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She slowly closes the door to her room and collapses on the bed. Their voices ring in her ears, filling her head.
“Oh! Are you going to the party tomorrow night?” “I’ll see you in school in the morning. Text me.” “You’re coming with us to the mall, right? All the girls are going to catch the sale.” Random chatter, other girls laughing amongst themselves. Nothing mean directed at her.
In fact, everyone takes pains to avoid her. Most think her sullen or stuck-up because she rarely talks with anyone. So she becomes a part of the surroundings, sitting there, taking it all in, but never participating.
And that’s okay. She doesn’t want to be popular. But sometimes it feels like she’s being blown over by all the noise, all the activity taking place around her. She has her own separate world, but she still has trouble taking in reality. She needs time to recharge from an exhausting day at school.
She shouldn’t feel the need to change to what people want her to be. It happens sometimes, though. She wants to be talkative, surrounded by friends, going to sleepovers on the weekend.
But then she reminds herself. She can’t suddenly go from introvert to extrovert. After all, what would a world be without introverts? No artists, no philosophers, no writers, no poets.
So she’s glad to be an introvert. She’ll do enough dreaming to make up for the other girls out there, whose eyes see only the here and now. But again, it doesn’t stop her from feeling a pang that, to be frank, there is not one person at her school who would notice if she disappeared.
She’s not friendless. She has two very good friends, people she can count on, people she trusts and talks and laughs with. They don’t go to the same school as her. They live in another part of town and she rarely sees them.
Then why is she so upset? She’d just like to have a normal life like other girls. To go on her first date. Go to prom. Not spend her high school years huddled away in her room.
She pushes it out of her mind for the rest of the evening and goes to sleep. As she is walking down the sidewalk to school the next morning, she is still thinking about why she is so lonely. She feels raindrops on her face as it starts to sprinkle.
It’s a lovely morning, she realizes for the first time. The sun is hovering in the sky and, even though it’s raining a bit, it only makes the air fresher and everything seems more beautiful.
And suddenly, with an unexpected burst of lightheartedness, it clicks.
She’s an introvert. And that’s perfectly fine. Even if she doesn’t have a normal high school experience, well…who cares? As long as she’s doing what makes her happy––daydreaming, wishing, and having the time of her life with it––it will be worth far more remembrance than a sleepover.
She understands now. Before, she was worrying about being accepted by her classmates at school––when all she really needed was to accept herself, just as she was.
Unable to resist jumping in a puddle, she laughs with pure joy and continues her journey.