November 24, 2013

Introvert vs. Extrovert

     I think it interesting that people like so to make ultimatums and generalizations.  I find it interesting and amusing.  Like Dumbledore said, "We have all got both light and dark inside us."  I think it is silly when people say things like, "she is always happy," or when people say, "If you want my love you have to treat me well." The thing is that their rarely is such defined things.  Who can 'always' be happy?  Who can treat someone well all the time?

      This is a strange intro to what I actually want to say...

     What I actually wanted to talk about (as the title indicates) is myself when compared with the titles 'introvert' and 'extrovert.'  Here is the thing... I wouldn't really describe myself as either.

     Now, I know that a lot of people would laugh at this.  However, it is true.  Many people tend to see me as the very essence of an extrovert.  However, sometimes I exhibit very introvert like quality's.  Sometimes I just don't want to see people.  I am often scared of people I don't really know.  Sometimes I am shy about talking about my opinions.  Often I imagine a 'social event' as just chilling with a couple people rather then having a crowd over, and even more often I'd just like to curl up with a book.

     I think it is interesting how some people are in fact definitely and most legitimately an 'introvert' or an 'extrovert' yet, even though most people seem to be a sort of mix, everyone is judged to be one or the other.  I seem to think that people are a good mix of both, and that how they act simply depends on different variables. 

     Maybe though, at heart, everyone really is one or the other and most people simply adapt so that we all get along better.  Maybe things are not as they seem, and the generalization, that English professors seem to hate so much, is actually very close to the truth.

     Now I have reached the place where I have gone in a circle with my thinking.  But, I remain firm in my belief that most people have a bit of both in them.  In everybody there seems to be a bit of the introvert and the extrovert, in general.  For what reason or how the pieces of both things come to be in people, I don't know.  However, I have a bit of both and I think most people do.

November 20, 2013

Being a Teen - Peers

     I find the whole idea of peers to be interesting.  I find it interesting that adults have this image of shoving a bunch of the same aged kids together and then "poof" you have peers.

     For me the word peer implies equal.  Now I'm not trying to say that I don't find my supposed 'peers' to be on the same mental plane as me.  Not at all.  However, I do want to imply that I don't think that peers are really defined by what age they are.  For me I count my peers to be those who have my same interests, who have similar personality traits, and those who understand where I am coming from.

     I find it strange that we are expected to have peers from our own grade.  I find it slightly silly that many people seem to think that age difference (or grade difference) makes somebody not your 'peer.'

     Now that you know where I am coming from, I will say that I have a problem with this idea that peers are your age.  I think it is a problem because in many ways it tells teens, who are slightly different then the kids they know their age, that something is wrong with how they think.  Or, not necessarily wrong, but that they have to change if they want to get along with their 'peers.'

     I think that most of the pressure we have as teens to 'fit in' comes from the fact that we feel that those our age must be our peers.  If we don't think conventionally then we think something is wrong.  I think that people have this inner source that makes them desire other peoples company.  We all desire to have peers.  But, I think that the idea that this urge and desire should lead us only to people are own age... its silly.

     For a little while, when I was in Maryland, I was in a homeschool girl scout troop.  It was really fun until the girls all hit about 9, or 10. Suddenly we had the outgoing girls being 'popular.' The shy girls formed their own group, and the girls in-between just got to do whatever they wanted.  It was strange to watch as the in-between girls slowly made themselves more outgoing or more shy. It was a barely noticeable change, but I saw it. They changed because they knew who their 'peers' were, and they wanted to fit in and to be good friends with them.

     I never fit in with either group really. I never wanted to. I had friends in both groups and I was fine with hanging with all of them.  I stayed true to who I knew my real peers were in the beginning.

      I think people should change their image of peers. We should stop thinking that peers are our age, and start thinking more along the lines of peers being those like us.

November 19, 2013

Being a Teen - the Socialization Question

     I find school to be an interesting subject. Especially all of the common Homeschooling misconceptions.  I mean, who decided that sitting in the same building for 7 or 8 hours makes you social?  I just find some conceptions of homeschooling ridiculous.  Who decided that just because you choose to do school at home you are not an outgoing person?

     Once when I was figuring out what sarcasm was and how to use it, I heard my mom and one of her friends talking.  It was at a soccer game and I was waiting for my team to need me on the field.

     The woman talking to my mom turned to me and asked, "So your homeschooled.  What do you do?  How does socialization work?"  I just looked at her for a moment, thinking about how much how I hated the socialization questions.

     After a moment of thought I looked her right in the eye and said, "Well, pretty much my mom just locks me up in the basement. That definitely explains why I am here."  I got called into the game and that was that.  But before I left I got to see her startled face.  I really think she thought there was truth to what I said.

     Ah, that story is always fun for me to remember... Anywho.  I think that peoples conception of school is entertaining.  I find it interesting that parents, when confronted with the fact that I am homeschooled always seem to ask about my social skills.  I have rarely been asked, "So what subjects are you doing this year?" "What grade are you in?" or even, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

     I remember being at play-groups as a little girl and when adults asked my peers about school they always seemed to ask, "So what do you want to be when you grow up?" but when they talked to me and then found out I was homeschooled they would go to my mom and ask about my "socialization." Now that I am thinking about this... perhaps it was because I am too outgoing... (?)

     The thing is that this apparent worry over the matter of being able to conduct yourself like a normal human being seems to eclipse academia in most, if not all, parents minds.

     Thus I leave you with a question.  Are those big building called schools, where teens and children sit for hours, and learn to worry about things that aren't real (like how they are dressing, doing their makeup, how their hair looks, and which group they are in) truly the place where kids will learn to be an asset to the world around them, and where they will learn what being a human, and being 'socialized' really is?

November 13, 2013

Being a Teen

     Sometimes, I think, it is hard for teenagers to figure out what we are doing.  We are children in so many ways, and yet some of us look like adults.  We feel grown-up, yet to our parents we still are dependent and naive.  We are stuck in this middle land wedged awkwardly between childhood and adulthood.  We want so much, yet we don't know the right way to go about getting what we want half of the time.

     I find myself wondering, When does this end?  When does the full metamorphosis from dependent to independent being happen?

     I look at those around me and realize that there is no real answer to this.  It is so personal, so individual, and so undefined that it almost is like a mirage.  However, teenage-hood is definitely something that is real.  Whether it is real due to culture, or because it is natural, I don't know.  However, whatever it is that makes it real, it doesn't matter.  What matters is how it will work for me.  (Maybe that was a self-centered teenage thought...)

     What am I doing with these teenage years?  Am I trying to become an adult, or am I just waiting for it to come?  What am I doing?  I try to answer these questions everyday.  But, everyday I look around me and see something that I don't believe in.

      Parents seem to think that teenagers are irresponsible, careless, and do whatever they want.  The world seems to want to let us, as teenagers (and young adults), to simply be.  So many more seem to being not only allowed to do whatever, but almost encouraged. Its like society wants us to be mindless.

     But, personally, I want to be working to be the best person I can be.  Not necessarily striving to be an adult, but striving to become somebody who can grow into a responsible human being.  I am trying hard to be somebody who I would admire.  I am trying so hard, yet from outside I feel this pressure to not be who I want to be.  It is strange and almost jarring.  Luckily I have parents and have chosen friends who seem to support me in being me, and becoming who I desire to be.

     If only the world realized that teens have minds.  Even if they aren't the same as adults minds, they still exists.