An Extroverted Introvert
People who know me would say, without hesitation, that I am an extrovert. The poster child for extroverts. I love talking, love laughing, love people. I will stand in front of a crowd and do just about anything. It takes a lot to embarrass me, a lot to make me nervous.
I always wore the title “extrovert” with pride. That’s how God made me. I am loud. I speak without thinking and get into trouble, sometimes. Occasionally, my attempts at humor don’t quite make it, causing a spectacular “wap-wah” moment for myself and everyone around me. God has worked in me to make me more aware of others, less self-centered; He is working on me to listen more than I speak. I am not “there” yet, as those of you who read this blog regularly know, but I am growing, hopefully, to look more like Christ and less like a complete idiot with each passing year.
But a few years back, I read the actual definitions of “extrovert” and “introvert” and it made me reevaluate the label I had always given myself. Extroverts, it read, are people who are energized by being around other people. Conversely, Introverts are people who are energized by being alone.
I love people. Love them. But I need time alone. When my kids were little, I was a stay-at-home mom (now, I am a stay-at-school mom). I loved the time I got with my babies. But once every few weeks, when Dave got home, I would go out by myself. Usually, I’d go to Barnes and Noble, buy a coffee and read a book in one of their comfy chairs for a couple hours. I only spoke enough words to order my caramel macchiato, then I was done. I’d find the chair farthest from any other people, and I would read. In silence. It was glorious. When I came home, I was energized. Ready to change diapers and watch Barney and play hide-and-go-seek. I needed that time. I still do. Time alone refreshes me, keeps me sane.
I am an introvert.
Weird, huh? But part of God’s amazing creativity. I know He has to laugh at all these stereotypes we create. He delights in throwing in people like me who just don’t quite fit those. A reminder that we are all unique, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.