Sunday, 25 September 2016

I'm An Introvert; And That's Okay

After reading this post, which one of my blogging friends Nicole wrote, I felt as though it was right for me to have my own say on the matter.

Throughout my whole life, or at least for as long as I can remember, I have always been an introvert. I was never the sort of little girl that was caught playing in the park with her school friends until tea time. I was never the sort of little girl that would get invited to people's birthday parties either; maybe on a rare occasion, but no-where near as often as most children my age. I'd rather cut my Barbie dolls' hair, or take them 'swimming' in the washing up bowl at my grandparents house. I've always had a pretty vivid imagination, so I could quite literally sit on the floor for hours, talking to my dolls, and my teddies. I would also usually be found curled up on the sofa with a book in my hands, because I'd love to lose myself in imaginary, non-existent worlds, far away from the reality that I was living in for the most part.

I mean, there wasn't anything that made me stand out in a particular way. I was just an average child. I did have my own little selection of friends, who I felt I could be myself with, and not get judged for it, but that's often the case when you're younger. As you get older, and you start to develop, and change, things aren't always quite so simple.

I've always tried my best to put my education first, because at the end of the day, I know that's the most important thing that will get me the furthest in the future; much further than temporary friendships, and temporary feelings. Don't get me wrong, I've always tried to get along with other people my age. Yes, I may have been a little more reserved than others, but that shouldn't mean that my thoughts were any less irrelevant. I was always friendly, and I was always smiley. It's just that whenever the girls in my year would talk about Disney channel, and their own upbringings, I could never really relate. I just wasn't like them.

Even to this day, I still feel like an outsider in secondary school. I've now just gone into Year 11, and honestly, I'm just preparing myself for the hardest year yet. If I thought Year 10 was challenging, then I clearly can't even begin to fathom what I've got to come over the next few months. I've got friends in my school. I've also got friends in my year. You wouldn't think it if you saw me walking through the corridors at break, and lunch though. I'm often found by myself, standing in a corner, hunched over, my hands protectively clutching my phone. Sometimes, I'll even just sit in the toilet, as an excuse to hide away. Things shouldn't be that way, but the truth is that they have been before, and they may well happen again.

Whenever we had to get into partners for anything, I always used to be the one standing there, staring at the floor, because nobody wanted to go with me. Whenever I walked into a classroom, and everyone was already sitting in there, I'd just have to find a spare seat anywhere I could, because I didn't have a best friend that I could go with. Whenever everyone was sitting in the canteen with their friendship groups, I'd be too anxious to even walk through the doors, and buy something, because I didn't have anyone that truly understood me. I felt so lonely, and so terribly frightened. I couldn't ever understand why I was the only one, who was by herself. Why was it that everyone else had at least one person to hang out with? What was wrong with me? This has happened pretty consistently for 4 years now. It's no-where near as bad as it used to be, but it still isn't exactly great.

Loneliness, and social isolation/exclusion is one of the worst feelings in the entire world. Whenever you're in a class, or even just in the playground, you just constantly get that feeling in the pit of your stomach, where you can't bear it any longer. You just want the ground to swallow you hole, and never spit you back up again.

It isn't all doom, and gloom though. Things have gotten a lot better since the beginning of Year 10, and as I said, I'm now in Year 11, so maybe I am making progress, slowly, but surely. I do still have times where I'm just tagging along with the group. I do have times where I'm still too anxious, and claustrophobic to buy food from the canteen. I even have times where I still to this day worry about not having a partner. It doesn't mean that I'm a weirdo. It doesn't mean that I'm not normal. It doesn't mean that people don't like me.

Sometimes, you just have to be the one to give yourself that shove that you so desperately need. Sometimes, you just need to crawl out of your shell, and allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone. I know it seems scary, but I promise you, things won't be that way forever.

I remember when I had just started Year 7. I had just finished at a primary school where I was pretty miserable, and left out towards the end, and now I was joining a brand new, big school, where I knew hardly anyone, except one girl, and I was being bullied all over again. I felt like a tiny fish in a huge pond. I didn't think I'd ever reach the surface. I was terrified to go in, and I hated most lessons. I just didn't want to be there. Everything seemed so hopeless, and the pain seemed never-ending. I almost can't believe that I've gotten out of it alive.

Of course, I'm still at school, and I haven't left just yet, but I can actually see the light now. I'm beginning to enjoy my lessons, and I'm learning near enough everyday. Okay, I may not have a proper group of girl friends, but you know what? That doesn't matter. I have people that I can hang out with, go to the canteen with, and have a laugh with from time to time, and I'm fine with that. I may get left out, and I may go off in a sulk, but I'm grateful at the fact that if I ever have to stand alone, it isn't for very long at all anymore.

Even though I wasn't really a part of the blogging community myself when all of these things were at their worst, I am a part of it now - and I couldn't be happier. If I ever feel lonely, or upset about anything, I can just turn to my phone, and I'll be greeted by the loveliest ladies, and the most genuine guys. Whether it's through the group chat on Twitter with all of my #GRLPOWR girls, or even if a fellow blogger leaves me a kind comment on my recent post. All of it means the absolute world to me, and more.

Never underestimate the impact that one compliment, or one comment can have on someone, whether it be in real life, or through the power of the internet.

I just want to take this moment to thank all of you for everything that you do for me. Your kindness, love, and support never goes unnoticed, or unappreciated. Trust me.

Would you say that you're reserved, or outgoing? Have you changed over the years?

Lots of love always,

Jade xo
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