Some days I have what I call quiet days. This basically means I don’t want to talk, and I don’t want to entertain a conversation. I would just like to sit in my head, observing those around me.
When the people around me notice, they ask if I’m okay, if I’m in a mood, question after question to make sure I’m alright because a simple fine doesn’t cut it.
So I have to explain: I just want to be quiet.
They give me a weird look.
Some days I don’t want to socialize with anyone. I would much rather stay in the house, do my own thing without anyone bugging me to put a smile on my face because they’ve finally got me out.
Some days, when I do socialize, I become very anxious about the people around me watching. I can’t sit with my back to a restaurant full of people. I hate being next in line at a checkout, and meeting new people stresses me out. Call it social anxiety, call it socially awkward, call it shyness. This is my everyday reality. And I’ve accepted that.
I used to get myself all worked up, not wanting to say no to things for fear of missing out but being too scared to say yes because I knew it was out of my comfort zone. New people can’t seem to work me out, and that’s fine. They don’t need to. I am who I am. But that’s not to say that over the years, I’ve stayed the same.
No, in fact, it’s the complete opposite. I’ve started to settle slightly. Going out in crowds, while still stressful for me, I know that I can always just walk away if need be. I realized small talk is an awkward waste of my time. If I’m happy in silence, that is where I will stay. And if someone really wants to get to know me, they’ll make the first conversational move. If they don’t, well, it’s no skin off my nose.
These are all things I have had to work hard to accept. And I’ve done so because there are women out there who have done the same thing; are doing the same thing. They are unapologetically themselves, and that gave me the courage to start doing the same.
I’ve realized I don’t want to live a life where I push myself to be someone I’m not, to make others happy. I’m an introvert. And I’m happy being one. I still have a voice, and I still use it when the need arises. Although, people louder than me can quickly drown me out.
Introverted people are seen to be trapped within themselves, fighting a silent fight, always on the periphery. In actuality, I’m happy there. I’m most content in the corner of the restaurant. I’m most satisfied walking away from the crowds. Being my true, introverted self.
And so, when I reached that turning point, I finally felt like me. I’ve learned that those women I admire, who have taught me to just be me and love it, have gone through the same thing. A turning point to acceptance. And so, just like them, I am unapologetically me.