Mexico 2004

How I know I’m an introvert

I’ve known for quite awhile that I’m an introvert. As a kid, I was often called “shy” or “a snob.” But, as I got older (and after the Myers-Briggs confirmed what I already knew) I finally had a name for who I was. It was refreshing to find that there wasn’t anything wrong with who I was.

introvert text

Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t know if they’re introverted or extroverted. I don’t believe that anyone is 100% on either side of the coin, but here’s a list of my personality quirks that are aligned with introvertedness.

So, you think you’re an introvert…

I’m a planner. I live and die by my calendar–my paper and pen calendar, none of this iPhone calendar app nonsense. I always have running lists and to-do’s ongoing in my various notebooks. I rarely can handle flying by the seat of my pants. It stresses me out. I need to know what to expect and plan accordingly.

I’m a writer. Writing is the best way that I know how to express myself. If we were to have a face to face conversation, I’d either clam up or fumble and stutter my way through. I’m just not articulate on my feet, but given a few extra seconds to backspace through a poorly-chosen word or colloquialism, I’m much better.

I have lots of extroverted friends. If I was friends with only quiet, reserved people, I’d be bored out of my mind. I greatly enjoy being around people who keep the conversation flowing, laugh loudly at my under-the-breath remarks and get the party properly started.

I crave alone time. Being in a large crowd, mixing and mingling and having to be “on” for long periods of time stresses me out. This is not to say that I can’t do it. I can host a party for 50 like a champ, but after being in a situation like that, I need to “actively introvert.” Actively introverting for me, looks like hanging out in my room alone (except with a cat or two and the dog), watching trashy tv and regrouping. Another way I like to reboot is by going to Target alone. I don’t mind being around people when I’m “actively introverting,” but I just don’t want to have to interact with them too much.

Crowds aren’t my favorite. Being in a large crowd, with people invading my personal space all willy-nilly, drives me insane. I’ve been to many concerts, where you’re packed into the venue like sardines, and inevitably, the girl next to me has long hair that she keeps tossing in my direction. Her hair gets stuck in my lip gloss and that almost sends me straight over the edge. (It’s one thing for your OWN hair to get stuck in your lip gloss. Totally different situation when SOMEONE ELSE’S hair gets stuck in your lip gloss.)

Meeting new people is awkward. You see, I really super-suck at small talk. I either don’t ask enough questions (which comes across as aloof and uncaring) or I go too deep, too soon (which…well, creepy). The pleasantries of “where do you live?” “how old are your kids?” “what do you do?” wears thin with me quickly. I tend to either not ask those important things or dive immediately into questions like, “did you have a vaginal birth or a c-section?” Inappropriate. But, those are the things I want to know…not how long you’ve lived here.

Go around room...

These are only a few of the traits that I have that would fall on the “introvert spectrum“–which I’m calling a thing, whether it is or not. I have others but…guess what? I also have some extrovert characteristics too.  Luckily, we’re not all made by a cookie cutter and we’re each unique and quirky.

So, tell me…what traits do you have that are introvert or extrovert?

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Mexico 2004

It’s a sign

I recently gave my notice at my part-time job. Since last fall, I’ve worked at a clothing and home decor boutique near my kids’ school. The job was great and was working out nicely for me…until it wasn’t anymore. Then, I felt the pull to begin sharing my story here on An Introvert’s Guide to Sobriety and my heart and my head were suddenly elsewhere.

Nevertheless, giving my notice and giving up a job that I enjoyed has been a little heart-wrenching for me–not to mention losing the interactions with the people whom I’ve formed  friendships with there (as well as a little extra money to add to our bank account every month). There’s a definite feeling of “am I crazy to ditch this job for the unknown?” and my feelings have vacillated between excitement for what I can do with this blog and fear of change and failure. So, all of these feelings have been cycling through my head this week.

Then, today, I was working on some merchandising at the store–moving stuff around–and BONK! Something hit me on the head.

Embrace Change

This sign fell off the wall and bonked me straight up’side my head. If that wasn’t a “sign,” (see, it’s funny because it is a LITERAL SIGN…get it?) I don’t know what is.

Many times we fear change…and I’m the worst offender. I’m such a stickler for routine that I will rarely even consider taking a different route to the grocery store. Why is that? Are we afraid that making a change will upset the order in our lives? What if making a change could make things easier or more fulfilling?

Six years ago, I feared the change that giving up alcohol would bring to my life. I had established a little routine around my drinking and it wasn’t comfortable at all to give that up. I took away my favorite parachute and it was super scary. But I’m so happy that I had the courage to make the change.

I know that quitting my job will leave me feeling a little lost at times; and sharing my story here is pushing myself way out of my comfort zone for sure. It’s never easy to force ourselves out of the comfort of a routine but I hope that you’ll embrace a little change in your own life, along with me.

People resist change...

Are you currently resisting change? Why? What do you have to lose? What do you have to gain? 

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