Personal Column: Embrace your true personality

Staff+writer+Franklin+Mejia

Staff writer Franklin Mejia

Staff writer Franklin Mejia

A couple of years ago we were forced to describe our personality in one word as a sort of “breaking the ice” thing. We were given about 15 minutes to think about it and then we were all going to answer it in front of everybody. Most kids during this time turned to their friends and started talking to each other, as most middle school kids do. Yet, while everyone was chattering away about how summer was going, I put on some headphones and started reading.

After time was up everyone was getting up one by one, excitingly saying what word described their personality. Words such as: Exciting, happy, curious, and amazing, where being thrown all over the room. Some kids were searching up synonyms in order to sound unique. Yet, all of a sudden, it was my turn. I stood up; book still in hand, I glanced around the room and just said one word.

Introvert.

I sat back down and all eyes were on me, albeit mostly because half of the room didn’t know what the word meant. So most continued on, and listened to other people who were describing their own personality, meanwhile, I started reading again.

The introvert vs. extrovert conversation has happened since forever ago, but let’s recap on some of the stereotypes: Introverts are antisocial and think they are better than everyone else, they miss out on many social events, too intense, keep their feelings to themselves, introverts are boring and the list goes on and on.  But honestly, when has the term introvert ever been positively portrayed?

Growing up, I learned of these stereotypes and became embarrassed. During my middle school years, I desperately tried to change myself. When people asked me what I did over the weekend, I usually lied and said I went somewhere with friends or that I was out with the family on some exciting trip. All the while, I was too embarrassed to tell them that, in reality, all I did was stay at home and listen to music while playing games.

In order to counter my constant lying, I started going to more social events. I went to parties, school dances, social gatherings, and everything in between. But, the more I went out. The more I over exerted myself into trying to become “normal”, the more I realized how unhappy with myself I was. So, eventually… I gave up.

It may be cliché to say, but it was then when I realized that I shouldn’t try to be someone who I wasn’t. It was when I started to accept who I was and how it is a key part of my personality. Now, instead of trying to be “social and fun” I try to stay in the corner and read or catch up with recent news. I’m happy with the few close friends I have. I prefer getting to know and depend on someone one on one, instead of only barely knowing a lot of people. I spend my weekends relaxing and unwinding, instead of going around having “fun”.

By spending this free time doing things that I want to do, I have learned about the things that I’m truly passionate about, such as: games, books, education (surprisingly), and blogging. Also, by pursuing these passions, I’ve found a whole community of like-minded people who I can have a fluid conversation that ends up with me being motivated and excited for something. I’m happy that I can now be, well, me…without the discomfort or fakeness.

I’m still figuring it out (isn’t that the teenage anthem of the century?), but I do know that being an introvert is a key part of me, and by embracing it I have been able to fully accept myself. And that being an introvert (and loving it), isn’t completely crazy.