I had a light-bulb moment when I found the above post on Pintrest. The more I read it, and continue to reread it, the more I saw myself in it. I'm not sure if I am becoming more introverted with time or if I am just becoming more OK with being an introvert. Either way, I am embracing my introversion and, ironically, wanting to share a little of it with you.
First I want to note that introversion is on a continuum. Most people have a little introvert and extrovert in their personality. Some lean more toward one end or the other, or they might veer toward one side or the other at different times in their life.
For me the biggest difference between me and my extroverted friends (and I tend to love extroverts) is that they get a spark out of being around lots of people. After a night out with a group of friends they feel like their batteries have been recharged. An introvert, like me, will feel the opposite. It is actually exhausting to be with a bunch of people or in a loud place. However, that does not mean introverts don't want go out with a group of friends. We just need time afterwards to recharge our batteries, which is usually accomplished with quiet and calm.
This is due to the fact that introverts are tuned in to more of the things going on around us. We have a hard time tuning out background sounds, flashing lights, strong smells, etc. My day at Disney World is a perfect example. I love the place. It's a blast. But, I was the only one out of our group of six to notice that there was literally no place you could go in the park where there was not overly-perky music playing (even in the bathrooms!). It is playing all day, every where, so most people tune it out. I can't, so by the end of the day I crave complete silence. I would never avoid Disney World for this reason, but I know I can take about one day of it at a time.
Taking in more information is both a curse and a blessing. People watching is incredibly fun for me, so I actually like being stuck in an airport sometimes. I go all Sherlock Holmes and take time to observe the minor details about people around me. I can tell so much about how they are dressed, what they do with their waiting-for-the-plane time, how they interact (or try not to) with those around them, what they have brought with them, etc. For me, these are fascinating character studies. (Although its really embarrassing when I am caught staring.)
Which brings up the other idea in the post. Introverts love to interact with other people, we just prefer a one-on-one conversation. I love to learn about other people's lives; really learn about them. I have no problem with the chatty person next to me on a plane, as long as they are OK with my probing questions. I not only want to know where they are from, I also want to know what it is like there. What are the primary ethnic groups, what is the weather like, how long have they lived there, and how do all those things effect their day to day lives.
Maybe being an introvert is synonymous with being a writer. I observe a lot. I remember a lot (sometimes things my friends and family wish I would forget!) But when I started writing, all those character studies, all those memories, helped me create a rich make-believe world for my story.
So, I'm sharing my story, my introversion with you today, because I have learned that it is important to open up and share with other too. That is part two (the sequel) of being a writer. You can't live alone in the world you created (well, you can, but it's not nearly as fun). When you share your story you get the most amazing battery-charging feeling of all, connecting with others.
Labels: introversion, writing