I knew four different types of learning styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and reading/writing. Additionally, the time I spent differed from that of my friends and family. Just because we were different didn’t mean we had to be against each other. Life was like math; solutions could be derived from different methods, and what mattered were the results. It was like knowing that seven plus two equalled nine, but also discovering that five plus four equalled nine. When we engaged in different activities within the same group, we shared new experiences and approaches to problem-solving. When we did things the same way as our friends, we felt comfortable and at ease.

I wished I didn’t have to justify my decisions and the way I spent my time. After all, we were only sharing our free time. I didn’t see anything wrong with someone sharing the same space with another person who had different passions, as long as our activities didn’t take place in completely separate worlds. Without common ground, what was the point? We could be different and still share common passions and interests. Living in a group where we were entirely independent and only shared the physical space didn’t seem enjoyable to me. It wasn’t about changing for others; it was about learning new things or approaching familiar topics from a different perspective. The time spent together was a blend of my own time and the time that brought forth new ideas and opportunities. It was about finding a balance. Introverts typically found this balance with people they felt comfortable with, allowing them to be both fun and communicative, as well as enjoy quiet moments pursuing their own interests.

“Those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.”

― Rick Warren

It was a lot to deal with every day, but the most important thing was that I struggled all the time with acceptance and belonging. What was interesting was that I actually didn’t belong to anyone, not even in a marriage or a family, and I was only surrounded by people and their energies. I had people around me who cared about how I felt but didn’t matter, like all those followers on social media, and those who mattered and didn’t mind because they accepted me the way I was. I tried so hard to be loved by others, often forgetting how important it was to love myself.

Why should I care about where someone spent their vacation or what they were doing if I was doing the same thing in my pajamas in front of the television? I was great at creating micro-worlds where I lived in my entire Universe as an introvert. Maybe some would think I was alone and didn’t belong to anyone, but in reality, I had the whole world in my hands. My curiosity and determination kept me awake for hours, my imagination created entire worlds while reading, and my passions led to excellent results. My mind was so occupied that I didn’t have to worry about whether others liked me or not, and that wasn’t because I was selfish, but because I was one of the most lovely people one could ever meet. Of course, there were some exceptions, but those introverts were just lost souls who couldn’t find their true purpose in this world and poisoned themselves with their own hate.

You might already know that I only focused on the positive side and hoped for them to soon find a passion. Speaking of passions, I would devote so much time to my own that I almost didn’t have time to worry about being alone or having only a few people around me. Silence was also hard to achieve for me because my mind was always searching for solutions, and the more I knew, the more I realized how little I actually knew about life on Earth.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

― Bernard M. Baruch

Many times I reconstructed the story of Cinderella, but I am talking about her sisters who tried to fit in the crystal shoe. It happened all the time to leave what I liked and what kept my attention just to be part of a community. There was nothing wrong with that as long as the group didn’t change my values and principles of life. If I liked to wear colorful clothes and joined a group where everyone wore black, did that mean I should change my own clothes or find a different group that shared the same interests and clothing preferences as me? If I didn’t immediately find a group that matched, I should take advice from an introvert and spend more time with myself to learn who I actually was and what I liked to do.

Doing “nothing” was actually a very productive way to spend free time, whether it was in nature, meditating, praying, cooking, watching a funny movie, or reading a book. Those moments were so important for a peaceful mind, and believe it or not, they brought more joy than being in a group of people where I didn’t feel comfortable. If I couldn’t get bored in my own company, surely there were others who would want to be around me for the same positive energy I spread.

“We’re so quick to cut away pieces of ourselves to suit a particular relationship, a job, a circle of friends, incessantly editing who we are until we fit in.”

― Charles de Lint

I was usually considered an outsider and a little bit of a freak as an introvert. It was a controversial discussion because when I had mistaken principles with pride, it was impossible for others to see my side of thinking. Choosing not to fight against someone didn’t mean I was weak; it was because I was smart enough to understand that there could be a solution in a different approach to the situation. When things were not meant for me, I learned to love the sound of feet walking away.

When I embraced my introverted nature, I realized that being labelled as an outsider or a freak didn’t define me. It was merely a reflection of others’ limited understanding. I learned to appreciate the unique perspectives and strengths that come with being introverted. While extroversion is often celebrated in our society, I discovered the power and depth that lies within solitude and introspection. The moments of quiet contemplation became my sanctuary, where I could recharge and connect with my inner self. I found solace in the company of my own thoughts and ideas. Instead of seeking validation and acceptance from others, I began to prioritize self-acceptance and self-love. I understood that my worth wasn’t determined by the number of friends I had or how socially active I appeared. True fulfilment came from embracing my authentic self and finding contentment within. As I let go of the need to fit into societal expectations, I realized that my introversion was a gift. It granted me the ability to listen deeply, observe keenly, and think critically. I became a keen observer of human behaviour, noticing subtleties that often went unnoticed. Rather than engaging in superficial conversations, I craved meaningful connections and discussions. I sought out like-minded individuals who appreciated depth and introspection. These connections enriched my life, allowing me to engage in conversations that nourished my soul and expanded my understanding.

Over time, I discovered that introversion wasn’t a limitation but a source of strength. It allowed me to tap into my creativity, intuition, and empathy. I embraced my unique way of processing information and contributing to the world. So, to those who still see introverts as outsiders or freaks, I invite them to open their minds and hearts. Look beyond the surface and recognize the beauty and value that lies within each individual, regardless of their social inclinations. Let us celebrate diversity and appreciate the myriad ways in which we experience and navigate the world.

“Me, I trust people who show you what freaks they are. It’s the ones who blend in that ya gotta watch out for.”

― Hope Larson

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