Tag: introvert

Life of an Introvert…ed Extrovert?

The name of my blog defines me as an introvert and for a long time, essentially since I learnt what the word meant, I have aligned myself with that word and all that comes with it. But yesterday, as I longed for friends and people to socialise with, felt lonely in my own company, I started to wonder if I could truthfully call myself an introvert.

I guess it depends on how you define an introvert. To me, an introvert is someone who is shy – tick – and quiet – tick – with only a few friends – tick – and is happy with their own company – erm…

The fact is, contrary to what I used to think, I like being with people. When I’m alone, when no one texts me, when I begin to wonder if anyone actually cares about me, I feel lonely. I am no longer happy with my own company. I can’t just settle down with a book and read for hours on end without the need to check my phone in the hope that someone needs something from me (the only reason that some people text me). I need people. I want more than I realised to be the kind of person who doesn’t have a problem with talking to more than two people at a time, and I know that that person is inside me, clawing to get out. Once, I got so passionate in my A Level English class that I essentially shouted at the teacher in front of the whole class about how Heathcliff is so terrible and that it’s not fair to blame Macbeth for Duncan’s murder. That person didn’t care that there were 15 pairs of eyes and ears all focused on me, and someone who didn’t know me might take that moment and even call me an extrovert.

And so, I guess, maybe calling myself an introvert isn’t entirely accurate. There are certainly extroverted parts of me, parts of me that crave attention and want to be let loose. But the deathly shy side of me, who is deeply embarrassed by any attention and will replay moments that aren’t even that embarrassing over and over in my head until it drives me even further into my shell, is in control.

So I guess I’m an introverted extrovert: I want to socialise, but I just can’t.

Hello

What if I don’t like you?
Or you don’t like me?
Maybe I’ll say nothing and I’ll
Sit there silently.

You’ll think I’m rude or stupid
Or maybe I’m just dull.
I have nothing to speak of
And nothing in my skull.

But what if I’m just shy?
I’m terrified of you.
You sit there so relaxed
But I don’t know what to do.

Should I say hello?
That’s the right thing to do?
Or hey or hi or howdy
Or how goes it with you?

Should I shake your hand?
Or d’you think that is too formal?
What is it that I should do
For you to think I’m normal?

I just don’t think I know
What people want from me.
I’m afraid of doing wrong;
Of being unmannerly.

So I guess I’ll just be safe,
And sit there silently.

The Long Summer Holidays

Pros of being a uni student: Long holidays to relax in.

Cons of being a uni student: Long holidays…

Obviously there are other pros and cons, but right now, having moved back home just days ago, the daunting prospect of a four-month long summer holiday – the longest any fresher has ever had – is at the front of my mind. What am I going to do to spend the time? How am I going to stop myself from getting bored, lonely?

I imagine that for many people the idea of four months of essentially doing nothing would be heaven; catching up with friends; watching TV; going on holiday; catching up with friends some more. But for me, holidays are always quite a struggle. I’ve never felt like I’ve had many people to hang out with outside school, and my friends at school largely felt like we just sat together out of convenience, rather than genuine friendship. And so it’s unsurprising that once we left school on our last day of term, diverged to go on our separate paths in life, I didn’t stay in contact with many of them. Now, just over a year after that day, I still fairly regularly (maybe about once a month) talk to exactly three people I was friends with in school. Three. And out of those, I’d only call one of them a close friend.

And as for my hobbies… well, I don’t really have any. When Year 11 came around, I really threw myself into my schoolwork to get the best grades I could, and all my hobbies kind of fell away around me. I used to love reading, writing, drawing, I liked music – basically I was quite creative. But then school became the centre of my life for three years. And so I just got out of the habit of doing things that I used to enjoy, and they still don’t hold anywhere near as much appeal as they used to any more.

And so with essentially minimal people to see and minimal things to do, you can see why a four-month-long break from education might not sound like such a good thing for me.

And you might just think ‘why don’t you just reach out to people you used to talk to, and just do things you used to enjoy’ and yes to some extent that is right. But it’s hard. Once you get into a routine of doing something – and continue that routine for four years – it’s hard to just jump out of it again, put yourself out there, well away from your comfort zone, away from the place where you know. But over the course of this summer, that’s what I’m going to try to do.

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