An Introvert Abroad

Friday, August 21, 2015

So how exactly does an introvert function abroad?

This is something that I pondered for a long time prior to my departure.

I consider myself a true introvert; not just because it's the cute thing to be now (eyeballing you social butterfly frauds) but because I have been mistaken as everything synonymous with it: if you have never been referred to, whether true or not, as "stuck up", "funny actin' ", "sometimey", or "antisocial", you're probably not an introvert. If you enjoy "small talk" in any form, you are definitely not an introvert. If you can't do boredom and need to be around folks all the time, you guessed it: not an introvert. And it's okay bew, we can spot our own a mile away and we'll usually leave you alone.

I'm not exactly sure when I became an introvert, perhaps right after high school, which is the last time I was extra social with people. Anyone who knew me during undergrad or grad school would have likely referred to me as one of the adjectives above (in spite of being extremely involved in the community and holding many leadership positions).

Truly, like many introverts, I was wholly misunderstood.

I prefer my own company over the company of others. I'm a thinker, an analyzer of sorts, and I need to be in an environment that fulfills that. This is usually solitude. Even around loved ones and friends, if the conversation isn't meaningful (read: deep) to me, I disengage. I absolutely positively abhor 'small talk". I do it, reluctantly, often, but I'd much rather engage in deep convo. If you follow my Instagram account you will notice that most of my travels are solo. That is because I want the freedom to become totally immersed in whatever my heart desires, without worrying about what someone else wants. It sounds selfish, but I truly take the term "me time" and embody it. I'm supposed to be at a function right now, yet I'm posting this from the absolute comfort of my bed.

So, how does being introverted go over in a culture that is largely social and engaging? Well, it doesn't (lbvs). But as always I deal. I chat with people whom I actually like, and sometimes the chatter turns into real conversation. This makes both parties happy, especially me :-) I compromise by giving people just enough small details about me or what I've been up to, to satisfy their curiosity. Fortunately, this area is large enough for me to be a bit elusive to my liking without offending anyone. Do I hate people? Absolutely not. I am full of personality and will actually talk your head off with the right conversation piece, if you let me ;-) I have learned to give people just enough of me to be content themselves. I have learned that it's okay to prefer peace and quiet to "peace up, turn up" *womp*. I am learning that introverts are everywhere, and we're some of the most amazing people on earth once you get to know us.

Good luck pulling us out of our shells :-)

Silly shenanigans. Proof that I come out of my shell from time to time. 

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