In the past couple months or so, I've come to realize something about myself that I had never consciously acknowledged before. It has to do with who I am deep down inside, and what my personality is actually like.....and something I'd rather hide.
Close friends, and even my sister!, have had similar epiphanies lately. They've humbled themselves and come to the realization that they're not tough, impenetrable, anti-social, whatever-else-they-thought-they-were....deep inside, they're actually emotional, sensitive, vulnerable, and soft.
And that is so wonderful! And it sounds so sweet.
My epiphany was pretty much the opposite....and that's why I'd rather hide it.
I'm an introvert!
Me? ME? I'm the one who loves people who are the life of the party, who always wanted to be the bubbly little cheerleader that everyone loves. I love the people who are always in the middle of everything, who everyone needs and who everyone turns to. And forever, I tried to be that person. Shoot, I still try.
But I never could.
Instead of being inspired, invigorated and encouraged after big get-togethers or conferences, I'd leave exhausted, run-down, and usually with a headache. Horse shows, teaching piano, crowds....I don't do well with them. I'd get home and go in my room, shut my door, throw myself on my bed, and revel in just being alone.
I didn't understand it for the longest time, and I hated it. I hated how when big groups of people are over, I love it and have a blast, and enjoy it, but afterwards, I'm so happy it's over. I felt guilty that after a couple days of a conference or church function, I would need a whole day to recover.
Then, I read a wonderful definition of the differences between an introvert and an extrovert........
and everything clicked.
They defined an extrovert as someone who gains energy from other people, and an introvert as someone who loses energy when around people. It was like a light bulb went on for me! There were actually other people out there who got exhausted when dealing with other people? It's something normal???
It's taken some time, but I'm learning to embrace my introverted-ness. It's a little tricky because I'm not the typical quiet, shy introvert. I'm a talkative, outgoing introvert. But an introvert nonetheless. I really love people, just in small numbers. A little get-together with another family in the evening....great! A big social event with lots of people everywhere..........run!
And talking on the phone? One of the most dreaded and hated things I have to do on a day to day basis.
And as I've accepted this, it's really helped me understand why I do certain things, and why I react in certain ways.
I still wish I was an extrovert.....maybe in heaven, God will let me be some little 5'2", bubbly, people-person who gains energy from big groups :) :)
Until then, I have to realize that He makes each one of us perfectly for the plan He has for our lives. If I can live like I believe that, then I can truly embrace my introverted self! :D