I have always been an introvert.
It's just always been a bit of a calling card I've kept in my hand for myself, a sign plastered on the walls of my internalizations. It is a reminder of who I am, my functionality in a vast world of awkwardness, social interaction, and relations with other human beings. No matter how glorious a public situation may seem, I haven't found a worthwhile substitute for my own personal "battery recharge" than time and space left completely to my own thoughts.
I have always been nervous around people.
Any people, really. It is as if a fail-safe mechanism activates in my mind the moment I am faced with someone else. I instantly fall into the pattern of wanting to please while simultaneously wanting to peel off and go find a quiet corner to be by myself when I feel drained. I never want to fall short of another person's expectations, but at times, they seem both insurmountable and entirely a product of my own imagination. And I fall for it every time. I have a difficult time summoning the social energy to be around, period. I want to strike the right balance, but am unsure of how to do so.
I have always been okay with being alone.
It was a weird personal device I used when I got to college. "I will be alright being alone," I whispered to myself as I walked around campus on the first day. I had been so worried about the prospect of meeting other people and how to handle them that I was stressing to my very core. But it was on that day that I chose to accept what I had already really learned about myself - I am okay with being by myself. I am okay with what that means. I want to find friends and by no means will I give up my opportunities to do so, even if it just means complimenting someone's apparel choices. But I will not force myself into the lives of others who don't want me around. I won't break my back over trying to drag a person's opinion of me from hostile to somewhat neutral. I want to bend over backwards for the people I love, and I want to find the people who want that, who want me around. I want to embrace time together, time apart, time in company, time alone. I want to appreciate every side of me and the amazing people around me.
I have not always been the type of introvert I am now.
Because that's how things work, isn't it? You grow, you meet new people, you explore new things, and you adapt, changing your functionality to act as is needed for you. I was astonished to watch myself take on social butterfly extroverted tendencies. I was shocked to feel as though I wanted to be around others. Granted, I still need my time, I still warm up to people fully more slowly, and I still pull energy from being alone. But I have found people who want to be with me for me, who give me energy and strength simply because of the people they are. The shades of my introversion continue to change, adapt, grow, depending on where I am.
I am blessed to be where I am right here, right now. I'm not the same as I was nor as I will be. An adventure awaits that will just keeping helping me to move forward, understanding more of who I am with each passing day.