Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Post Four—Introversion

So sometimes I crack myself up.  This time is more of an eye roller type crackup.  I had intended to write every day and already I think it's been like a week since I wrote.  I've THOUGHT about writing lots of times but just haven't.  Too bad thinking doesn't count as doing.

So I was reading something today about introverts that was interesting.  Basically it said that introverts enjoy large periods of time alone.  Sometimes large periods of unstructured time, doing whatever they choose, even if it's nothing.  The author was saying that this kind of time where other people would consider it nothing is something to her.  The reason this hit me so strongly is that over the last three years, since I've been living with my parents again, my mother is convinced I'm "hiding" in my room.  I'll be the first to admit that there have been times—more than I can count or care to even admit to—that I have been depressed and wanted to stay in bed.  But there are also a lot of times that I am just spending unstructured alone time.  Because that's my favorite kind of time to spend.  I prefer to mess around on my laptop and watch reruns of crime dramas.  My mom had me convinced that meant I was a loser who had dropped out of life.  Heh, turns out I'm just an introvert.

The fact I'm an introvert should be no surprise.  On the Meyers-Briggs, I have always tested as being introverted.  I hate large gatherings where I know few people; I've always preferred smaller get togethers with people that I know well.  I have a few close friends that I love dearly, although I have grown in my ability to keep contact with folks I have known for awhile and do enjoy hearing about them.  I do some extroverted activities in teaching—working with and lecturing to college students and adult teachers is NOT an easy task when your idea of a fun time is...well, messing on the laptop and watching crime dramas!  But the important difference, the author pointed out, is we take extroversion on our own terms.  I'm extroverted when I've chosen to be—when I choose to offer a class to parents, or I choose to teach a course in my field.  The majority of my experiences are not ones that I enjoy extroversion.

Holiday parties are such a mix of desires for me.  I want so much to be invited, to attend, to be the belle of the ball.  At the same time, when I attend a party I absolutely freeze up.  I can't think of a thing to say.  I feel as though it's the most awkward situation possible.  When I was younger and had roommates, we would occasionally host a party.  Alcohol made it easier to feel less awkward.  Still, I would prefer the company of a small intimate group of friends.  During my first year of teaching public school, I developed a group exactly like this.  We would go out every Friday afternoon for drinks and occasionally dinner.  I grew to love these people tremendously.  They helped me through a difficult teaching year and were a wonderful support system.

Even now, I go to the movies with one person, go to dinner with one or two people, spend the majority of my time with my family.  Sometimes I do wonder if it means there's something wrong with me.  I guess if it made me unhappy the answer might be yes.  But since it doesn't seem to, I think it makes the answer that I'm an introvert...and enjoy it.

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