Go to Dictionary.com and look up the definition of “introvert.” You probably won’t be surprised.
[n., adj. in-truh-vurt; v. in-truh-vurt]
But I have a confession to make that might surprise some of you if you’ve ever met me.
I am an introvert.
It’s true and I can prove it. It’s because Christy (@QuirkyFusion) told me so.
Actually, the reality is that she discovered that I’m one of them. Just like her.
This happened when I went to Toyota’s headquarters earlier this year for an event called TWIN camp. We were flown out to California, stayed in a beautiful hotel on Hermosa Beach, went out to dinner, met with Toyota’s team, and test drove the cars.
I’ll admit, I felt a little off. Sometimes I get that way. I had a good time at dinner. I was getting to know the other women and when it came time to test drive, I got in the cars and drove. I watched other women group together, pick our cars to ride in, but I was off doing my own thing. When I was finished, I came in and grabbed a quick lunch and decided to walk around the automotive museum where the event was hosted.
And I ran into Christy. I think we both made mention about needing a little quiet time away from the crowd. So we quietly wandered the museum together but separately. I don’t remember the exact conversation but the circumstance led us to talk about being an introvert.
But I’m not an introvert, I protested. I like to socialize with people and I never shut my mouth. I’m not really shy.
And she simply told me that makes me an outgoing introvert. Well, I was curious but confused. So when I got home, I decided to google this whole introverted idea. While this graphic below is pretty small, it describes me to a tee. (You can click on the image to see the full size image on its original site – available for download!)
It’s really all about energy. I love people. But they suck the life out of me. When I attend something like BlogHer? I’m down for the count for about a week after. When I go to the mall? I need time at home to just veg. While I love being social, I look so forward to the time after being social to unwind.
And then I came across this:
1) We don’t need alone time because we don’t like you. We need alone time because we need alone time. Don’t take it personally.
2) We aren’t judging anyone when we sit quietly. We’re just sitting quietly, probably enjoying watching extroverts in action.
3) If we say we’re having fun, we’re having fun, even though it might not look that way to you.
4) If we leave early, it’s not because we’re party poopers. We’re just pooped. Socializing takes a lot out of us.
5) If you want to hear what we have to say, give us time to say it. We don’t fight to be heard over other people. We just clam up.
6) We’re not lonely, we’re choosy. And we’re loyal to friends who don’t try to make us over into extroverts.
7) Anything but the telephone.
And all of the sudden, I was like YES, YES, YES! Especially number 7.
But this whole introvert thing really got me thinking about my life as a whole. And I started thinking about how it affects me as a mother.
My little guy is my one and only. And being a mother of one has not been an easy road for me. It has nothing to do with my son. By most standards, he’s a pretty good and easy kid. It’s me. I’ve struggled with why it’s so hard. Why some women just natural embrace the role of mother like they’ve been waiting for it all their lives. Why some women thrive in the chaos that a house full of multiple children brings.
My mother did it. She loved having four kids (and seven pets). The house was loud and busy at all times. But it’s different for me.
I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that I’m extremely noise sensitive. I don’t often play the radio in the car. I don’t even watch TV much. When I’m at home working, it’s silent in the house. And I like it that way. I like solitude. I’m not a loner: I just need my alone time.
Now, I couple these revelations about myself with what it’s like to be the mother of a small child. First of all, there’s the noise aspect. Then there’s the constant need for attention. And then there is lack of sleep. And I realized that motherhood literally drains me of my energy.
It’s hard to admit that some days my son sucks the life out of me. And let’s face it, EVERY mother feels that way at some point. But I would often look at women with a 2 year old and wonder how in the world they could be thinking about having another one.
All this time, I thought it was me. And guess what? It IS me. But it’s a me that I understand a lot better. It’s a me that needs to recharge my energy every so often with a little solitude. It’s a me that sometimes lives in a hamster ball.
There you have it. My psychological revelation of the week. I am an Introverted Mother and I’m okay with that.