18 September 2013

This is Who I Am

I have something to reveal. Those who know me well already know this, but if you've never met me, this may be a surprise.

I've always been good with words; I even call myself a word artist. I am a writer, a poet, a songwriter. I give words life so they can dance and sing. I sculpt and paint with words. Yet, I often find it difficult to find the right words when talking to people.

Ay, there's the rub: people. When I'm alone with paper and pen (or a computer), words flow freely. They may play hide-and-seek at times, flirting and teasing, but they always return to me. I express my innermost thoughts and feelings with ease. When I am speaking aloud to another person, words flee and hide themselves in the shrubbery, refusing to give me the time of day.

I am an introvert.

Is anyone shocked? If you've known/talked to me for more than a few minutes, you're not at all surprised. I've been called "quiet" by nearly anyone who has ever been asked to describe me; it's usually the first word that comes to mind.

It's difficult for an extrovert to even begin to understand an introvert. Extroverts love being around large groups of people—they find it energizing—and they hate being alone. Introverts find it tiring, even exhausting, to be around large groups of people: the larger the group, the more exhausting it becomes.

Some introverts love people, but usually we would add the qualifier "some people." It's not that we don't enjoy parties and group outings; we just need time alone to recharge afterwards. If I have to go out three or more nights in one week, I get fatigued just thinking about it. My favourite kind of week is when I go out once or twice (or even not at all). My favourite kind of Saturday is when I get to sit at home in my pajamas and read, play games, and/or watch Netflix. On Sunday, I go to church and often out for lunch with friends and/or family.

When I was a child, I was painfully shy. I was terrified that others wouldn't like me, so I hated starting up conversations with others. Now, I hate starting up conversations because it's just so exhausting. I have to have a reason to do it, or it feels like a waste of time and energy.

Small talk is the worst. Why does anyone bother with it? Most people who ask how I'm doing don't care how my day is going. They just ask because they've been taught that's the polite thing to do. And most people lie and say they're fine even if they're not. It feels so superficial to me. I can do it, but I hate it. Why should I waste my precious introvert energy on something so useless?

Image from http://questionablylate.tumblr.com/post/17227500725/my-design-but-not-my-list-how-to-care-for
My name is Esther, and I am an introvert. I like people, but I often prefer to be alone. I feel physically ill when people laugh at me (not with me—that's fine) or rebuke me. I like to think before I speak. I like change, but I'm not very spontaneous. I get confused easily. I learn new things quickly and easily. I have a very few really close friends that I would trust with my life. I don't fit the above image perfectly, but that's okay. I am an individual.

I am an introvert, and that's okay.

1 comment:

  1. Esther,

    What a nice post to introduce yourself. I'm an extrovert, but have my introverted ways. I'll be that life of the party, but when all is said and done, return home to my cave, exhausted, and wallow in the solitude as if I were naked rolling in millions of dollars.

    This post was so charming. And you do have a way with the words...getting them to like each other and work together the way you do. Come by anytime for a chat.

    M.L. Swift, Writer