You finally finished Professor #1’s outrageous homework assignment that completely ignores the fact that you have three other professors that you drag your brain into the ground for.
By the end of the day, you are sick of the academic and social environment that college shoves down your throat. The unbearable Huntsville heat continues to bake you the longer you decide to walk around and socialize. You realize that you are getting closer to your “shutdown” and decide to call it a day.
Countdown to Explosion: 75%
Steam rises from the “Go Geek or Go Home” mug that you have cradled in your hand. In the other is a book. Right now, you are not you.
You are not a halfway broke college student who is unsure of your future. You are now a ten-year-old prodigy giving out tactical orders to your platoon leaders as you unknowingly decimate an entire alien race. Or, you are a girl who just wanted to save her sister, but ended up being forced into a game of kill-or-be-killed. Or, you are the Boy-Who-Lived, the one who vanquished Everybody–Knows-Who.
Maybe your face is not in a book. Lying on your not-so-cozy bed, your mind is in a state of harmony as you listen to your music.
An hour goes by. Precious silence permeates the room, leaving room for genuine thoughts, creativity, and idealism that seeps from whatever it is you are reading or having jamming in your ears.
Your Countdown decreases as the stress from the day slowly disappears: 70%……..60%…..50%…..40%…..
You are so absorbed in whatever therapeutic activity you are doing that you do not realize until it is too late that it will come to an end.
With a horrifying screech, the door behind you unlocks and swings wide open for Pandemonium to invade your sanctuary. The noise jerks you back into reality.
Countdown to Explosion: 50%
You pray that this relapse is only temporary, that you will be able to immediately go back, reset your “countdown” to zero, and end the day peacefully.
Fingers wedged between the book’s pages, you slowly twist your neck around to stare at Pandemonium with wide eyes. It’s worse than you thought.
“Pan” brought friends…ARRGGGHH!
Countdown to Explosion: 70%
They swarm and take over the majority of the already small living room/bedroom. What was once a reliable refuge away from the overload of social stimulation is now a harbor for outside voices, lots of random laughter, stares, and invasion of personal space.
You wish to banish everyone but you from the room. You want to take a tip from Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series and unleash the silencing charm “silencio” on them.
You cannot read. Unless you want to obliterate your eardrums and lose your hearing at a young age, you cannot listen to music.
The magical quietness that existed before is now gone.
Countdown to Explosion: 100%
You have just looked into the mind of an introvert.
Now, do not confuse “introvert” with “anti-social,” for those are two different characteristics of a person. Some people are both, but many are one or the other.
Dictionaries explain that an introvert is a “shy person” or “a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings.”
As a proud introvert myself, I not only find this definition to be incorrect, but also insulting.
Denotations of the word “introvert” suggest that we are stuck-up, extremely anti-social, and are apathetic to the world and people around us.
To put it in simple terms, an introvert is someone who becomes energized by spending time alone.
Many introverts are actually very social. They do have friends, and you will see them hanging out at different social outings like parties, movie theaters, and concerts.
So what is the difference between an extrovert and an introvert?
The difference is that introverts have something that I personally call a “countdown.” Introverts can only socialize for so long before it becomes overwhelming and stressful to continue conversations and be around too many people.
No, being an introvert is not a condition, nor is it a weakness. Introverts are actually very common.
Many of the world’s most influential people in history are classified, in fact, as introverts. Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, Gandhi, J.K. Rowling, Dr. Seuss, Albert Einstein, Bill Gates, and David Letterman are notable introverts.
Without them, we would not have the theory of relativity, civil disobedience, Microsoft, Big Brother’s “1984”, “Green Eggs and Ham”, Google, and the magical world of “Harry Potter”.
Introverts are not to be underestimated, for we are intelligent, competent, and talented enough to change the world, for we already have.