My Story, Help from Love, Introversion, Becoming Famous, and Love's Cruel Sting.
Introverts can achieve anything
Can you imagine what it is like to be an introvert becoming famous?
Can you imagine being an introvert where you're in love one moment, and heartbroken the next?
I have been an introvert all my life, but my life has changed for the better. Suddenly I'm one introvert getting a taste of what it is like to be famous and freedom!
My Origin Story
All throughout grade school and high school I’ve been bullied for my stutter. The teasing was demeaning and just made me want to curl up in a ball and hide. That was when I found my passion for writing. Writing for me isn’t a chore, its freedom and a way to express myself fully.
For years I was under the illusion that because I'm not a fluent speaker, that I can't possibly do anything involving people or even holding a conversation without stuttering the whole time is what my parents constantly remind me. I say this as a rebuttal. How come I can rant about historical figures and facts till I'm blue in the face? The reason is quite simple really I enjoy learning, and memorizing historical facts. I can see myself rambling about them whenever the opportunity arises, and yes there are those times where I literally can rant for hours on end. The down side to this is most people tend to look at me like I have corn growing out of me ears. Especially on the bus when I break into the, "Today is the 16th, did you know that 150 years ago today there was the battle of..." see what I mean? It just comes natural to me I can't explain it.
Maybe I'm abnormal or I have a gift, either way I enjoy it. Regurgitating historical facts isn't hard to me; in fact it’s as simple as breathing and walking. History is being lost faster than can be taught. So it's up to future generations and historians alike, to take the reins and ride ahead of the storm to rally more support. Otherwise were just going to repeat the mistakes we've made again, this time with more devastating consequences.
Gaining Confidence at College
College for some is a very enjoyable experience, and for others it’s just horrific. I’m experiencing both. My dream as of now is to go into the medical field, and become a Physical Therapist. I’ve completed a full year of college and I understand the “college experience”.
The good being I’m gaining new friends and actually becoming more sociable (sort of). This has been possible all because of me talking a public speaking class. I for one should’ve ran clear of that class but I needed it for my degree which is most students reasoning, I also wanted to see how it was being a speaker in front of people. Unlike my peers which were talking amongst themselves constantly while they were writing their speaking notes for their upcoming speeches, were sadly shot down by my performance and my speaking notes that I spent two weeks for each speech constructing and practicing aloud in front of my dog, parents, and close friends. Every speech I was a nervous wreck walking up to the podium, fidgeting with my paper, and concentration on calming myself down. My first speech was atrocious. My stuttering took control and I barely got through my speech. I took up the entire class time trying to restart my points, knowing full well I went over time.
As I went to my seat I sat down and put my head on the desk, feeling like a total failure and a moron. My public speaking teacher, a devout Christian and minister sat next to me and calmed me down. She said, “James you are very astute of how you present yourself both verbally and non-verbally” she added “you have more confidence in yourself speaking then the rest of the class, despite having a stutter” I was memorized by her words, they were actually building my self-confidence when I was on the brink of dropping the class altogether. We came together before class the next day and came up with a plan; shorten the length of my speeches by focusing on my main points only, I would have a “buffer-zone” for all my speeches to account for possible blocks and stops which wouldn’t be counted against me, and the more times I looked at each member of the class without staring at my notes the more points I'll gain back if I lost any during the speech. The plan worked, and I was the second best speaker in the class.
On our commemorative speech I decided to wear my suit as it was supposed to be professional, I talked about my experiences from the first day to the last, detailing my struggles and how I overcame them with the help of my instructor as well as the class for their patience with me. Everyone in the class was crying as I finished my speech, and they gave me a standing ovation wiping away the tears. I was holding back my tears until I got out of class then I let them out, they were happy and sad tears. I realized that although I was happy I accomplished what I thought was impossible, it meant that the class and the experiences therein were over.
Some teachers don’t want to help you succeed, which I found out the hard way. I struggle in math and science, but my chemistry teacher for winter quarter really had it out for me. She wouldn’t allow me extra time on my tests despite being in my accommodations which is federally mandated. The professor refused to grade my tests in a timely manner, so I assumed I was doing well in the class despite not receiving any tests back. My final grade showed me that I indeed failed the class, and I was absolutely livid.
I met with the teacher with the accommodations director who defended the teacher saying, “…it’s not her responsibility to make sure your grades are imputed on time, it’s your responsibility” I was taken aback by this statement. I questioned, “Is this the protocol for dealing with students who have disabilities, furthermore she failed to give me back my tests in a timely manner causing me to believe I was doing satisfactory in the class when I was indeed failing” their response was silent just mouths agape. The professor said she had to leave and departed, where the accommodations director assured me, “James, you are right that it’s her responsibility but I have to defend her as well as you” I didn’t say anything on account I was disgusted of how I wasn’t even represented by the very people who are supposed to help those with disabilities.
From that point on I realized that there will be teachers who want to help you succeed, and those who only want to see you fail and destroy your dreams.
