So…

I can’t draw people. My perfectionist personality will not allow me to produce or show you any attempts so far on The Last Call, BUT I’M WORKING ON IT. It’s SO hard. Please give me patience.

In the mean time, I’ve been on a sort of journey of self discovery, and guess what? I’m an introvert. Huffington Post did a blog about 23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert, and instead of turning it into one of those MySpace surveys we all did way back when, I’ll just give you my thoughts while reading the article. I matched 20 out of 23 signs.

One of the things I noted was the importance of “Quiet Time” for an introvert. I often go through periods where I need an intense amount of alone or quiet time, but I always need a little of it. You call it time to unwind from the day or zone out in front of the tv. I need the tv on in the background with a solitaire puzzle in front of me to occupy the creative and analytical sides of my brain while the emotional works some things out and re-charges. Or a good book out on the porch, and music on in the background. It keeps my disposition sunny.  It helps me be better equipped to deal with the emotions of the people around me. I’m very empathetic, and if I let it, the emotions of a passing stranger can effect me for hours afterwards.

What strikes me even more is that we are all taught to have quiet time from an early age. In kindergarten class, quiet time my safe-haven.  I used the combined quiet and naps times (I rarely take naps despite recent tweets to the contrary), to tell myself stories or work through problems of the day. I wonder if this practice was developed with introverted children in mind, knowing that they need time to re-charge and don’t have the wherewithal to say so.  As an older child I frequently used lunches as time to withdraw, making myself an outsider. Perhaps this could’ve been avoided with a free period.

I literally begin to shut down if I go for too long a period without alone or quiet time. I get cranky. Not that people can’t be around me, but I can’t be required to talk to them or exist outside of my own head sometimes. I need quality time with myself on a regular basis or I almost can’t trust my judgements and actions. It’s like running on no sleep. I haven’t had time to recharge. I will resort to zoning out in order to regain mental fortitude. Often retreating to that place in my head where scenarios are running non-stop, until every possible outcome has been explored.

All of the other signs seem to root out of that primal one.  I screen calls from everyone, even friends and family. Hearing the phone ring is like a shock to the system. I have to be mentally prepared before I interact with others.

I notice details others don’t. When I’m refreshed and re-charged, everything is heightened and I’m on my A game. It’s like having a brand new pair of eyes on an old brain. All the info is still there, but the outlook is fresh. Why wouldn’t I want to feel that fresh, all the time? This is also great when I’m trying to get a big picture sense of what’s going on.

Example of how the introvert mind works: Avocados tree flowers can be classified into two types, A and B, which alternate opening as male or female, on alternating days. This is a nice detail but what I’m interested in, is the fact that if you cultivate both types, it leads to a greater chance of cross pollination, which leads to higher fruit production.

Did I mention I was a nerd? Finding out the answers and why things work the way they do, keeps me going, day-to-day.

Networking is also a big problem for me. I hate small talk, crowds and complimenting or building myself up. These are the building blocks of networking, and I’ve never been in the position, where the pay-off was big enough to put myself through that kind of torture of falsehoods. (Small talk is facetious. I hate lies or half-truths of any kind.) If I can simply walk up and be direct, that’s the best situation for me to be in.

Failing at networking is a real problem for me, as I’m a writer… ding ding ding, and it all comes back around.

This little sortie into what it means to be an introvert has helped me take one step farther in the direction of self discovery. It’s only fitting that I leave you with my current anthem. I’m not quite at her level of silly happiness but I’ll get there. 🙂

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