I am an introvert, and there is nothing wrong with that in my mind.
I have talked a lot on subjects that pertain to my mental illness since creating this blog, but one subject that I have wanted to talk about is the fact that I am an introvert. I don’t consider this part of me, a part of my mental illness.
An introvert is defined as someone who is energized by being alone. To some, an introvert is someone who spends time in quiet places like the library or a quiet park. While that is true, for me I revel in being in a crowded coffee shop with my headphones on, music blaring, and my fingers tapping away on laptop’s keyboard. For me, I am defined by being alone in a crowd or in my own personal safe spaces.
My day is usually spent in my own company in spaces that I believe help me be as creative as possible. It is the simple things in life that make me an introvert. It takes me a long time to find a public place that will be safe for me to be myself, so these places are very special to me. My social anxiety plays a very key role why I prefer to be an introvert. Being alone is something I am good at, but it has ruined most friendships and relationships in my life.
One of the points of this blog is to analyze my life and put things into perspective. There are so many different types of introverts in the world. While I find solace in public indoor places like coffee shops, others seek solace in nature. The point that I am trying to make here is that, over the years, I have used the fact that I am an introverted-bipolar-socially-anxious-insomniac guy as a shield in which life mostly passes me by.
At my core, this is okay because of who I am as a person. I really feel reenergized when I am reading or writing in a place that I feel safe alone. But, there is a big part of me that misses exploring the real world outside my safe place. I would like to find more places where the feeling of solitude is amazing—but in nature.
I live in a great place in Salinas, California. I am ten minutes or less from the ocean, surrounded by mountains, and within thirty minutes away from some of the greatest redwood trees in the Big Sur area. There was a time in my life where weekly I would go to the beach and just walk. I had my favorite places that were quiet on the beach and I could just listen to the water.
Somewhere between being diagnosed with Bipolar one, social anxiety, and insomnia I lost the will to explore outside my safe places. One of the safest places where I feel energized is in my own room, and it always is my fallback spot. But I know I am capable of more than my special safe places, and I will always be energized by these places.
As I work towards my writing goals of finishing my memoir, selling my screenplay Memory of Shane, and writing the novel version over the coming months, I want to make a small goal to leave my house for things other than school or writing. I may write a poem in nature or in new places I have explored, but it will be because I found somewhere new to be the introvert I am.
Photo Credit: Thomas Kelley