“Your daughter is too quiet. She doesn’t interact much with the other children.” In spite of being an all A+ student at the age of 8, this was the common complaint my parents had to hear from my teachers. Surprisingly, my younger sister is following my footsteps. Back in my time, my parents were overly concerned with my lack of social interactions. Thus, I used to be forced to go to social events and make so-called friends. My mother routinely screamed at me for being a slow talker and continuously nagged about my lack of wit. You see, I never understood what exactly it was that was wrong with me. All I knew was that people did not accept the way I was and that I had to change myself. And so, I did.
Social butterfly is what you call extremely social people, well then, I had become a social tornado. For about five years I lied to everyone including myself, that this was who I was. I thought I had proved to myself that this was indeed me and that I was happy this way. But insecurities never left my side and there was no place on earth I preferred over the solitude of my room. At the end, you really cannot escape yourself, at least that is how it was in my case. I cannot pinpoint the moment I started to see it but I realized how everything and everyone around me was a façade. Usually transformations occur overtime, but everything for me changed overnight, I changed it because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I got myself out of the trap the popular and “witty” kids had set. And then I went from having countless friends to zero friends in a matter of three months or so. To a normal person, it might sound pretty tragic but believe me when I tell you that it was the best time of my life with myself because I finally let who I was, take over who I pretended to be. I might have looked eccentric to people but to me I was finally “me”. Eventually, I made friends I wished I had made earlier. And mind you, quality is always better than quantity, a life lesson learned the hard way.
These days, thanks to the internet, there is a lot of talk about introverts and they know that they are not the only one feeling the way they do. Yet introverts are the least understood people or may I say the least accepted people. Of course, I have a pledge towards everybody to let introverts be themselves and know that introversion is not a disease. But I have a greater pledge towards the introverts themselves- embrace it. Yes, it is easier said than done in the kind of society we grow up in but I cannot emphasize on how important it is. Once you learn to embrace who you are, you will see that nothing else matters. You do not feel so wary of what people think of you because it simply does not matter. What does it matter to them that the party you want to attend is not in a room with loud music and strangers but inside your head of thoughts?
Introverts are some of the coolest people I know (yes, I consider myself cool too). Their minds are iridescent and their quiet and calm nature is their minutiae. To those who are trying to fight their introversion, please don’t, there is an ineffable beauty about you. Just put on your baggy pajamas, get inside your favorite blanket and stare at the ceiling. How do you feel? If you start wool-gathering, indulging into seamless imaginations then you are a precious introvert and the world needs more of you. You are a gift.