The fresh sent of pine and the feeling of Florida’s tropical
breeze has represented a bunch of different meanings to me all throughout my
life. At times it symbolized freedom when I stepped outside and ventured my
large neighborhood. Other times it represented terror as I ran away from loose
hounds. As my life progressed however, things became less censored and the area
in which I grew up in has slowly become tainted by the harsh realities of the outside
It hit me hard, I couldn’t exactly grasp the sensational
that oozed out of my body. My hands trembling with excitement, the sun stinging
my oily complexion. This was something I grew accustomed to and also something
I never truly appreciated. Stepping outside was always a treat, I never knew
what to expect. In my youth, it almost felt like I was unwrapping gifts from
underneath a Christmas tree when I stepped outside – both feelings mutual. My
friends would wiz by my sight racing on their new mountain bikes to see which
of theirs was faster. Nowadays, those kids are escaping trouble, zipping
through the neighborhood on bikes they stole from a few doors down. A sight I
once took for granted, will never appear the same in my eyes and the eyes of
Being a product of my environment was never something I took
with a grain of salt. My environment was carefree and perfect in my young eyes,
trouble didn’t have the same definition to me as it does today. It’s easy to
look at my past mistakes and wish I didn’t make them. Getting caught for
sneaking an extra donut in my room form the kitchen seemed like the ultimate
crime compared to my perception of trouble today. In my neighborhood, trouble
is represented by a full block shutdown to capture and lock away murderers to
rot in a cold cell for eternity or kids getting locked away for grand theft.
This transformation donned on me as I got older and sadly it is something I
have grown used.
The transformation of the area I grew up in has caught me by
surprise. Think of it like a movie with no happy ending, the beginning is
innocent and hopeful, then the tragedy happens, the end. There's no sequels or
redos, life doesn't provide that option to its viewers. The summers have become
vacant and colder compared to when I was younger. My neighborhood used to have
volume and life, instead the streets are empty. Empty of people but filled with
a decrease in the air that is almost unavoidable to breathe in, violence. Those
who I grew up with have found better means of living and others earned their
way behind bars.
This is an old coat that you’ve probably seen me wear a couple
times around the college and in some classes.It’s my favorite coat for several reasons.I’ve had it since freshman year in high
school.But it also represents an idea
I’ve had about myself for a long time.A
misconception.I remember taking the
MBTI, an accurate personality test.And
what it came down to was that I was introverted. Almost all the way
introverted.And as my hoodie got worse
and worse and torn and worn, people would always ask me why I kept wearing
it.And one of my many reasons was “To
keep people away, because I’m introverted.I don’t like people or being around them.I’m anti-social.”I was of course, pretty far off on what
What Am I?
I came up with the idea that I was lonely and anti-social because of how
society tends to treat introversion.Because society and our school system tends to treat extroversion with
praise and almost punishes introversion.Extroverts are praised for being outgoing and talkative while introverts
may be pushed to the side so to speak because they are quiet and reserved and
seem unfriendly.Kids are urged to be
always active and always wowing a crowd.This is where the misconception lies.Most people in class have said that extroversion is “Being outgoing and
talkative” while being introversion is being “quiet and reserved’.Which is right, but it runs deeper than
that.Extroverts are defined as people
who interested in things that are not themselves such as physical and social
environments, while introverts are people who are more interested in their own
thoughts and feelings and less in social interactions. This means that extroverts find satisfaction and gratification from outside sources like people
and social events, while introverts find theirs through reflection on
themselves and their ideas.
Am I wrong?
Another question I asked myself is am I wrong?Because to reiterate, I was sort of taught
that being extroverted was better.Extroversion meant happiness and positivity while introversion was mean
and people hating.A flaw of the school
system is we’re taught to think one way or another, disregarding
personality.The truth is neither
personality is wrong or right.A common
misconception being that introverts are afraid of people or social
interaction.They’re afraid of being up
in front of class and giving speeches and have panic attacks when they’re at
parts or other gatherings.In reality
it’s not a matter of fear or emotion at all.Introverts just don’t feel the need to talk unless they need to.Otherwise it would be almost a waste of
energy for them, in the same sense that extroverts may feel exhausted or
agitated if they’re forced to be by themselves or away from people.They need to get out and feel free.Introverts feel free speaking and using their
energy the way they feel comfortable.It
has nothing to do with fear, the same way extroversion doesn’t have anything to
do with boldness or courage.They don’t
fear interaction, they would just rather do something that brings them
fulfillment, like anyone else.
What should I do to change myself?
Nothing.The truth is if
you are introverted or extraverted, there’s little you can do to change your
core personality, and you should never try to change yourself or ever feel the
need to.Each personality has advantages
and disadvantages and both can function normally in society.One no less than the other.It should never keep you from your goals or
interacting with people.The idea that
one personality is better than the other is a norm of society that isn’t true.
