** This is a very long read. Please bear with me.
“You’re an anti-social.” I remember that statement all too well. It has been said many times, over the course of my life. And while I smile back and rebuke the statement with a mile-long of reasons that I wasn’t an anti-social, that I was just enjoying my time for myself more than other people did, that I had to do a lot of things at home being a mom to my daughter and a blogger, that I was not well most days, that I had made plans, etc. I thought, that statement would die down and I had finally convinced them that I was just plain lazy. Nope, I am still touted as an anti-social.
The truth is, I am a 100% full-bloodied introvert. I tried to deny that ever since I was young. I tried to hide that side of me with endless activities in school, parties here and there, going out with friends, and meeting new people. Heck, I even accepted a job that would involve customer service relations! What was I thinking?
Back then, I tried so hard to quell that part of me that has been longing to come out. I had taken many personality tests only to prove what I knew all along. I was and I am an introvert. Still, I was being stubborn like I usually am. I tried to trick myself into believing (and even making people believe) I was a people person. Don’t get me wrong. I am, to a certain extent only. I am a people person when I am in my comfortable circle of people, when I am in a familiar environment, and when I know people around that I can easily talk to. Other than that, I honestly just want to be at home.
While growing up, I thought it was necessary for me to fit to a certain mould that society has dictated. I have observed people all my life. I got to see the extroverts climbing the corporate ladder and getting successful and while I have the “brain” and the “skills” to do what extrovert people can, my being an introvert just doesn’t make the cut in the corporate world. With that, I am letting go of my career advancement dream. I think the corporate world is not ready to deal with an introvert like me. I won’t hold a grudge on that. It’s just the fact of life.
I even thought for a while that I was being selfish. I was not giving myself the chance to experience what it’s like to be a fun-loving, outgoing person like my husband is. As a matter of fact, I tried being an extrovert. I even went on parties, got drank, danced in public like no one was there just me, got active in socio-civic activities, and many more. It’s not like I didn’t put an effort or even tried. And I wasn’t even being selfish. I wasn’t being ME. And that is the last thing I ever want to be, someone I am not.
Lately, I have been wondering about how to just be me and not care if I upset other people or not. I am tired pleasing others while displeasing myself. I am always miserable. I don’t like pretending. It’s just too difficult and it’s making me very restless. I even wondered if I am a bad person for feeling like this towards other people. It’s not that I am obnoxious, it’s just that, I prefer my own company and the company of a very few who accepts me for who I am. And I prefer the “realness” of people. I can’t stand hypocrisy.
I tried to conform. Believe me, the struggles are so real. Each time I push myself to do something so foreign, I feel like my world is spinning, and light-headed with all the buzz and noise. I get disoriented, and most importantly, I just want to cry. That’s not my world. I don’t belong there. I belong at home, in the comfort of my room, in the company of my family and dog.
I have told very few friends about this. I guess only those close to me know exactly how I feel. But I think it’s time to just embrace my uniqueness. And it’s okay to be different. It’s okay to be an introvert. It’s okay to be like others.
So when I was praying today, God must have heard my weary heart and lead me to a gospel reflection from Didache about a guy’s testament for being an introvert. While this personality trait is not a malady, it can be a struggle for some to overcome the fears, the worries, the what-ifs that are all too real in the mind of an introvert person. I have all those in my head and it’s a torture for me to be placed in a situation I am not comfortable at. I am glad I read my Didache today. Let me share today’s gospel reflection that led me to write this one. And after this, I am not going to hide anymore. I am an introvert. And I like it!
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