Introvert Problems

I am an introvert. Somehow writing it down feels like a confession; all at once I feel lighter as though I am revealing some magnificent secret, lifting its weight off of my chest. There are certainly shades of grey in between the timid introvert and its counterpart: the emboldened, unabashedly prominent extrovert. Personalities, after all, are capable of spanning across the many labels we place on them. While I enjoy interacting with others and highly value interpersonal connections, there is no doubt of where my true self lies, despite years of trying to fool myself and the rest of the world into thinking otherwise.

I have always been an introvert, but terribly ashamed and scared to admit this as I irrationally attached so much negativity to it. In all honestly, I resented myself: for not being more outgoing, for not being able to enter a room of strangers and feel completely at ease. I envied the social butterflies who could flitter around through a crowd initiating conversations and introductions, completely uninhibited by fear of rejection or judgement. Meanwhile, I would assume my self-assigned role of the wallflower, finding comfort in my solitude (and in turn, as you may have guessed, was perceived by many as standoffish/a huge bitch). As a result, the self-deprecation persisted, as did this vicious, victim-based mentality. This went on for years, and yes it was fucking exhausting.

Luckily for me (and the world) I decided to get over myself and accept that I am not to be understood by the masses. My introversion throughout my teens and early adulthood was based in fear, but I have since reclaimed it, recognizing the true extent of its power. I now take pride in my boundaries, in letting people in slowly, in not investing emotionally in every single person I meet. I don’t beat myself up for not being the life of a party or for having a million and one friends or followers. Naturally, I am drawn to those who are on the other side of spectrum, amazed by their outgoing superpowers.

Most of my closest friends are extraverts, but now instead of breaking my back trying to compete with them I choose to yield, allowing them to take center stage and glow in their unashamed, and incredibly loud selves. On occasion I step into the spotlight going off on a tangent about my newest interests or dancing on a bar after one too many margaritas. In general, however, I find intimacy in silence – the most cherished moments with people for me are just listening, not thinking about some witty rebuttal or any of that shit, actually listening and getting into the core of another human. Intimacy is in doing nothing, in reading side by side or bodies intertwined with music blaring and neither of us saying a word. Alone, together.

For what its worth I know that I am imperfect: I am not the most eloquent, despite my username. I don’t always speak, and when do it is often fraught with emotion and mysterious riddles that require some serious deciphering as I jump from one thought to the next. I am intuitive and I feel extremely deeply though I don’t always verbalize these feelings. I don’t often speak without thinking first, unless margaritas are involved. I don’t give myself fully to everyone I meet, but I constantly strive to make sure that those close to me feel the depth of my love and gratitude, even when I don’t say it. I prefer to express myself through writing, or let a song say the things that I sometimes can’t. And I realize that these things aren’t problems after all.

 

SHE

Listen, I am not cool. In fact, its safe to say that I am a total cornball. I am a firm believer in superstitions, horoscopes, hallmark holidays and morning affirmations.  I tend to write a particularly long list of affirmations around New Years, when I both expand upon previous resolutions and generate new ones for the coming year. I recently looked back to my list I had crafted this past December, which helped me recognize my mistakes in the last year and realize the type of woman I want to be (and I’m doing pretty well so far!) By having that list to look back to whenever I am in doubt, I have avoided making the same errors and have created some amazing goals that I think others can relate to.

From that list, I have created a list of highlights which I believe serve as an appropriate foundation for my new section, “She.” It embodies everything that I hope will come from this section as I delve into the complex topics of dating, love, sex, and relationships as they pertain to millenial women and strive to promote confidence and strength amongst women. While this may not be your ideal woman or your views on what “femininity” and “womanhood” means (everyone has their own definition), I hope maybe you find something to relate to and take away from it. Feel free to add your own as well.

So, who is She?

To me, above all else, She is confident and secure in her self. Be it at school, work, in life or love, she knows what she wants and is not afraid to go and get it. She is adventurous and open minded to the many opportunities that exist outside of her own life. She is not afraid to stand out or bend the rules around her when she deems fit, and never does anything that makes her uncomfortable. She can sometimes be very direct and open in her defiance of social norms, while other times she is mysterious and moves discreetly in silence. She holds true to her own beliefs but knows when to speak and when to hold her tongue. She does not believe everything that she’s told, and knows that the concept of “right” and “wrong” is not so cut and dry. This allows her to live freely and fearlessly.

She has a strong support system around her of friends and family and she enjoys being sociable and exploring the world around her. She is a great friend and does not judge those closest to her and is always there to lend a hand. She does not rely on anyone, but she is willing to ask for help when necessary. As much as she loves to spend time with others, she values her alone time and independence. She knows how to be comfortable in her own skin and is not afraid to be alone. She has had her fair share of experiences (good and bad), but she is not resentful or angry. Instead, she uses these experiences to help her learn and grow to avoid making the same mistakes twice (though sometimes she might).

She does not necessarily “need” anyone, but is not afraid to admit that she prefers a shoulder to cry on, someone to sleep next to her at night, or a partner in love. She is single or in relationships as she deems fit, and chooses to be sexually active (and safe) with partners who she feels comfortable with. She decides when she wants to be physical, and does not do so for any reason other than her own. She does not get intimate to persuade her partner, boost her self esteem or succumb to pressure. She does not hold on to dead-end  relationships, and always looks out for herself fist and foremost. In friendships and in love, she is not afraid to speak up when unhappy or discontent with a situation, and more importantly she is not afraid to walk away from anything that does not suit her.

In love, he does not give her heart out freely, but when she does she loves fully. She expects the same in return, because she will not settle for less.