10 August 2013

Since when did being an extrovert become so important?

I meant to write this blog post a week ago. And I really have no excuse as to why I never got around to actually writing it out. Also of note, none of the pictures relate to any of the written contend-- I just felt like throwing in some pictures of my recent trips to downtown SLC and trips to Provo for USGA.

City Creek Canyon and the steps to Capitol Hill
This summer has been a tiny bit of a snag for me. A few months ago after I had received my college acceptance and rejection letters I knew what I was doing. I was going to New York City and my summer would be spent saving up money and getting mentally prepared to live in America's largest city. Well a month later, that went down the toilet and my new plan was that this summer I would hang around home until school started August 26th.

(And this is not a 'woe is me' or 'my plans are forever ruined' kind of post. I've really become excited to attend the University of Utah and for Salt Lake City. But for my purposes, I need to explain the background).

South Temple, Salt Lake City
So my plans were changed. I found myself unemployed, with pretty much nothing to do. A million job applications later, I still have found myself hanging around home. My friends were off starting adventures in their new corners of the world, and my corner just happened to be abut 20 minutes away by car and 40 minutes away by train. And I was rather upset by this.

I wasn't upset that I had to stick around while other people were just starting their new adventures. I was upset that I wasn't out doing adventures with them. I actually spent many summer days riding the train and my bike into Salt Lake to go to the library, or to go up to the U of U and just sit on campus. I try to go to USGA in Provo every Thursday and I've been hiking with various people all the time. But honestly, it was getting really hard to maintain that pace of socialization.


So in my self pity and boredom I decided that I was going to ride my bike over to a park in Centerville and to build a small damn in the creek. Now, if you have known me for more than say, four years, then you know that going to creeks and building things in them is something I've done my entire life. 

And heck, I might as well show you! I even blogged about going to the creek before. A long time ago. A reallllyyy  long time ago. Like, so old that it was on the Original Page turning. So HERE is a post concerning my creek adventures and HERE are some more pictures! In addition to going to the creek all the time, another thing I used to do was go up to the old chapel in Tanglewood to play the organ by my self.

South Jordan Frontrunner Station
While playing in that creek the other day, it occurred to me that I used to be an introvert. I'm not sure why I had forgotten that, but it hit me at that moment that I wasn't always as social or as out going as I am now. Heck, I'm not even the most social person, but I am a heck of a lot more social than I used to be. I actually talked to Aerielle about this a bit today on our hike (which you will get to read all about tomorrow!). 

I don't think I was in extrovert to start out. It was honestly a learned skill for me. I had like one friend through most of elementary. Going to middle school where I didn't know anyone, I began to learn how to branch out and associated with different kinds of people. Going to high school and again knowing no one, I had to relearn how to do that all over again. 

Then I moved to Utah. Half way through high school and not even close to feeling ready to restart my social life, I had two weeks to mentally prepare myself in the art of socialization. I remember clearly sitting on the airplane to Utah thinking that I was going to have to change how I interacted with other people. Slowly meeting people through friends of friends just wasn't going to cut it anymore.

In simple terms, I had to become an extrovert.

Awesome BYU kids after a USGA meeting in Provo

If you know my mom, brother or sister, you might have gotten that we generally aren't the type of people to ask a stranger for directions. It's just not really our affinity. But after changing schools several times, coming out of the closet and going through debate, I had taught myself to become a more outgoing, sociable person. 

I was laying down in the grass just a few feet away from that creek reading i,Robot by Issac Asimov and I though to myself, "Since when did being an extrovert become so important?" Don't get me wrong, I honestly thing that nine times out of ten it will probably behoove you better to be an extrovert rather than an introvert as a modern member of society. But in this summer, I realized that a lot of my stress and anxiety was internal. I was frustrated because for the first time in almost two years, I wasn't keeping up the same pace of social activity that I had grown accustomed to. 

Parrish Creek in Centerville, Utah
But that was okay. It was okay to take a step back, relax and just sit under the quiet rustling of leaves next to a babbling brook. Now just let that beautiful mental image sink in.......

Got it? Good.

I'm not sure if this post really has a point. I feel like I was trying to explain myself in this post, and there needs to be some sort of call to action at the end. Well, do what makes you happy, even if that means it's okay to be alone once and a while. The world will keep on spinning and society will march on, and even if you haven't checked facebook for the past 5 hours or asked which of your friends is going to that concert Thursday night, you will be alright in your small corner of our beautiful planet. Because you are a beautiful person, and being an introvert every once and a while doesn't mean you can't have a social life. It just means you are enjoying your time to yourself.

As always, I love you guys more than I say, and if you managed to make it through this Goliath of a blog post, you are awesome.

Best regards,

A. Browne Sebright

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