[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y introversion is something that has taken me a while to come to terms with. Like, I’m quite seriously introverted, but not in a ‘head-in-a-book’ way, and not in a locking myself in my room way.
It took me a long, long time (I’m talking 20 years) to get over the fact that my introversion didn’t match up with the introversion that I saw all around me. I’m not really into reading, I’m not into baking or crafts, I’m not really that into the whole tumblr introverted aesthetic.
But, on the other hand, I’m not at all extroverted. I hate loud noises and busy places, and shouting and being in front of people and being in the same room as more than 10 people at a time. I feel uncomfortable planning two social events on the same day, and if I don’t get at least two days alone time to recover after something big I tend to find myself permanently exhausted and sad and moody.
At school, and for a while at university, this kind of ‘am I introverted?’ thing was a nightmare. Being constantly torn between wanting to have a million friends, but also shying away from too much interaction or too many loud places was really bloody hard. I didn’t want to be sat with a book, or whatever, but couldn’t handle the intensity of large groups of loud people. The first two years of uni were pretty much the same. I was happy to spend time in the bar with my friends but felt nervous and uncomfortable if we headed into town – this is back when I drank and a couple of well-timed shots could sort it…
For a long time it was like ‘well, what if I’m just boring? What if I’m just not fun?’ and it was a killer. Like, an absolute killer. It’s like you have loads of friends but are worried about each and every one of them realising that you’re actually the worst when you keep using the ‘nah not feeling it’ excuse for a night out, but also you like seeing your friends and arghhh what do I even do?!
Living alone, organising my life and generally being a lot more free this year, has led me to quite a startling realisation. I’m fine. How I want to spend my time is totally fine.
A while ago people were giving me a bit of shit about not ‘experiencing’ my year abroad properly. It was nothing major and was probably a bit of a joke, but the implication was that because I wasn’t spending every evening in the bars of Paris, or drinking wine from the bottle by the Seine, that I somehow was wasting my year abroad. I’ll admit, it got me down a bit. I mean, there have been times this year that that would have totally been my thing, but most of the time I’d rather be doing anything else. I’ve done my year how I’ve wanted to do my year. I’ve spent afternoons in cafés and walked alone for hours and explored and I’ve been so much happier doing that. And that’s fine. Everyone has their own Paris and mine is hot chocolate and magnolia blossoms. Yours might be wine and the first metro home.
I think blogging appeals to introverts. Sure, it’s talking aloud to hundreds, thousands, of people, and sure everyone is looking at you and your posts, but the internet and all its faults means that you can’t really see them. Right now I’m siting in bed, fairy lights on, with a cup of tea. You’re reading this, along with (I hope) a few other people, and I just have no idea. I’m getting my thoughts and feelings and ideas across without having to actually stand in front of you, feeling your eyes on me, and having to deliver it right to your face. It would appear that the anonymity that we all detest (keyboard warriors, etc.) can actually be a little beneficial.
We all find our place eventually. I’m now in a place where I can take time for myself, away from the world, and not feel guilty for it. I can explain to the good friends that I have that I need a day or two to recover, and I can look forward to my final year of uni generally not giving a damn about all the stuff I used to do because I thought I had to.
Most importantly, I can spend time doing something that I love knowing that it genuinely makes me happy and rested. That’s pretty cool.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? A bit of both?
Do you ever feel guilty for being yourself?