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.