Back in Junior High, over summer there would be a hangout one afternoon a week in the Youth Room. This was my favourite activity of the week; I would come thirty minutes early, and happily play my favorite video game (T-Mek) for several hours. Occasionally people would try to play against me, and I would beat them. Usually, though, I preferred to play Single Player. In fact, when everyone else was talking and having water balloon fights or watching a movie, I would prefer to sit in my corner and be by myself.
It was wonderful, but it always left me confused. To be fair, the definition of a teenager is arguably "confused person between 13 and 19", but there was something more to it. In books, people would have such wonderful groups of friends. At school, people would have wonderful groups of friends. And I would try to hang out with my wonderful group of friends, and I would end up exhausted. I would go to parties and hide in another room. I hated meeting new people. I preferred spending evenings by myself to big group events.Why wasn't I normal, and hanging out with a big group of people? What was wrong with me?
It took me a long time to decide that I didn't mind if that was strange; I preferred to be by myself, and so I would seclude myself. I didn't know the term yet, but I finally accepted that I was an introvert.
I can't remember exactly when I came across the term, but the more I read about it, the more relief I felt. I was normal! Well, at least I wasn't abnormal. Since the definition of teenager is also "person who really wants to be normal", that came as a huge relief. It was okay for me to be alone, and need to feel alone. That was how I recharged. The problem was that nobody had presented that view to me; after all, an Introvert Club would have no members.
I think I may have gone too far in one direction. I started using my introversion as an excuse, and too much seclusion is bad as well. It's just a much easier bad for me to live with. So I forced myself to become sociable; I became a ML to meet people. I make myself go to YAF on Thursdays. I try to hang out with at least one person one-on-one a week. I consider this my mental vegetables. It's hardly my favourite part of the meal called life, but it is a healthy part, so I need to consume some of them.
Vegetables, though, aren't really commended nowadays. People don't understand why I force myself to do something that I really don't enjoy doing. That's a problem our society has; most people refuse to accept that unenjoyable things are good for you. The twentysomething Silicon Valley culture is all about instant gratification; the idea of vegetabley tasks is ridiculous. But I think I gain something from it; if nothing else, than an appreciation of my little apartment where I'm free from people, and a quiet afternoon in a coffee shop where I read a book. It's the little things that keep me going.
Dunno why I felt like writing about that today. I was thinking about it, though, and so it was a musing. Monday Musing, ta-daa!