Growing Up Introverted
By 17 Year Old Me 2 Weeks Before Turning 18
Growing up introverted and not knowing what it even means to be introverted can be a very scary thing. I want to shed light onto my own experience with growing up and how I managed to come to peace with myself and accept myself for who I truly am despite what the people around me think. I spent my whole childhood and teenage years wasting them away because I was afraid of my own self and capabilities and was too focused on fitting in rather than being happy. I wanted to be like the people I loved and admired rather than put in effort to search for what made me feel comfortable.
I spent the past 2 years of my life fighting myself because I was afraid of trusting and loving. The only knowledge I'd pick up on was what other people would tell me, and what they valued, and what they thought was acceptable and not. I was so concentrated on being like the majority when it just simply wasn't me. I had given up on hope for myself before I had even got the chance to know myself.
Until recently I never even knew what an introvert was, for some reason the word always scared me and seemed like a bad thing so I never felt the need to look further into it. Funny story Facebook, the social media platform, is where I learned about the culture. Facebook personalizes the experience to you, and they were able to discreetly show me that I have something in common with other people, I'm not alone. It opened up my eyes and mind and once that was done I was able to soul search and look at things through introverted lenses rather than a teenage girl brain.
I will admit, I did get rid of my phone (impulsively) before I was able to get to this point in my life. It took being alone and isolated for a while without extroverts shoving their opinions in my face for me to come to a true understanding that their is way more to the world then what you chose to put yourself out as or portray yourself as.
To me being introverted means that you take the road less traveled. I often find myself exhausted from trying to keep up with others standards and values, and when I feel exhausted I know my mind can make me think I'm upset and just not great, but I also know that when I feel that way all it means is that I need time to recharge. If I fight my exhaustion for too long it can make me double take myself and that's where things get scary, but things don't have to get scary once you learn how to prevent.
I believe that all people are born the same, and that the things that happen in you're upbringing can either make you or break you. You have to be the one to want to fight through to the other side to strive happily. It takes an intelligent person to be their own self in a society that loves to shape and sculpt others. Everyone should find themselves before they try to correct others and hand out unwanted opinions. All I care about as an introvert are the facts, and the positivity that comes with them. If you are your own strong person and deep down you know that, then nothing can tear you down.
If you or someone you know is struggling with finding a sense of belonging and you want to help them or need help for yourself; don't search any further than your heart, your own brain, and experiences. ALWAYS keep your best intentions for yourself in mind, because what you do in the world only really effects yourself. You can be whoever you want, do whatever you want. But will it be meaningful living out a long tiring life full of struggles if you can't even hold your own hand and accept the wonderful colourful diverse human being you truly are? I know not.
PSA: Being introverted is about individuality not categorizing a group of people who are not understandable to you