People often get confused whenever I tell them that I’m introverted. But to be fair, I don’t blame them. Concepts of introversion and extroversion are foreign to the general public, and I didn’t realize what they meant until a few months ago. When I tell people about my being introverted, they interpret what I mean in different ways. Some assume that I’m declaring my shyness, while others believe I’m confessing my love for being alone. While both opinions don’t stray too far from truth, neither of them completely define what it means to be me.

I like being alone. Or at least I enjoy being by myself most of the time. This a nightmare to extroverts, the social butterflies who love being around people and who make plenty of friends wherever they go. These are the kinds of people that you see in the movies, on television, in commercials, and so on. This outgoing lifestyle is perceived as being the “normal” way to live: The “normal” person has a group of seven to ten best friends who like to hang out every single weekend and have a fun time going to parties and concerts. If you’re on the opposite side of the spectrum, like me, then you’re a loner, a loser, and boring. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s simply not the case.

We introverts also love to have fun, but we do so in different ways. It’s the simple things that get us excited. I, for example, love immersing myself into a good book or an exciting film. I go the movies every weekend and usually go with either my mom or a friend. I’m also comfortable with just going by myself. Taking long walks with my dog, writing, and dancing also give me peace. Others may do something similar, or they prefer doing other things such as painting, hiking, or fishing.

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We also love to think. In fact, that’s the one thing that makes us pretty interesting. Our thoughts are racing a million miles a minute. Our energy can dwindle through social interaction, but it’s regained and reserved when we have time to ourselves. When we’re forced into social situations (such as an event where the “fun” part is to mingle, bleh), we can get pretty cranky. Even then, introverts usually prefer small gatherings over large extravagant parties.

During my awkward teen years, I desperately tried to live the life of an extrovert. I’d always imagined having the ultimate high school experience: having tons of friends, going to parties, and getting into the expected deviant shenanigans. I used to beat myself up emotionally whenever I failed to meet this expectation. I still sometimes fall victim to myself to this day. Though as time went on and my confidence slowly strengthened, I realized that while I felt comfortable with basic communication, I could only connect with specific people. In truth, I haven’t had a group of friends since I was fourteen. As of now I only have 2 to 3 close friends. But I’m okay with that. It’s like what my mother says: All you really need in life is at least one good friend.

The adventures of an introvert are sweet and simple, and we’re the kind of people who shouldn’t be underestimated. Introverts aren’t people who fail at being extroverts, nor are we all hermits who reject the outside world. Introverts thrive on the quiet and the solitude, and we love to let loose and have a good time once in a while, even if it’s not an a flamboyant way. I love being an introvert, and I love who I am.

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