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  • In the seventh grade, I was asked to write about my special place. I chose the Japanese Maple in my yard. It was a beautiful tree and easy to climb. I used it for homework, reading, and as a place to sit and think. I wrote in my essay, "I liked it there because I was by myself."

    I've always been an introvert, happy to be alone with my thoughts. I've never thought this was wrong, but I also knew my life would be easier if I was the type to thrive on group socialization, if I was quick witted or enjoyed immediate interaction.

    It took me time to realize that I enjoy being social, but in a certain way. I need to ferment thoughts and look at them from every angle. I want true friendships, and true understanding, and long, deep conversations. But I also need my time alone, high in the trees.
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