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Archive for November, 2010

confession of an introvert

This is not something I confess easily. I have long been scolded for my introversion or for being “painfully shy,” as my third-grade teacher once said in an attempt to describe my personality. This statement isn’t of anything new. For as long as I’ve known, I’ve been the quiet girl who hides behind her glasses and stares at the floor. During parent-teacher interviews or in report cards, the one feedback I continuously received from teachers was, “Participate more in class!” It happens every year…and I get it. I really do. It’s not like I haven’t tried to change. In fact, on multiple occasions, I pushed against my natural tendencies to become the extrovert my teachers and my fellow students embodied. It was excruciatingly hard. There’s no other way to describe it except it was like trying to become the actor you see performing on stage when you’re meant to sit in the audience and watch. It was like trying to become someone I wasn’t meant to be. As John Morley once said, “No man can climb out beyond the limitations of his own character.” And as for me, there was a raging war inside. I was trying to live up to the expectations of every single teacher I’ve ever had in my entire life just so I’d fit in and seem normal – just so everyone would stop chiding me and thinking there was something wrong with me. Extroversion has long been deemed healthier than introversion and I felt pressured to embrace the former or be considered abnormal.