Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Taking over rooms

One of the things we talk about in our house isn't whether a person is an extrovert or introvert but from where a person gets their strength. The difference is significant.  To the naked and uninitiated eye, SK and I look like extroverts. In company we tend to be 'life-of-the-party" types.

I can't speak for SK but I'm so ready with wit and conversation that when I was with my girlfriends a couple of weeks ago, for example, before I'd been there an hour, one of them laughingly said I should go on the road with a comedy routine. And given the need I have for a part-time job at the moment, if one had a hope in heaven of actually making a living at it, I might actually do it. But I digress. My point is that when there are people around, a light is turned on for me. It isn't lost on those around me--obviously!--that I'm such a large personality. More than once, more that a dozen times maybe, I've had people close to me (even Beve) ask me to tone it down a little, tell me that I'm a little too loud, that I'm not allowing others the chance to talk.Unfortunately, my 'taking over rooms' happens unconsciously, not because I mean to take up all the air, but because it's instinctive. If you only knew how hard I try NOT to talk too much, NOT to dominate the crowd, NOT to have conversation while others are in the kitchen doing all the work. I really do get frustrated that I'm so instantly like this. But then we're driving home or I'm trying to settle down to sleep at night, and tossing and turning because, dang, I've gone and done it again. And rats, I wonder if I could have a personality transplant in order to be more reticent or something. So you'd guess, and wouldn't be wrong in a way, that I'm an extrovert.

However, it wears me out to be around people in ways it never wears out Beve. He flourishes and grows and wants more and more, and would invite someone else any old time for any old reason. Just come on in, no matter what, stay a while, we'll find a bed, make some food (cinnamon rolls for breakfast, calzones for dinner) sit a while on our decks. And I also love such moments. Or I've grown to love them, I can handle them until I can't a moment longer.  I can't to the point that my very body begins to rebel and aches from neck to toe and back again, like I've been carrying stress in every muscle from the sheer weight of being 'on' for so long. By then I'm longing to go to bed for a few days just to recover from the hard work of it all--and I'm not talking about cooking and cleaning, but talking and being--even with those I love being with.

You see, I get my strength from time alone. I'm recharged by it. To sit, read, meditate and pray--these are the things that energize me. But also, simply to be. Alone in my house not entertaining--I need this."In quietness and trust is your strength," says Isaiah. "Be still," says the Psalms.  Yes, just that. "Be still..." this is what I need to know God. Without music or the sound of anything but the earth itself. The lonely places that empty my mind and soul of all the clutter of the world, this is the way to seek Him. This is how I (or maybe all of us) separate the wheat from the chaff.

There is a true introvert inside this talkative, dramatic woman.
If only there was more balance in a crowded room.


Elle said...

You can come to Finland and be very introverted in a crowded room since no-one will talk back to you. Problem solved! ;)

jeskmom said...

PS. Counting down the days with you!