I am an Introvert. This realization didn’t come until four years ago. I now understand it and I’ve completely accepted it.
While I had heard the term introvert, I never considered myself as one. Growing up, I was told that I was shy.
No one suspected that my reclusive behavior and ability to play by myself for hours was a sign of indifferent behavior, nor did I see anything strange about my social patterns.
It was around second or third grade when my teachers began reaching out to mom because I refused to speak in class. I never participated in group activities and dreaded the thought of recess.
That was the first time mom referred to me as shy and that label stuck with me most of my life. I admit I was a little shy as a kid, but that didn’t explain other unusual behaviors I exhibited.
I had a very active imagination. I could get lost for hours in my own thoughts. I didn’t converse much with my peers in school. Instead, I focused on classwork and worked hard to bring home good grades. I was an honor roll student all through grade school and excelled into advanced science and math classes.
Art class became my favorite. I looked forward to it every year. Working with my hands is something that brings me peace and joy. I would take my time molding clay to ensure my masterpiece was perfect. Or I’d use all the techniques the teacher taught us to replicate a painting. Putting my imagination to work in a hands-on, creative way was exhilarating.
In middle school, I discovered my love for poetry. I walked to the library after school and would consume myself in books of poems until mom arrived to pick me up. I obsessed over song lyrics. It was like I was drawn to words of raw emotion which led me to write my own poetry.
In seventh grade, one of my poems was published in the American Poetry Annual by the Amherst Society. I never received a copy of the book but I still have my certificate of merit.
High school is a bit of a blur. I starting working at sixteen to help pay for my car. Long days at school and after school work shifts exhausted me to the point I would sleep during my classes. I enjoyed being busy. Putting my time and energy into something productive is what satisfied me.
During my junior year, I hit somewhat of a bump in the road. Things in my life took a difficult turn. If you purchased my e-cookbook, you already know the struggles I endured as a small child. My start in life was rough and I open up about it in the introduction of my book. It was my junior year when all this heartache caught up to me. Compile that with trying to find myself through my teenage years plus more tragedy, which I’m not ready to share those dark secrets yet, you get a broken girl who wants nothing more than to numb the pain.
I was stuck in this place of darkness for a couple years before I began to climb out of it. You see, I was never much of a talker. I didn’t open up to anyone about what I had been through or how I was handling it. I suffered alone in my thoughts. I was, however, smart enough to realize that was unhealthy and I was headed down a clear path of self-destruction.
In my e-cookbook, I mention how my Grandma gifted me a cookbook on baking. This book gave me something to focus on and I learned of a new passion. This passion led me to finding myself again – a quiet, intelligent girl who enjoys having a creative outlet.
It was not until 2012 that I learned my quiet disposition is in fact introversion, not shyness. I’m someone who thrives on raw, deep emotions, vivid imagination, and constant thinking.
My life is rich and satisfying. The people around me push me to my full potential and believe in me. I refuse to include people in my life who cause me to second guess myself and I will never steer away from the things that bring me joy.
I am an introvert.