mediums, from poetry to Youtube vlogs, that I will also use as my own art potfolio for years to come. Adding content to this website gives me a joy like no other, and now that I have finally found the courage to share things that used to be so vulnerable and sometimes downright frightening to me, I have no choice but to jump at the opportunity. As an artist, I have an unrelenting need to share.
With that being said, welcome to this Introverted Extrovert’s family. I hope that you enjoy my content as much as I love creating it. This is only the beginning, and I can only grow from here.
– The Pariah