Isn't It Always the Quiet Ones?
1. 1. a shy, reticent person.
So here goes... In true introvert style, this girl has two facets. Shocking, I know. There is the quiet, sometimes awkward, forever avoiding eye contact kind of girl that most of the world sees. Then there is the feisty, smart mouthed, heart on my sleeve, dancing anywhere, singing at the top of my lungs in traffic, camping in winter, adrenaline junkie that is me. Only a select and oh so honored few get to see this side.
Those whom I've felt comfortable enough to open up to hardly believe that I have a shy side. But any introvert will attest to the challenges we all face. We are quiet, yes, but it is rarely by choice. As a result we are forever being misunderstood, judged, and underestimated. Seriously, if those around me knew just how observant I truly am there would be mass chaos...panic in the streets! Ok kidding...sorta.
I spent the greater part of my life in a state of flux where no one knew the real me. I'm not even sure I did. Shoot! When I started writing someone actually came out with this little gem, " I didn't know you were so smart!" Ummm...gee thanks, Mom.
To be fair, I didn't exactly find my voice until quite recently. Growing up this closeted wallflower was reluctantly pulled, if not yanked, into the inner circle of the more popular crowds. It didn't hurt that I was into sports and cheered for years. My friends loved who they thought they knew. But throughout my childhood and even well into my adult life I amassed a pretty unique set of personal experiences that were somehow haphazardly strung together to become the complex mosaic that is now me. Some were especially viscous. Some were nothing short of incredible. But even the harsh experiences have the ability to shape us for the better if we use them for good. It just takes God and a bit of courage.
So with that said, what has me pondering all of this on a Saturday night? Well, I've been reflecting on just how far I've managed come out of the tough exterior I've built around myself over the years. What took years to create virtually melted away when I gave my insecurities to God. I take zero credit. The gift of finally finding my identity through Christ gave me a voice louder than I would have ever thought possible. Sadly this hasn't yet translated into my everyday life quite yet. But I'll get there. Baby steps...
We introverts are more known for our negative traits. I believe I mentioned the shy part. We aren't usually comfortable in crowds. An intimate gathering full of strangers is far worse than a packed stadium because it is impossible to blend in. (I've spent my life attempting this. The red hair made it virtually impossible). We don't enjoy small talk. It is literally like nails on a chalk board. We embrace deep conversations. We are easily distracted. Answering the door or even the phone (even for family and friends) gives us anxiety and usually doesn't happen. Sleep is a luxury. The continuous inner monologue in our heads won't allow it. Alone time is an absolute must. Public speaking doesn't happen...ever.
Yes, we have some traits that aren't always positive. But we also have some amazing qualities. We are great listeners. We are sensitive. We are highly in tune with our feelings and the feelings of others even when they are not. We are incredibly passionate. We are empathetic. We are usually hyper focused on the task at hand. We see things from a unique perspective. We embrace learning. We soak up knowledge like sponges. We are highly creative. In fact, creativity is a need, not a want. It is our outlet. Because we need to write our thoughts down to put things into perspective we make great writers if we open our thoughts up to the world. Transitioning from always journaling into writing for others came surprisingly easy for me. It has been incredibly liberating.
So fellow introverts, accept and embrace what makes you you. I'm learning to. We were made and shaped this way for a reason. We bring much to the table. Although there is definitely room for improvement and I'm working on it, I know that I'm ok with whomever I'm meant to be and that my Heavenly Father is pleased. I wasn't made this way by accident...and neither were you. We not only bring balance to our world, we are usually the quiet voice of reason. We are needed.
So relax, create, reflect, share your gifts with the world...or don't. Do what you were lovingly and purposefully created to do. You are special.