The Many Shades of My Introversion

The Many Shades of My Introversion

How it has changed over the years.

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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.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Meditation Is Not A Perfect Practice, But It's Still Worth Your Time

You'll thank me later.

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nczupek
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I began doing yoga a few years ago, and I instantly loved it. The combination of stretching, mental relaxation, and emotional release is amazing. It creates a sense of zen and peace in my life that I can use during the stress that comes from school, work, and everyday life. But the one part of yoga that I am not in love with is the meditation aspect.

I absolutely dread meditation. I do not know what it is, but I can never quite seem to get my mind to quiet down. No matter how hard I try, there is always a million thoughts running through my brain. "Did I finish that homework assignment?" "Am I breathing too loud? Can other people hear me?" I become so focused on other things happening around me that I just can't seem to calm down and relax.

But meditation is not about just clearing your mind and going completely blank. It is about focusing on a single thought, object, or intention and just allowing those emotions and feelings to overcome you. Focusing on one intention in your life allows you to become focused and re-centered. Meditation is not a set in stone practice, it is adaptable based on each person's needs.

There are seven general types of meditation: loving-kindness meditation, body scanning meditation, mindfulness meditation, breath awareness meditation, kundalini yoga, Zen meditation, and transcendentalism meditation. Each of these general types can be adapted to fit ones specific needs in that time. All seven of these meditations offer stress release options to help with daily stressors and inconveniences.

There is no perfect way to meditate. Meditation can also be as simple as just closing your eyes and simply breathing for a few seconds while focusing on one important thing in your life to help you remain grounded. There is no one set meditation type that works for all people. Some people enjoy all of the forms or even several of them, while others such as myself strictly enjoy the body scanning meditation.

The body scanning meditation focuses on scanning the body for areas of tension and to encourage the release of tension in that part of the body. Once the release occurs, the whole body can begin to relax even more. It usually starts by focusing on the toes and relaxing then moving up the legs, the torso the arms to the fingertips, and all the way through to the tip of the head.

My ideal meditation type is not for everyone. Playing around with the different types of meditations is the best way to find an ideal type of meditation that fits what the body needs. Unlike with most things, practice doesn't make perfect. Practicing the art of meditation just helps to refine the overall calm and zen that is felt.

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nczupek

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