Monday, April 27, 2015

Mislabelled

Around the time my friends and I started filling out personality quizzes in teen magazines, I began to feel a sense of comfort in labels. I was outgoing, book smart, a little weird, pretty, an artist. These things helped me place myself in the world, and gave me concrete descriptors to identify myself as I continued on a journey to find out, indeed, who I was.

I wondered recently if all those quizzes in magazines, or Grade Ten career class and online may have been wrong. Or, perhaps, maybe I just skewed my answers to get the result I thought fit best. I always thought myself quite extroverted: I love to talk (sometimes, to excess), I am a storyteller, I like to be the centre of attention and I enjoy having friends around. The more I grow into my skin, however, the more I think that underneath it all I might be an introvert. I recharge by having time to myself, I work best independently, I need to have quiet solo time throughout my day to feel grounded, and prefer to spend evenings quietly at home, most of the time. 

Robin curled up nicely with Peter Rabbit.

I was reading a Sue Monk Kidd book, wherein she describes signing up for a retreat of that would require silence, introspection, and quiet time to write. I thought that sounded marvellous. Her next thoughts echoed my own. She felt guilt, and doubted that she deserved time on a retreat by herself, especially when it cost money and took her away from her family. I would, too. I hear that a lot from mothers with young kids. Do I crave quiet time, alone, because I have young kids, or because my soul leans more toward the introvert side of the spectrum?

I am learning to do what pleases me more than what I think I should enjoy, and this has led me to a lot more quiet, solo and outside time. Who knows, maybe a midlife crisis will see me singing show tunes while I hang from chandeliers at parties with young, hip people. For now, I will continue to embrace my need for quiet, and offer it to my girls when they need the same.




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