On Introversion

Learning I’m an introvert gave me permission to feel the way I feel and to like the things I like. I never understood the appeal of crowds, or parties, or dating around. I grew up in a home with two extroverted parents, who definitely had an understanding and respect for my introverted needs. Maybe it wasn’t always as smooth as I would have liked, but I was definitely fortunate in that I wasn’t often completely trampled when I wanted something different.

I had a wide circle of friends as a child and a teenager. Things tapered off after I got married, moved a few times, and am now floating somewhere in between where I was and what I idealize.

But I wonder if introversion has given us a standard set of terms that we hold ourselves to. If it’s like a box that we try to fit into, because, let’s face it, that box is pretty dang comfy and cozy.

I’ve wondered if I’ve used my introversion as an excuse to just sit out of things, events, and cut off friendships that actually really matter to me. I expect everyone to be understanding and when they’re not or when those relationships inevitably dwindle, I’m somehow caught off guard as if I never expected it.

Learning of our introversion should be used as a gateway to understanding ourselves (and others) better, not as an excuse to bail on people. Though our needs have to be honored, that’s the only way we’ll function at our best. I suppose it’s a balancing act. And I’m beginning to learn how to manage it all.

Do you struggle finding balance between introvert needs and actively participating in other relationships? What things have you found helpful to balancing these different needs?

Color Connections

I’m really liking yellow lately. I’m not entirely sure why. Maybe it feels hopeful to me, vintage in a way, yet it carries with it the feeling of light and stability. I could use some of that, stability I mean. It feels safe.

There’s hope and new growth, golden without being cold. It’s calm, a color of spring, associated with joy and friendship, yet I didn’t always see it. It’s beautiful, musical, somehow I can’t explain.

It’s amazing how colors can influence us. Some can make us feel happy, some can make us feel sad. Some are tied to memories, and some to hopes and dreams for the future. So much of what we want can be seen through colors. I know that probably doesn’t make any sense, it’s just something I feel.

Are there any colors that you feel a connection to? What makes them special to you?

You Are Faithful

Storms hit. Thunder claps. And yet, I remain. Standing on the shore, the ruffled dress all around me, lapping in the wind, as if somehow urging me onward and still reassuring me that everything is going to be okay.

I don’t understand the paths that this life takes. I don’t know the reasons for all the ups and downs. And yet, I know that He is faithful. The One, True God, who always is, always was, and always will be. He holds me, He guards me, He frees me and delivers me.

I don’t have to fear. For His perfect love casts out fear.

Will there be scars, maybe. Probably. But you know the wonderful thing about scars? They’re evidence of battles we’ve fought and survived. Scars are no longer open wounds, they are proof that He heals.

He keeps us in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed on Him.

“Scars and struggles on the way, But with Joy our hearts can say, Never once did we ever walk alone, Carried by Your constant grace, Held within Your perfect peace, Never once, no, we never walk alone.”

Being Real And Unmasked

I’m one of those people who, call it naive or ignorant, thought I was fairly comfortable being my introvert self around others. “I don’t have an extrovert mask!” Yes. Yes I do. I do have one and I wear it a lot. It’s just that it’s so draining that I’m left silent.

It was easy to deceive myself because I’m so quiet in groups. I’m the person in the corner who never speaks unless spoken to, and even then I dash out of the conversation fairly quickly. (Yes, I have issues/problems.)

But then I was welcomed into a group of introverts. And the whole introduction thing went completely different than usual. I didn’t feel like I had to act or speak a certain way, I was just… Me. Now, I didn’t bare everything all at once, but I was certainly a lot more willing to be vulnerable than usual.

Then I realized what a blessing this blogging community really is. I have this safe place on the internet where I can go and share my thoughts and views, and whether anyone reads it or not, it’s the one consistent place in my life where I feel like I can just be me, regardless of what’s going on, though I don’t often use it to its full potential.

So thank you. Thank you everyone who has read my blog, who continues to follow along on my journey no matter how vague or repetitive I am. Thank you for accepting me for me, and encouraging me that who I am, introversion and all, is enough. Thank you for being that safe community where I don’t have to wear a mask, even if I’m unaware that I have one.

Isn’t it funny how we’re so much more in tune with others than we are with ourselves? I can tell when someone else is being inauthentic (at least in person) and yet when it comes to myself, I don’t even see my masks or know which ones I’m wearing. But how thankful and relieved I am when I find a group, or even a single person, who allows me to be who I am. And, as a side note, in these instances, I tend to talk a lot more. Ironic, isn’t it?

Do you have a place where you can just be yourself? Do you find that you talk more when you’re not wearing an extrovert mask?