My Introverted Way of Life

Getting up in the morning is hard for me. It always has been. I remember screaming at my poor Mother in the mornings when she tried to wake me up for school. I slammed my bedroom door and yelled horrible things like, “I hate you!” I didn’t want to do and say those things. The truth is I probably wasn’t even awake. My alarm or a knock on the door had interrupted my peaceful slumber and I was just reacting to this betrayal. Reality starts to set in shortly after I wake up. I have to get up. I have to leave my bed. I have to talk to people.
As a child I played alone in my room often. My parents busied themselves with house projects and my older brother only tolerated me for brief periods of time. I had toys like most kids but more important than those tangible cloth and plastic figures was my imagination. I lived in a world I created in my head. Sometimes that meant I had imaginary friends, children, or cats and sometimes that meant I created a world for and with my toys. My stuffed animals were my students, my legos became an entire ecosystem, and my canopy bed became my horse drawn wagon. My room was and is my spot. In fact, I’m curled up in my bed, under my comforter, with my fan blowing, and a diet coke by my side as I write this.
In elementary school we had assigned desks where we sat everyday. They usually had room to store school supplies such as pens and pencils, returned homework, and maybe a snack or two. I became very attached to my space, settling into the chair and organizing my desk on the first day of school. When we had class activities that involved rearranging our desks I always felt a pang of anxiety knowing it would be across the room from me. When would I get it back? Where is my chair? Ew, is there a boy sitting in it? Don’t touch anything! My desk provided me with a safe, comfortable space until I could get home to my room. As I got older my space outside of my room became my school locker, then my car, then my cubical or office at work. When I got my first real apartment I remember feeling a sense of complete calm knowing that I was living alone. It only lasted until I realized I could hear my neighbors through the ceiling but that one moment was a great moment of peace.
Looking back I can see all of this behavior quite clearly but even in the moment I knew what I was doing. I knew I preferred window seats and that I valued having personal space. I knew I was not a hugger, that I preferred a quiet work environment, and that I liked to be alone. In college I would take a 20 minute drive after class or before bed just to be alone and clear my head. For most of my life I didn’t use a word to describe these behaviors and characteristics about myself. Now I do. I’m an introvert.
While I noticed these things about myself, I never thought there was something wrong with me but I also never embraced them as strengths either. Being an introvert is so much more than a personality characteristic; being an introvert is a way of life for me. I like to have my own space. Period. I love to take solo road trips. I need time to be alone, really alone, to think and process life. I like to take naps, not just to sleep, but to lay in my bed, in a dark room, to rest in a cozy, quiet environment. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I just think and recharge.
I don’t like to take walks in my neighborhood. I prefer going to the local trail where everyone is there to exercise. No one watches me walk by, no one waves a friendly hello, there is no risk of small talk.
If we are on a trip together I’m probably going to get my own room.
I’d rather you text than call me but you don’t have to do either.
I used to have near panic attacks when I had to make a phone call to schedule an appointment.
The ability to order pizza online without having to talk to a real, live person brings me great joy.
Self-serve checkouts. Hallelujah. Am I right?
Two words: Amazon Prime.
These are some of my truths. There are many, many more. Being an introvert is not just what I am, it’s how I live. It’s not good or bad, it’s not right or wrong, it’s just me. So if you ever see me at a party, standing in a corner, clutching a glass of wine, you can come talk to me. Just let me finish my wine first, bring me another glass, and ask me something real. Bonus points if you can make me laugh. You can stay awhile, until it’s time for me to go home, crawl into bed, and recharge until morning. Or afternoon. Or until I finish my book.



  1. Ramona Spires on August 15, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Courtney, I love this post because it is so personal. I can admit that I too am an introvert. I enjoy my alone time and it may take a little bit of patience to get to know me. But when you do you won’t be able to shut me up. I ‘m also new to blogging so I am still learning. I hope that my blog will eventually touch more people. I like to make people look at any situation from a different perspective.

    • Courtney A. Casto on August 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you Ramona! As a child I was more shy than introverted but I have gotten more introverted over time. It is so important yet so difficult to look at situations from new perspectives. It sounds like a great way to approach to writing.

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