All of my life I have been an introvert. Why am I an introvert?Because it is who I am.
I was born on January 15, 1996 in Stuttgart, Germany. My mother served in the U.S Army and was stationed there, where she gave birth to me. Born premature, I suffered from a lung infection which required a blood transfusion from my own mother. Once my health improved, my mother received an honorable discharge from the Army, and by later that year I was in the United States, reunited with my family in New Jersey.
I spent my grade school years in New Jersey. Throughout elementary school, teachers commented that I was quiet, yet obviously loved to learn. I found learning just about anything makes me very happy; then, as now, I was fascinated with how things worked, and why things are the way they are.
Always a keen observer, I watched and listened to everything that happened in class. I would watch students play with toys, while I played alone with the hot wheels cars, racing them all around the little orange tracks. I really enjoyed playing by myself, but didn’t mind having a friend join me in my play. Reflecting back to play time and recess, I realize I liked to spend time alone, because this way I was free to occupy myself with whatever toys or games I wanted.
In class, I always listened to the teacher: I paid attention to the subjects being taught, and took my education seriously. I disliked when students would interrupt me, whatever the reason, while I was focusing in class. This caused my classmates to tease me and make fun of me, which greatly hurt my feelings.
Due to students bullying me, I often broke down in tears, which the teachers responded to by sending me to the school administration office. This resulted in me meeting with either my guidance counselor or the principal, both of whom would ask “What happened in class?”. I do not recall what answers I provided, but do remember going back to class and remaining quiet for the day, avoiding associating with anyone.
Being the quiet one, I was bullied for not saying anything, or just for spending my time alone. I remember being upset at times, wondering why no one wanted to talk to me, and why I was always alone. I would end up sitting alone at recess, watching the other children playing, secretly wishing to be a part of the fun. Occasionally, a student would come up to me and ask if I wanted to play a game of kickball. I would accept the invitation, playing along with the others. Although included, I did not run as fast as the other children. If my side was losing, I would hear choruses of “You suck!” from my jeering classmates. Defeated and sad, I eventually left the game, and went back to sitting alone somewhere around the school field.
Often, my teacher would approach me and ask me about myself, inquiring as to why I was so frequently alone. She would keep me company and I felt happy that someone in the school cared about me and wanted to get to know me. We would often talk throughout recess, me telling her why no one wanted to play with me and how people bullied me, which was why I spent much of my time alone.
At one point, my mother signed me up for an ESOL class in elementary school (I believe that it was ESOL, but might have been something similar; I do not recall). I remember being in my assigned classroom, and then being sent to another classroom during the school day. It was a very nice and felt perfect for me, with only about 4-6 students with one teacher. The happiness and joy I felt with my new classroom situation was indescribable!
Our ESOL teacher assigned us work to do as usual, and whenever we had questions, we could ask them without the fear of being made fun of. Everyone there was happy to learn, and I personally loved having the one on one interaction with my teacher, to me it was the best thing ever. I learned more within this small classroom setting, and the one on one interaction with my teacher helped to instill confidence in my learning ability. Also, I was able to discuss with my ESOL teacher all of the problems I’d had with bullying and why I was always so quiet.
She was incredibly understanding. I knew she cared about me, and she always rewarded me with a sticker at the end of ESOL class. I was a very happy student in my ESOL class, and dreaded having to leave the safety and comfort of this classroom to go back to my regular classroom.
Throughout my years in elementary school I continued to be bullied, even getting myself into a few fights. I attended school #11 in New Jersey, which was located nearby a rough suburban neighborhood. I lived in New Jersey from 1996 – 2005, when I moved to Florida; I have lived there ever since.
Middle school and high school were similar to elementary, although I only got into one fight in middle school as a result of bullying. I was still the quiet one, eating by myself or with a select friend or two whom I knew well. I still take my education seriously. I love to learn whether I am at school or at home, just to keep myself occupied. I attended homecoming twice in high school, and even went to my senior prom.
Currently, I’m attending college, but do not plan on finishing as I feel miserable there. Honestly, I do not feel as though I am learning anything in class, and I dislike living in a dorm. Additionally, being unable to find a job in the area has been depressing. I don’t have many friends and feel very socially isolated. College life seems to be geared more towards extroverts rather than introverts like me. I will explain more about my college experience upon my departure in February 2016.
My mom knows exactly who I am. She knows I am an introvert: quiet, independent, and can accomplish anything in life as long as I put my effort into it. My aunt and grandparents seem to not understand that I am an introvert. I know for a fact my aunt is an extrovert and every time I’m with her, she always wants to know why I am quiet. It is because I am.
I hate when my aunt says that I am always quiet. It is because, I have my mind on something else or I am just observing the things I see. She will assume that I am anti-social or depressed; truth is, I am not. I dislike when people assume that I am anti-social or I that hate people. It is a common misconception that most people assume to introverts.
Like-minded people are the types I can have a conversation for hours with. I love getting into deep conversations, getting to know the person. Just having a conversation about anything without getting bored or avoiding small talk is what I like the most. I think before I speak to avoid saying the wrong word or phrase in a conversation, in order to not make it awkward or upsetting. I am also a great listener as I gather that information and I will converse back. I care about the person and want to keep the conversation as long as possible.
Overall, I am a person that spends most of my time alone. I do not like parties or clubs. They are not my thing. I rather hangout with a small group of friends I know, a friend, or just spend time by myself. I like to go out to the beach, restaurants, shopping, or just walking around the city and enjoy our company together. The simple things in life make me happy and I rather do that rather than partying and risking myself to dangerous situations. I have been to clubs and parties in college and when I was in high school, but never liked it. Just not big into the alcohol scene, loud music that it’s hard to hear or talk to people, and gets too crowded and tightly pack like sardines.
I know what makes me happy in life what I want to accomplish for my goals. Being an introvert, I learned a lot about myself throughout my life. I know the people that love and care for me. I know every time I spend my time alone, that I am recharging, reflecting, and thinking about what I can do to be happy, and be successful in my life.
I wrote an E-book “The Introvert: It’s who I am”. It describes more about me with my personal life as an introvert. I am happy to be an introvert, it is a special characteristic that shows who I am. No matter how big the world I see it as, I can create my own little world when I have the time to be alone and happy to recharge myself. I am an Introvert, It’s who I am.