In high school, I was someone who was known for my calm nature, quiet tone, and introverted ways. I was never the kid to raise my hand when a teacher asked a question, I was never the person to have hordes of friends, I never was someone who was the “talker” of the group, and these things were seen as bad qualities to have. I have social anxiety and I find it hard talking and bonding with new people. I find it hard to speak sometimes and it even drains me when I do talk at times.
I always wished that I was someone who was outgoing, someone who did not care what other people thought, and someone who was confident and put themselves out there. That is, unfortunately, not who I am and not who I ever was.
Now that I am in college, it is easier to come to terms with knowing that I will never be that outgoing, loud, boisterous person who has tons of friends. I sometimes even found myself taking for granted the friends and people I do have in my life because I felt as though I should have MORE and should strive to be someone that I am not.
At the beginning of college, I tried so hard to push myself to talk to people, to show a personality that wasn’t truly mine, to act differently, and to just be someone that I was not. By doing this, I constantly felt as if I was an intruder in my own body. I felt uneasy and it was mentally draining for me to pretend to be extroverted and confident to others. Eventually, I could not do it anymore, so I decided to just start being me and I went back to my introverted self.
When I started to act more like me, I found that maybe I did not have tons of friends and maybe I find it hard to find my voice sometimes, but I have found the best people to surround myself with who love me for me. I do not have to talk much, I do not have to be overly confident or loud, and I do not have to be someone who is extroverted for my people to like me. Being me brought them into my life and I am going to continue loving myself and my introverted ways.