There is something I’ve begun to realize about myself recently, a word that has crept its way into my consciousness and the way that I define my “self”, who I “am”.

Introvert.

I’ve been avoiding it – this word does not fit into the way I’ve always thought about myself, it does not necessarily describe the person that I envision myself to be. But it’s planted itself pretty firmly as part of who I am, and I am beginning to accept its presence.

I’ve never had any trouble making friends, or starting a conversation, or going out alone and voluntarily putting myself in a room full of strangers. I believe many of my friends would describe me as outgoing, sociable, or in certain phases of my life – “wild”. I have often been the instigator within a group of friends, the one pushing to go out dancing, or convincing someone to go talk to a cute boy. I’m not an introvert, I can’t be – because I’m an extrovert. But are they mutually exclusive?

Maybe they aren’t. And maybe “introvert” only describes one of my many selves. Because how else would I explain the many nights that a friend invites me out somewhere, and I make up a fake excuse as a reason that I’m unavailable, when really I’m staying home alone, in my pajamas, reading? Or the times when I’m finally able to extract myself from a social situation, claiming that I’m exhausted, to then go home and happily spend the next 4 hours wide awake and loving being alone?

I don’t believe that anything in life is black and white, and you would be hard pressed to find an absolute that I can get behind, so it’s no surprise to me that both “extrovert” and “introvert” are both terms that aptly describe “me”. And that isn’t the only dichotomy within my varied psyche, but rather it is made up of millions of shades of brilliant gray.

 

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