I just want to preface that I’m not coming out in regards to my sexuality. That process is sometimes very difficult and painful for individuals and I don’t mean to make light of it.
What I AM coming out of, however, is another stereotyped and marginalized group. At least in the United States it is… or was. Over time, and with the spread of information across the internet, people are becoming more accepting of different perspectives. And while the U.S. culture is more accepting of people like me, this is still difficult (and a little awkward).
I can’t change the way I am. I can’t change my preferences. I can’t change what I love to do. Growing up, I always felt like I had to.
When I was living with my parents I preferred to spend a lot of time alone. I would listen to music, watch TV and movies, and play video games. I wasn’t a HUGE reader, but I did enjoy the occasional book. I also spent countless hours in the bathroom. Sometimes in the shower, sometimes on the toilet, and sometimes just locked in there laying face down on the floor.
That’s the way I was from age 12 onward.
My family probably thought I was super weird, but what they didn’t know was that I NEEDED those things. In a lot of ways I still do.
You see, when I say I’m coming out it’s because I’ve felt like I haven’t been living in a way that is true to myself… at least publicly. I feel as if my whole life I’ve been trying to promote a different image of myself; one that is outgoing, a crowd pleaser, and a lover of attention.
If that is how you view me, your perspective has been flawed by my acting.
I grew up in a time when it paid to be outgoing. I grew up in a time when it paid to be assertive. I grew up in a time when it paid to be an extrovert. We’re growing up now in a country that rewards these personality traits with money, power, and awards.
For 20 years I tried to promote the image that that was me. For two years I wrestled with not knowing what was wrong with me. For two more years I struggled with how to understand what I was. And for the last year I’ve been redefining myself (not to the public, but to myself) as an introvert.
I’ve been growing more comfortable with myself as an introvert. I’ve been growing more comfortable with staying in. I’ve been growing more comfortable with the idea that I need time away from people to process my thoughts.
As a Christian this is difficult because of the importance and weight I place on serving others, while at the same time feeling false if I force myself too far out of my “hamster ball.”
Luckily, the growth of the internet is helping immensely. Introverts everywhere are able to voice their opinions after hours, days, weeks, months, or years of processing rather than the conversation moving faster than our brains. We can speak our minds loudly from our quiet spaces.
So here I am, out. I am an introvert. I started this blog as a reflection of life through my lens and a big part of that lens is introversion. If you didn’t know that my best work and most of my energy comes from alone time, meditation, reflection, and prayer than you wouldn’t really know me.