How my girlfriend helped me cope with my stuttering
We are taught that we should wait for marriage, and when we are financially stable then we can talk about having children. I agree that you can't be dirt poor and expect to raise a child in a well suitable environment, however is getting married young really that bad? The vampire teen drama of Twilight tells us when two people get married after the girl turns 18, she's pregnant and is the only reason why the guy is marring her. That to me is just absolutely sick and appalling. I love my girlfriend with all my heart, and yes she is younger than me.
We have decided to get engaged on her 18th birthday, and there's nothing anyone can do to stop us. Does that label her as being pregnant since were getting married so young, or is it because she's an introvert like me so we're going to label her that the next "Bella"? No. People need to get their head out of their ass and realize that some view things in a different light.
My parents have told me time and time again, "We do not approve of you being in a relationship with someone who is under-18" my response is usually dead silence, because I've become accustomed to my introversion. I bottle up my thoughts and emotions for fear of reprimand from my parents. Now I'm starting to put my foot down. You see my past relationships my ex's always used me and controlled me, and me being the good introvert let them walk all over me and did as they commanded. Despite my past, the girlfriend I'm with and intend to spend the rest of my life with, has given me confidence and a new found, "I can do anything" attitude. Our parents though see our empowerment and vision as a couple, to be "rebellious" behavior.
My dad and I get into arguments about my new found spirit which leads me to stutter constantly, my dad knowing this is my biggest weakness, constantly harps saying, "st-st-st-stutter James st-st-st-stutter" this only adds fuel to the fire that's boiling inside me. A few weeks ago I was sick and tired of the verbal abuse, I stood my ground and said, "I will not be treated like a child anymore, I'm 20 years old, and I have a girlfriend who loves me despite my imperfections.” His mouth dropped open and he swallowed walking away, mumbling to himself. For years I put up with the verbatim, now it’s over with I won’t take anymore.
Life isn't about how many friends you have or don't have; life is about living how you see fit.
Still an Introvert
I'm an introvert; however writing is my passion and is what I love to do. I could write for the rest of my life, all the while being content with my life. Many people assume that if you are indeed introverted that you are a; loner, emo, narcissistic, stuck-up, or rude. This is how society perceives those that aren't the twerking Hannah Montana's, or the dope smokers smoking pot every day to "fit-in". I for one won't submit to society’s impracticality of personality. I have a right to be who I want to be, if you don't like that well I'm sorry that's too bad for you.
Many people believe that my view on society is rebellious, and those who question why our culture is the way it is labeled as blasphemers or hypocrites. I have friends who are even extrovert on account that they never stop talking, but they are just so blind to all the oppression that is going around them. I used to be even a more secluded introvert then I am today, and that's in part because of my girlfriend and my new found ambition to accomplish my goals for her and our family we'll have together. I've been ridiculed by both of my parents and my "friends" saying, "You barely talk to anyone, and here you are inn a relationship with someone you haven't physically met? Talk about an introvert" those are the exact words I'm constantly subjected to on a daily basis. It hurts I won't lie.
The problem my generation is facing is our parents, and their lack of understanding that the internet is the way of the future. With that being said, more people are finding their significant others online, and orchestrating dates and/or meet-ups to meet face-to-face. I for one use Skype to talk to her when we can. The internet will continue to change minds and perceptions of those who are secluded, but enjoy their life the way it is. Opposed to those stuck in the old times, concluding that we must all be happy go lucky, smiley, social butterfly that can go out and meet other people at the drop of a hat. In this day and age that is not practical. I'm an introvert and I wouldn't change it for anything. I've met the love of my life, made life-long friends, and have experiences that will last until I'm old and grey.
Not all introverts are alike, and some despite popular belief become even more famous than "cookie-cutter" individuals. Believe it or not there are many introverts who have risen from the kid who gets picked on at school, to the hunk that's the next teenage heart throb.
Pawlik-Kienlen posted an article titled; “Famous People Who Are Introverts” here’s their list:
Famous Introverted Actresses
- Candice Bergen, actress, writer, photographer
- Ingrid Bergman, actress
- Ellen Burstyn, actress
- Glenn Close, actress
- Audrey Hepburn, actress
- Helen Hunt, actress
- Diane Keaton, actress
- Grace Kelly, actress
- Jessica Lange, actress
- Laura Linney, actress
- Gwyneth Paltrow, actress
- Michelle Pfeiffer, actress
- Julia Roberts, actress
- Meg Ryan, actress
- Meryl Streep, actress
Famous Introverts – Actors
- Clint Eastwood, actor/director
- Harrison Ford, actor
- Tom Hanks, actor
- Sir Alfred Hitchcock, film director
- Jack Lemmon, late actor
- Bill Macy, actor
- Steve Martin, all around talented guy
- Noah Wiley, actor
Other Famous Introverts
- Johnny Carson, former Tonight Show host
- Jane Clayson, host of CBS Morning Show
- Matt Lauer, co-host on the Today Show
- David Letterman, host of the David Letterman Show
- Diane Sawyer, co-host of ABC’s Good Morning America
- Barbara Walters, host of 20/20
(Authors Note: There are many more introverts that are famous)
This list shows that not all introverts will just remain isolated or secluded from the world. Being an introvert has its distinct advantages over our extrovert counterparts. Most often those who are introverted are more goal-oriented, and are able to focus on any given task and complete it faster than extraverts. Many people still believe that introverts have some sort of psychological disorder, which prohibits them of being sociable. That is far from the truth.