What should I do about it?
If you are introverted like I am, maybe being at school and around
people can be more tiring than it would be if we were extroverted and liked
being around lots of people or in a big group, and that’s fine.We simply need a little more prep time for
it.Especially for me with these kinds
of speeches.It may seem like this is
easy for me and that talking in class is easy.I may even seem extroverted to some, but it is because I practicing
speaking with people, beforehand and afterwards.I reflect on myself and make plans for myself
for what I need to do.Whether it is to
prepare for a speech like this or simply hanging out with friends.Don’t ever sacrifice your personality for
When dealing with an extrovert, try not to pressure them into
“coming out of their shell” or being more outgoing.Introverts can be very outgoing when they
choose to.It’s just not something they
naturally do.They may love to talk to
people and share their thoughts and even go to parties, but it’s just not
something they like to do.The same way extroverts may like their peace and quiet and time to themselves, sometimes.It’s like a natural habitat.But, pressuring someone to do something not
in their nature can be very stressing and exhausting for people.Telling an introvert that they need to leave
their shell and learn to be “positive and talkative” is wrong, in the same way
when telling an extrovert to be quiet and to calm down and stop being so
loud.Imagine that you are the mother of
an introvert, and your son’s teacher says comments like “Your child is lazy and
too quiet in class!He never wants to
talk to the other students or asks for help!I think you should have him evaluated, because he is just
anti-social!”It would have the same
sting as if you were the mother of an extrovert, and you were told “Your child
won’t settle down in my class and learn the way I want him to learn!He always talks to other students and never
shuts up!He needs to be put on
medication to help him calm down in my classroom!”
I Am Me, You are You.
For the longest time, I felt as if I was a bad person.I didn’t know what I was, I thought I was
wrong, I thought I needed to change and be extroverted to feel like I was
perfect.Like there was nothing I needed
to do about my personality.But it’s
wrong to change your personality and be something you are not.The focus of this speech was not to persuade
you into think introversion was better or that extroversion is worse.It is to inform people of what introversion
actually is, because of a skewed view that society has on it currently.Introverts function in society like anyone
else.Famous people who were introverts
include that Einstein, Shakespeare, Bill Gates.This doesn’t prove that they were geniuses because they were introverted
or not extroverted, but because you can be anything and it isn’t dictated by
one’s personality.And each day I
remember that when I struggle with my introversion and how I interact with
people.The answer I came up with to
describe how to understand oneself and others, is “I am me, and you are you”.
Do you ever find
yourself lying awake in bed during the wee hours of the morning? It’s at a time
that’s too early to get up and begin your day but too late to really get much
sleep anyways, just before the rays of early morning light come streaming in
through your poorly covered window.
It’s at these
times that I lay awake and think. It can be about some of the most complex
things you could ever imagine, or it could be about some of the dumbest. With
me, there’s really no in between.
One night, a few
months ago, I came to the conclusion that there couldn’t possibly have been a
beginning of the universe. I figured that Theists claim there must be a God,
because nothing as complex and diverse as our planet could just pop into
existence out of chance. Then, I figured that people of science claimed that
there had to be a more definite answer than a God.
objectively at things, I considered all possibilities. I ignored my own bias
towards science, because it would do me no good. Did I buy into The Big Bang?
Of course. Could I easily discard that idea entirely if I found a single flaw
in it? Without a doubt. And that’s exactly what I did.
There’s only a
few laws and rules I actually know when it comes to science and all of that
stuff. One of those laws is that matter cannot be destroyed nor created. So,
everything that is stays. Sees become towering trees by transforming energy
from soil, water, and sunlight into nutrients; which allow it to expand and
grow. Matter isn’t being created, just changed into a different form.
If applied to
everything in existence, there couldn’t be a beginning. The Big Bang no longer
makes sense to me. An entire universe cannot expand from and infinitely dense
point. If it’s infinitely dense, the universe doesn’t end. There for the idea
that the universe is expanding only to suddenly stop one day and start
shrinking is out of the question as well.
In my probably
confused and mucky logic, I came to the conclusion that the universe has always
been and will always be. Of course, it’s always changing. That’s never going to
stop. The universe can never be destroyed and it can never grow.
As humans we
can’t seem to grasp the concept of there ever being a forever. We talk about
it, sure. But we really don’t get it. We searched for answers, because we only
know of beginning and ends. We all couldn’t possibly be content with the idea
of God for forever, because it’s not in our nature. We are conceived, we live,
and we die. There is a beginning and there is an end. It’s in everything we
come into contact with.
What other things
do I have to do in the early hours of the morning? Sleep? Pfft. Maybe next I’ll
contemplate the meaning of life.