Introvert. It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. Don’t like people? Introvert. Consumed in your own head? Introvert. Social anxiety? Introvert. For the first time, there’s a widely accepted term that we can use to describe our desire to simply be with ourselves from time to time. As a pronounced introvert myself, it
feels good to know that I’m not alone in my feelings. Facebook has almost made it “cool” to be one! When I was little I was just “shy” but now I have a scientific label to describe me, and I know there are many like me out there! Science tells me there is! And we proudly stand with our introversion. Because it’s okay.
We can’t help the way our brains are wired.
But in that acceptance and self-understanding, I believe, that I have used this fact about myself, as a crutch. A crutch to be boring, to not talk to people, or to be lazy. I’ve avoided conversations with people, cancelled on social engagements, and spent all day in my
pajamas doing absolutely nothing productive. Part of this, is just me, that’s true. As a legitimate introvert, I derive my energy from my solitude: a good book, a meditation session, a Saturday at home after an intense night out.
But part of this, is me using this well known, accepted fact about myself, as an excuse to not do things. I don’t believe I did it consciously, but I’m fairly confident in many occasions I just didn’t put the effort in to do something, or to know someone, and I was at peace with that. Because…I was an introvert.
It’s me, it’s how I’m wired.
I couldn’t help that I had nothing to talk to someone about, or didn’t want to be somewhere. Us introverts, it’s in our DNA. I shouldn’t feel bad about that should I?
But if that’s true, if I truly am using my introversion as a crutch, then I am missing out on a lot of amazing things, experiences and people! That cold reality hit me this weekend as, through my tears, I sat in a church filled with people who were speaking truths about an amazing woman that was taken from this Earth far too early. A woman I knew and loved on a professional level, but not much deeper than that. A woman, who touched the lives of so many people around her because of her intense courage, joy, and love. A woman, who was so amazing, so kind, so faithful and confident in her relationship with Jesus that
she stood in death’s face and welcomed it…as long as her son and family were taken care of once she was called home.
On Saturday, I celebrated the life of this absolutely beautiful, courageous woman; a woman that I never took the time to get to know.
Because small talk is exhausting, and I was an introvert. It’s okay that I don’t reach out in that way. My brain isn’t wired to desire relationships in that way.
But that’s so unbelievably far from what I truly believe! I believe in the love and beauty of our world, far more than I believe in the ugly hatred! I believe that personal, fulfilling relationships are the key to long-term happiness. So why am I hiding behind my crutch
of introversion and denying myself the opportunity to know and love women like this? Kind, good, love-filled people?!
This weekend, I believe that Sandy continued to do her God’s work by filling my heart with love. I truly believe she was there, loving every person in that room as she did fully when she walked the Earth. She helped me to see, that while I may be a certain way…that doesn’t have to be the author of my story. I WANT to open up to people more. I WANT to experience more of the world and life. I WANT to be better. Sure, maybe it’s a little more work for me, but it’s worth it. IMO.
To Sandy, thank you. I didn’t know you the way I could have. But I’m
honored to have learned from you.