I will agree that those who have ADD (Attention-Deficit Disorder) which I for one have, find it more difficult making friends or keeping the ones we have. This is contrary to those with ADHD (Attention Attention-Deficit Hyperactive Disorder). These individuals are more sociable then their ADD brethren and make friends easier. What is increasingly sad is the medically community still considers those with ADD to have ADHD, this is total rubbish and is something I hope to change as an advocate for those with speech impediments, and those struggling with ADD and ADHD (What is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder?)
Pawlik-Kienlen, L. (2013, August 25). Famous People Who Are Introverts. Retrieved April 26, 2015, from http://hopingfor.com/famous-introverts-actresses-actors-talk-show-hosts
What is Attention-Deficit Disorder? Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder? AD/HD? ADD/ADHD? ADHD? (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from http://www.add-adhd.org/ADHD_attention-deficit.html
First Taste of Fame
I don't know how famous I'll become, but this is a start...
Fame to me is like the heads and tails of a quarter. Heads is; money, popularity, girls, and cars. But tails is; substance abuse, corruption, and becoming a sell-out. This isn't the first time I've been recognized, I'll admit. When I was on a vacation with my family, there was a stuck RV that was trapped in the surf on Ocean Shores. All Washingtonians know, never ever ever park your vehicle close to the beach. For those that don’t heed the warning, you’re just playing with fire and bound to get burned. That is exactly what happened. I instinctively started recording with my phone, and after the cavalry arrived "truckers and law-enforcement" the RV was pulled freely. I was frantically trying to post it online, since there were many other people also recording the event I wanted to be first. Which thanks to Facebook, I was. The video went viral in less than an hour; news stations began calling me asking me for the video. I gave a brief summary of what happened to King 5 News.
I had this thought while waking up the next morning, "I should put this on YouTube" Shortly after my video was live, a monsoon of publishers and news analysts came flooding in willing to pay me to show my video. I had people as far away as Germany and Russia asking for my permission to construct compensation with me. The first to contact me was Jukin. With the help of my Dad since he's negotiates contracts, we struck a deal and signed a contract that same day. My video is still gaining publicity even today despite being filmed last July.
As I look back at this early moment of fame and fortune, I noticed I let the prospect of becoming well known turn me into a monster. I became obsessed with the notion of gaining money from videos. I contributed this to the television programs we watch on a daily basis, showing us the glamor and stardom. No wonder our society is becoming more unsociable. My second brush with fame came on Thursday.
I had a strange vibe in the afternoon on Thursday, almost as if something really good was about to happen. I just couldn't put my finger on it though. Then I got an email from Utah State Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education department, they wanted to know if we could post an academic article for them on, "...the effects stuttering has on academics" I thought at first it was a hoax or spam. The website below her name led straight to their department with her name at the top, which corresponded with the electronic signature at the bottom. I pinched myself for disbelieving.
An update for you all, I just got an email back saying "...we're finishing the paper and will give you the first copy of it."
If you want to say hi or give me feedback, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Relationship Update (1/30/2016)
After seven months of dating Rebecca it revently came to a close. Arguments and misunderstanding ultimately led to our downfall, which I'll be honest I still have regrets of us breaking up. Though we had alot in common I feel we had too much in common. The beginning of this post delt with how being an introvert has made my view of women to be more cynical than most guys I know my age. This could be for a number of reasons, although the biggest odf them all would have to be manipulation with a side of sexual innuendo. Over the ensuing months I changed, and just by looking at the posts I made while we we're still together horrified me to my core. I was slowly becoming someone that even I couldn't rationalize with, I constanbtly lashed out at my parents and close friends, because they were telling me she's no good she's using you.
I'm sad to say I do like to keep the peace in a relationship, and I like to make sure my partners needs are met first and foremost while keeping my sanity. Lately I've reflected on this, and despite the abuse (mostly mental since we never met in person), taught me that I shouldn't be so desperate for affection. Instead I should stay true to who I am, and when the time is right a girl will accept me for who I am. Reading the Bible for the past two months has helped me heal, and learn that life isn't all aboout monetary ideals and accessories, it's about enjoying yourself and not giving your heart to every guy or girl who bats an eyelash at you, since that was me upuntil recently. Through reading the Bible more and understanding the lessons it teaches us, I'll be honest I have a crush on this girl that's in our Civil War reenacting unit, though I'm choosing to become good friends with her first, before I pursue anything that we aren't ready for.
So, there's my little update for you all, for better or for worse things happen for a reason. Rebecca wasn't the girl for me, and I know that God has plans for me in the future, where he'll show me who I'm supposed to be with. :)