This post is more of me, to tell people that even an introvert can be an extrovert. Even an apathetic person like me can grow and mature. I am just average. I don’t care what’s going on around me. I have never been a public speaker. I don’t like being in front of people, performing, or entertaining people. I was and will always be an audience. A lot of people would love to have a conversation about social issues, political issues, climate change, etc. Nah! Not me. I prefer being alone, where I could talk to no one, just me in my little world.
During the lockdown last year, I got so bored in my apartment. I took my phone, just browsing it, looking at some photos of 2019 and later years, and wishing that there was no pandemic and no restrictions in traveling. Then, a photo of me standing in front of hundreds of people appear out of nowhere. That photo was the first time I spoke in front of people without making a scene. I have never been good at public speaking or whatever it is. Giving speeches is not my forte. That’s not me. I’m an introvert. I don’t like being in the center stage. Standing in front of people makes me sick. I don’t want to draw attention. That’s why I prefer writing because the protagonist I created is the opposite of me. I am always the protagonist in my story. I can talk in my story, the different side of me, the outgoing side of me, the extrovert me. But ask me to give speeches or talk to strangers, attend a party full of strangers, oh no, that would be a terrible idea.
When I was still a student, I don’t care if my friends were the best of this and the best of that. I don’t care if they outshine me in extracurricular activities. I got brains but I was a silent achiever. There were people ahead of me and I don’t care if I’m behind them. I was always in the corner. The back row will always be reserved for those students that were hardheaded, the bullies, the teacher’s enemies, etc. The corner area beside the wall will always be for those who just come to school because it’s the norm and that’s where I belong. The front row will always be the intelligent or the nerds. Center row will always be the friendly type of people. You won’t see my name being on top of the class because I don’t want to have the responsibility of maintaining the top one. My name will always be in between the 3rd and 5th. People don’t care who is the 3rd or 10th, they care more about who beats the top 1.
I hate debate. I hate the English subject. I hate the speech subject. I don’t like it if the Physical Education lesson includes dancing and singing. I can dance, I just can’t sing. But I prefer it if it’s sports. I can be good in sports, but I don’t want to draw attention, so I just let others shine in sports. I just want to be the support and encouraging my friends. Cheer on them. Though, sometimes I want to be like them, having the confidence to shine in front of cameras, in front of people. But I can’t handle it when people are staring at me. In English subjects, there will always a debate time and I hate it when I’m part of a debate team. Worst of it, I was the first speaker of opposition. I couldn’t rebut or defend my statement. And the next thing I know, we lost the debate.
Then, I finished college. I took my licensure exam in Engineering. I got my license. Then, I was hired. I got my first job. And everything changes. I started to have a voice. I started talking. A little step at a time. I’ve learned to speak. I heard myself talking. And I can’t stop talking. People started listening to my voice. I am standing in front. The shy, introverted girl has matured, and she learns how to be responsible. She unlocks the door of her little world.
And I realized that it was not because I was scared of people. I was scared of responsibilities. I was scared to go behind my norm. I was scared to be labeled a nerd, different, or know-it person. I was scared without even trying to take the first step. My fear of getting out of my little world, hinders me to grow up. I just grow old. I just keep on adding numbers on my birthday cake. My first job which is my current job trained me to be responsible, but I can still be an introvert. But I now know how to speak and be an extrovert once in a while. From my fear of talking even in the class during my student years to being able to talk in front of hundreds of people. I even gave speeches and spoke the language that was not my mother tongue.
When a person accepts responsibility, whether he/she is an introvert, an apathetic person, have a shy personality, everything can be learned, and we can open up. In time, people like me who are scared to even make a sound while walking in a corridor can make a difference and we will be able to mature like the story we created. We could play the role of the protagonist if we accept the reality of responsibility, but we could still keep who we are.
Some grow fast. Some are late bloomers. Some are still in their shell. Some are still hiding in their closet. But time helps. Some say that time doesn’t wait. But time waits for us, we just keep on pressing the snooze button and ignore it. Time is waiting for us to wake up, not patiently but aggressively depending on the sound of the alarm but it waits. It waits for us to mature, to bloom into a beautiful flower, have wings like a butterfly and start to fly and find the best place to excel. Like a newborn bird who is learning how to use her wings, we could slowly start opening our door, feel the sun, accept the burden of responsibility, strong enough to mature, and blooms like Sakura in the Spring season. We have the time to prepare to dance in the center stage.