Posts Tagged With: introvert

Introvert Problems

I’ve been working hard this month.  I came back from my beach vacation and dived into both jobs, working three and a half weeks without a single day off.  I was getting a little burned out.

…my candle literally just went out.  Spooky.

I finally took a day off and spent it sleeping.  It helped, but going back to work the next day, I was still feeling unmotivated and a little angry at, well…everyone.

I thought I needed another day, or maybe a few of them, when I didn’t have to talk to a single person.  I am an introvert.  Sometimes I need me-time.

I arrived at the mall Saturday, determined to make it through the full work day and looking forward to the short shift that followed on Sunday.  Most of the day did feel like going through the motions.  At seven, though, a woman came in with her daughter carrying a Disney bag.  I had to ask.  They had gotten two Tsum-tsums (one was Marie) and were planning a trip to the park.

I spent at least a half hour with them, talking about my time working at Disney World and showing them the pink bags we had on sale.  They were extremely sweet and it really was like talking to two old friends.  When they left with their purchase, they were overjoyed with what they got and excited about coming back.  They were my last sale right before I clocked out, and I actually left work feeling less tired than when I’d gotten there.

Since I got out early, I had time to go to Lush after H&M.  The service there is always great, but this time I got to work with Justine, and absolute sweetheart who accidentally cursed in front of me and whose tattoos I found delightful.  We realized we were from the same county and she could relate to the stifled feeling I sometimes get there.  When she noticed my Gryffindor tattoo, we got to compare Gryffindor and Slytherin qualities.  It was a lot of fun and she hugged me three times before I left.

Sometimes I need me-time, but what I’ve really been missing this month are truly personal interactions: spending time with someone and finding out what they value, what they hate, who they actually are.  It’s hard to get that when I’m trying to make a sales goal at Kate or trying to move the line at Amelie’s.  And it’s hard for me in general since I don’t seem to connect well with people, even people I’ve known for years.  (On a related note, how do you turn a work friend into a friend-friend?  I’m asking for a…well, a friend.)  But when those connections come along, they’re worth savoring, however briefly.  And they always make my job more fun.

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Another Piece of the Puzzle

Let’s talk about me.

(But Kari, I don’t want to talk about you.)

Then you shouldn’t have clicked on the link.  It’s my blog and I want to talk about me.

(Fine.  What about you now?)

You ever have days when you look in the mirror and you aren’t sure what, exactly, you’re looking at?

(…I thought we were talking about you.)

I have days when I look in the mirror and I’m not sure what I’m looking at.  The good news is that they’ve been coming less frequently because I finally figured it out.

I am a puzzle.

I don’t mean that I am a problem you have to tilt your head at and consider before coming up with a solution.  I mean a puzzle made up of many pieces, and only in putting them together you can see a complete picture.

I’ve spoken of other pieces of my identity before, pieces I have struggled and searched to discover, but this one’s easy.

I’m an introvert.

(You?  Really?  I had no idea!)

Okay, if you’re being sarcastic…rude.

Some people, on finding this out, are genuinely surprised because I “like people.”  And I do…you know, usually.

But god, are they exhausting.

I know some people who seem more energized the longer they spend time with people.  It doesn’t work that way for me.  I start an event with a certain amount of fuel, and people slowly drain it out of me.  It’s why I was always more tired working four hours at the library than I ever am spending all day in my little cubicle.

The hard part is that it’s impossible to tell where my energy levels will land.  I last longer with a few close friends than in crowds of strangers, but if I start tired or anxious anyway, I require more energy to be social.  When I’m having a “bad week,” I can barely find any at all.  Alcohol can boost it some, but when I get to the point where I’m too tired to even drink, there’s no coming back from that.

(All right, I get it.  So why are you telling me this now?)

Because, for better or worse, it’s part of me and it affects how I interact with the world.  It kept me from doing something this weekend that would have been fun if I weren’t so worn out to begin with.  And that particular occasion reiterated something I’ve been learning as I try to take better care of myself: you have to listen to your body.  Even as I am trying to say yes more, “I can’t right now” can still be the right answer.  Even the people who mean to be looking out for you are not inside your head.  They may not see every puzzle piece.  Ultimately, it’s up to you to determine how each one is going to fit together.

It may not always look the way you want, but it’s going to feel a whole lot better.

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