I enjoy my own company-a lot.This is not to say that I terribly detest socializing. I just happen to have more fun either when I’m alone,or with very very few people.Coming to this realization was something I battled with for a long time,and I am still somehow trying to be comfortable with.In a world where extroversion is celebrated and introverted people are told to “stop being so shy”,or “be social”,I,as a born introvert,have struggled to fit into society’s construction of what a well-rounded person should be-outspoken,sociable,and of course,have many many friends. The fear of being tagged as “too quiet” or “not social” led me to start joining clubs and organizations in high school,that some of them,quite frankly,I didn’t care for.I preferred to just hang out with the four best friends I had all through high school,and build meaningful connections with them.At home,my mum would complain about how I was “always in my room”-which was true- mostly reading books or day dreaming. I enjoyed going to parties and social events,as long as they weren’t pain-painstakingly long and did not require too many activities.
Deep down,I have always been worried about how my preference for solitude is perceived.A choice to not socialize would be interpreted as me being lonely,sad,weird, or boring. This led me to overdo it my Freshman year of college,where every single weekend,there was no party I did not attend-trust me. I was so worried that people would think I was not “cool enough” if I just stayed in my room with a good old book,or a nice movie,with hot chocolate(which I would have really preferred),that I decided to delve into the “social weekend ” life . According to the social life handbook,there was something inherently wrong with wanting to be by yourself or to just hang out with a small group of friends,it wasn’t “fun”.
Trust me,I have a lot of fun partying.But I started to realize that there was a lot of unwanted baggage that came along with being something you’re not.I had never been a party person or even overtly social.Yes I love me some good time-dancing,a few(ish) drinks here and there,spending time with friends and making new ones.In my Junior year,I have realized that it is okay to not want to be social and go out every single weekend.I cannot tell you enough how coming to this realization this has helped me,because the source of loneliness is the feeling that if you enjoy being alone-there must be something wrong with you.There is nothing wrong with enjoying being alone or enjoying solitude-most introverts will tell you that.This means that when you do socialize and meet with friends and family or acquaintances- you really invest in genuine,and more meaningful conversations with them.By being able to embrace my preference for solitude,I find out that I spend time with people who I really want to spend time with,without the exhaustion of “having to be social”Don’t get me wrong-loving solitude doesn’t mean I don’t like people,or don’t want to make friends or establish connections,or that I am a “loner”. Embracing solitude means that I can choose which human connections I want to establish ,and that I have attained a level of being comfortable by myself. Embracing solitude is not something that is imposed on me,it is what I choose- something I enjoy.