For those of you familiar with ecology, you might recognize this from disturbance topics. The bottom of the valley is the current equilibrium. Everything normal and all systems go. Little disturbances like floods and wildfires might push the ball up the slope a little but it’ll eventually roll back down into equilibrium at the bottom of the valley.
BUT, have a big enough disturbance like a tsunami and the ball will get pushed up the slope and roll off the tip on to the other side. This will likely result in a new equilibrium being established, away from the original one.
So what does this have to do with me being an introvert? In my relatively short life span of 20 something years, I’ve probably spent 70% of it being alone or wishing I was alone. Not alone as in I did not want friends and family but alone as in I don’t want to be at this social gathering right now. My comfort zone was being by myself or with few others (one or two) reading or playing video games or surfing the web. We’ve all seen those macros and list articles about how to get along with introverts or trying to get people to understand us.
However, as an introvert myself I feel like I’ve settled in my valley too often. As I get older and have more goals and dreams I find myself stuck there. In my second year of high school I was pretty unhappy with my life. I had good friends and an awesome family but no matter what I was just not happy. Then I got an opportunity to study abroad. Being in another country by myself gave me a new sense of independence. I met students far older than me and learned so much about life that had yet to experience. For me, that was what pushed me out of the valley and over the hill. After that summer I joined debate and made a lot of new friends. I was even a part of the school musical my senior year! I found that I greatly enjoyed theatre and hanging out with people. It wasn’t that I disliked social settings it was that I hadn’t found the right people I like to spend most of my time with.
I’m still an introvert. I find myself lost in my own thoughts quite often and enjoying my alone time but I’ve come to understand that there needs to be a balance. Just like the natural environments, we cannot stay the same forever. Nostalgia is awesome but we need to take what we’ve learned and improve ourselves. I’m aiming to be a better version of me every day and so I know one of my flaws is isolating myself too often. Isn’t that what being adventurous is about? Finding something new about the world or yourself. My wanderlust isn’t due to me hating being home. It’s that itch inside of me that wants to find more about myself and about this beautiful planet we call Earth. I study Environmental Systems not only to make the world a better place than when I found it but also to understand the what, how, and why of our little Blue Planet.
Wow, I’m being really introspective at the moment. Must be finals getting to me. I should go watch some Pokemon now.