Being an Introvert on an Island full of Extroverts

Good afternoon guys! Hope the new year is treating you well so far!

As some of you may have guessed, I’m not the most outgoing person. I’m quite the homebody, I don’t like huge crowds, I’m rarely ever spontaneous and I’m not close with many people; all things that I’m quite happy with, actually. Most of the time, I never really felt like I had to change who I was for others; I find peace in my solitude. And I’m thankful that I have friends and loved ones who understand that.

However, the country that I live in is pretty much a place where extroverts thrive. There’s always a party, always a reason to celebrate, and people tend to get together quite often. And whilst that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, sometimes it gets to be a little… overwhelming, to say the least.

Seeing everyone I know act one way, whilst I act in the complete opposite way, can tend to make me think and second-guess about the way that I normally handle things and situations. And after Christmas and New Year’s, looking at how everyone was celebrating friends and family whilst I was trying so hard not to be overwhelmed by everything, it got me thinking about how I am and how I express my feelings, and whether or not that’s “okay”. There were times when I’d wonder; what if I was a little bit more sociable? What if speaking to new people was just… more natural for me?

Suffice to say, it can get a little bit too much, and living in a country where you clash with your own culture… it can get lonely. I never really clicked with a lot of traditions and ways of thinking when it came to my culture, and for a long time, I never questioned it.  But some time ago, I began to think to second-guess myself, and it wasn’t pleasant. It made me feel like everything I knew no longer made sense, and I was at a complete loss at what to do. Should I change? Should I stay the same? Am I not trying enough?

2018 was a year of me testing my limits… doing things that I didn’t want to do, and saying yes way too often even when I knew that I was pushing my limits. As you can imagine, that limit was reached, and I slipped into a bit of an identity crisis. Every day, the same questions popped into my head: Who the hell am I? What do I want? What am I doing with my life? There were days when I couldn’t bear to get out of bed. I hated where I was in life and I didn’t know how to get out of it, and I didn’t know how to say no. Whatever I did was never enough. Staying at home felt too isolating, and going out was too overwhelming. And it felt like no one really understood how I was feeling, no matter who I talked to.

However, before the year ended, I knew I had to make some changes. So I left my job, kept a certain distance from friends, and focused on what I could: my studies, my books, my loved ones, and the blog! And I haven’t regretted my decisions at all since then. And slowly, I’m testing the waters again. I’m going out, sometimes, not for too long, and I’m enjoying myself. Socializing has never been easy for me, but I’m slowly getting the hang of it again.

Now I know that not everyone may agree with my choices, which I get, but here’s the thing… everyone’s journey is different, and we all have our own pace. I understand that my choices may not agree with yours, and I understand any concerns, but everyone’s needs are different. And that’s okay.

So please, in 2019, let’s all try to empathize a little more accepting with each other  Being different is something to be celebrated, not questioned or looked down on! 

Are any of you introverts? What do you like most about yourself that others may question? Let’s all celebrate our differences in the comments below, introverts and extroverts alike!


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