When I was young, introversion was my burden.
When I was young, my introversion was an obstacle. It painted my existence in drudgery and despair. It was like a blanketing disease of the soul.
Constantly, a battle with myself. Introversion, nameless and faceless, crucified me and I didn’t know what it was that wielded such a cruel ax over me, in plain sight. I blamed myself.
When I was young, introversion was self-directed limitation and helplessness. I ascribed my retreating nature to an emotional pathology that needed to be overcome. I sought therapy, to become a strong talker, to become a rambunctious cretin of Western civilization, one which rewards cretins.
I was an introvert, and thus, incapable of cretinous behavior or thought.
As I grew older, introversion, still an obstacle, showed no signs of abating. I sought to overcome it still.
Now I drank. And lived dangerously, straddling the Edge.
To defeat the beast of introversion, for I believed, without a doubt, in Western society’s castigation that introversion was the incorrect way, that it was a flaw requiring solving and inoculation. I too, like everyone else, believed that introversion was something to be defeated and repulsed, and that with enough therapy and self-help intervention, that I too could overcome it and be “normal.”
When did this begin to end?
When did my old pattern of unthinking thinking begin to wane? When did I finally realize that introversion is not good, or bad, or up, or down, or light or dark; that introversion simply is. It is a description that holds no value other than what we endow it with from the perspective of our American paradigm of loud, bloated superficiality.
I began to see introversion for what it was: a quality, and nothing else. A quality that required neither apology nor escape.
I learned to embrace and understand my introversion while accepting that it was an integral part of me and that all my circle of self-defining thoughts and limitations must be necessarily defined within the context of my introversion. I learned that introversion was the bedrock of my character and it must take a back seat to no one and nothing.
All that defines and shapes my existence must now be molded to suit my introversion, not the other way around. My introversion would never bend or wane around the superfluous expectations of my peers or society.
My introversion was my strength.
Ostracization was my new partner, and friend; for a defiant introvert must learn to accept ostracization if he is to survive his eventual excision from an uncomprehending, extroverted American culture.
And now, my introversion is a force to be reckoned with.
I am not timid, I am not afraid, I do not shy from confrontation and I speak my mind freely. But I am an introvert. I do not like people and their vile energies, but, like a cagey interloper, I exist among them and humor their ways.
I come home at night and enjoy my vampiric darkness until tomorrow when I must confront and withstand them for another day.