I have come to accept that I am an introvert. It is the most dominant aspect of my personality and key to understanding who I am. I fully embrace and practice it quite often without hesitation or apology.
Looking back to my childhood I do not believe initially I was an introvert. Certainly not shy or withdrawn in any way, I was as outgoing as all the other kids. But that changed around the time I started Junior High School. Maybe my inability to deal with hormonal and other changes in my life pushed me in the direction of being a loner. It was a struggle as I clearly recall and resulted in my capitulation long before I graduated from High School. College was a four year emotional rebuilding process where I learned to function in society while beginning to realize the pleasure of choosing to be alone.
The stereotypical image of an introvert with her/his nose in a book or newspaper, listening to music thru headphones or out for a long solitary walk does fit me. Oddly enough I remember frequent interaction with others(church, school, scouts, neighbors, relatives) based on the encouragement and efforts of my parents, but they were the same people who provided a home environment where I first learned and for a long time practiced, until I was out on my own, being alone. (this was mainly reading, or inventing things to do, creating my entertainment in the absence of television) Reducing the needless clutter in life and focusing, really thinking alone, instead of having others tell me what to think brings a sense of calm.
Introverts are criticized for being self-absorbed. We don’t ask for anything special other than to be left alone at times. Just accept us knowing we come and go based on our own internal set of rules without asking anyone’s permission nor offering any excuse.