The Rediscovery of Self

In a seemingly unrelated turn of events, the summer of 2010 brought about unhappiness with my outward self and desire to fix it. During the time between then and now, plenty was fixed on the surface.

Weight loss gave way to higher self esteem and improved confidence. It brought about not only a desire but some type of carnal need for physical fitness. A urning to run and keep running–to feel that high over and over again as a result of achieving.

But at the tail end of the fifty pound transformation, I begin thinking about more. I’d changed what people see and I look pulled together but am I? The more I talked about my caterpillar to butterfly adventure, I realized that I was far from done.

Only the surface of what lay ahead had been conquered (quite literally). My appearance matched how I envisioned myself but now I needed to get to the bottom of my mind and dust off what had lay neglected for many years.

In years past, I neglected to care for my body (which resulted in weight gain) and had also neglected to care for my mind.

As it usually is, college was a great period of exploration into the writing craft and also into my brain. I vented through words and I figured out my thoughts and feelings in a way that I could understand.

I wrote about painful experiences over and over because the first, second, third drafts never seemed to say what I intended. I worked with the same ideas and learned to express myself in new ways, all the while improving gradually along the way.

But when college ended, that work also ended. When my assignments and forced writing was no longer there, my self writing vanished as well. I went years without thoughtfully expressing my inner self.

Because I was happily in a relationship, I figured that it was okay not to write. Getting out the pain and anguish was all I had known before so if I was happy, then there was nothing that needed to be done!

And how dreadfully wrong that was. Since August of this past year I’ve been rediscovering my deepest caverns of thought and experiencing highs and lows as I dust off something hidden away for years; never fully expressed.

As difficult as it has been to remember past wounds and look upon old scars, it has also been extremely therapeutic. Everyone has baggage and demons. However small each one is individually, they accumulate to such grand significance that it’s impossible to bear their weight.

One by one, I’m taking them down and dealing with them. I’m righting myself to a point of even-keeled buoyancy. When there is a smaller stack of burden to carry, the newer burdens don’t seem so bad. When there is less of the past to handle, the future seems brighter.

So when I say that I’m an introvert, this is what I mean. Of course I didn’t define what an introvert is, but this is what an introvert does. Catalogue and think. Adventure within thought and analyze. Thoroughly look at something, discover meaning and impact, and stash it away for reference later.

Having said that I’m an introvert has made me realize that a lot of people don’t really know what it means. Truthfully, I didn’t know what it meant until these last six months.

It’s not that I’m shy (I’m not). It’s that I gain energy from being alone and thinking about all of this rather than going and talking to everyone at a party. It’s also not really uncommon to be this way.

It’s not weird. It’s quite eye opening for me as I’m finally able to define how I function and how I feel in a way that isn’t weird or strange or a little bit crazy.

It’s none of those. It’s just me. And maybe you. It’s okay (and even perfect) if this is how life is for you.

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