From Introvert to Extrovert: One Girl's Journey

 

Extrovert Me: a busy bee, bubbly, happy-go-lucky college student with friends to spare

 

And Introvert Me: a shy beyond belief middle school student with about as much confidence as a doormat

 

Pretty weird huh! What’s wrong with this girl? Well here’s the thing, both girls are me! Yep it’s true!

 

I was an introvert in the most accurate sense of the word, I only had friends because they reached out to me, I never ever ever ever raised my hand in class, and I was pretty sure I didn’t ever want to leave my house. All of my free time was spent alone with a book in my hand and my cat curled up next to me.

 

It was easy, I lived in the country so I never had to see anyone outside of school and when I was at school I simply blended in. I never made any effort to dress up (jeans a t-shirt and flip-flops were my go-to), I was a tomboy and I was owning it. I didn’t wear makeup until my junior year of high school when I got a tube of mascara as a freebie. I had three friends and my siblings and that was enough for me. My friends were all quiet like me and never pushed me to go outside of my comfort zone. I hardly ever talked and I definitely never cracked a joke. I avoided any and all conversation with or about boys. I knew the answers when the teacher asked but I was never willing to raise my hand and say anything in front of the class. I was nice to everybody and kept my opinions to myself. I played club sports, no school sports, and was never super competitive. I arrived just on time for the bell, went to my classes, and went home immediately after. I was extremely self-conscious and pretty much permanently embarrassed by everything.

 

If I hadn’t been semi-smart and so dang tall I’m pretty sure no one would have ever even known I was there!

 

This was my life from the time I started Elementary School until my last year of High School...for 11 years I was the shy girl who sat in the back of the room...11 years of my life keeping to myself.

 

Three years ago I started my senior year of high school, and I came to the realization that I was an introvert. And I hated it, that’s not who I wanted to be, this was not the high school experience I dreamed of.

 

I had been going to school with the same people for 12 years now and they knew nothing about me! We were going to graduate and they were all going to forget about me, how could I let this happen?

 

Not only that but I was headed off to college in a year and I didn’t even know anything about myself--what did I enjoy? who did I want to be (not what anyone else wanted but what did I want)?

 

So I woke up one morning and decided screw it! I’m tired of being quiet! I’m tired of missing out on everything! New year, new me ya know?!

 

I knew I could never get that time back but why not try and make up for some of it?

 

So I did it, I pulled a 360 and went back to school that year to give it my best shot.

 

I went to all of the school sporting events, dressed up with the theme, and yelled along to all the chants and cheers. I started wearing jewelry and dresses and skirts and heels. I put together a new cute outfit every morning and the other girls would compliment me on it. I said hi to people at school. I got there early to socialize in the hallways. I was the first to raise my hand when the teacher asked a question. I hung out with my friends outside of school and made lotsssss of new friends. I learned how to do my makeup. I started practicing my sports and getting competitive. I worked out everyday after school, lifting weights even if the basketball team was in there. I went to my first highschool party. I was super proud of my test scores. I enrolled in dual credit courses and began adjusting to college work. I smiled and I laughed all the time….and I wasn’t embarrassed to be myself.

 

I was finally confident in who I was, who Kylie really was.

 

It wasn’t easy peasy lemon squeezy all the time, I had uncomfortable moments where I retreated back to my safe place, but I continued to push myself to be confident because I knew there was so much more to life.

 

I never planned to become an extrovert, I never even had a plan, I just knew that I couldn’t live my life that way forever.

 

And now I’m here, a second year college student, and I am happier than I ever thought possible. I am still a little shy at times and I miss my home but I am thriving.

 

Now I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to be an introvert because some of my best memories were made during those stages in my life, what I am saying is that it’s never too late to change who you want to be.

 

I accomplished the impossible and I love myself for it. I love every bit of this beautiful journey my life has been and I wouldn’t go back and change it even if I could. I encourage everyone to step outside of their comfort zones from time to time and say hi to someone new or join a club sport or do something unexpected, just take time to appreciate the little things...you’ll thank me later ;)