If someone says, “She’s high maintenance” referring to me, I’ve got one thing to say: You’re damn right.
I don’t understand low-maintenance, high-functioning folks. Sometimes I see people maintaining themselves by sucking on other people’s energy.
I sustain my own energy by tending to the two sides of me.
I envy extroverts who get revved up by hanging with others.
For me, these are my required maintenance procedures:
1. Writing—morning pages, journaling and writing with purpose for publication.
2. Yoga or stretching. My body gets physically knotted up and I’m in pain if I don’t find a way to untie the knots. (Massage works, too.)
3. Walking in nature. It’s the act of movement, and nature kisses my skin and whispers to my soul if I go it alone.
4. Reading—expands my mind and heart.
5. Prayer—to God, angels, guides, Mother Mary, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, and my loved ones on the other side. It can take a while.
6. Meditation—without it I’d come undone.
These are solo pursuits. When I take these steps I’m better able to connect with the world.
Also, I love being alone. I’m not bored. I’m not lonely.
Extroverts, I love you with your eager invitations and how you can’t fathom my time alone is your competition. It is.
Introverts, I’m with you in the magnitude of solitude, silence drawing out peace and presence for ourselves in order to invoke any magnificence we may hope to possess.
Extroverts, you drag me from the dark depths of myself—beyond the blackness. Some days and nights, I stand at death’s door begging for entry into something beyond. You entertain me and keep me awake to others’ laughter, dancing, voices and stories.
You make me come out and live. Thank you.
Introverts, we know our time alone can be where we feel most alive, authentic and valid. They may think we’re hiding, but it’s here where we face life head on. We’re not afraid of darkness. Or light. The sacred ignites our souls. We see stars intimately. We speak poetry as if it’s our first language. We dance with music because it becomes us. Alone, we’re more than we care to explain, show or present to the great pretenders running the world we run away from.
Extroverts, I adore your laughter and our connections. Yet, I can’t comprehend your apprehension toward solitude. How can it not soothe you?
Don’t you dare to dance with your one true soul mate—you?
We introverts don’t quite understand the loneliness you speak of, for others tend to engulf us in emotional claustrophobia.
Me, I dance between the world of people and parties and my full-on presence. Too much out there invites pretense, lest I speak truth most don’t care for.
Truth—I kiss her and let her seep inside my soul alone on quiet nights and precious days. She allows me to return full and ready, capable of conjuring words, not to hurt but ideally to awaken and elevate.
I’m two sides of the personality coin: introvert/extrovert. I must spend them equally. And so I dance—in the world and in my kitchen.
4 thoughts on “How I Exercise my Introvert/Extrovert Status”
HI Alice, I enjoy reading your pieces! The topics always seem so relevant to things that occupy me, too, although perhaps differently. Your day sounds a LOT like mine–except for the yoga part. I walk, meditate, read, and write just about every day–and love being alone to be able to do all this. I think my introvert/extrovert ratio is more like 60/40 (something like the cotton/polyester breakdown –cotton being the introvert part). 🙂 Of course we need others and some fun with them now and then, and others are there a-plenty. 🙂 See you tonight.
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Shelagh, you’re a light and I look forward to knowing you more. Perceptive and fully present is how I see you–characteristics I strive for. Thank you.
Love this piece! Your non-judgmental view from both sides of the coin promotes thought. I am frequently referred to as Extroverted and rightfully so, but it’s not the complete picture. Your piece nicely clarifies my ex/in definition. Alice, you grasp both worlds “I’m two sides of the personality coin: introvert/extrovert. I must spend them equally. And so I dance—in the world and in my kitchen.” It took years for me to hold still and remains a managed challenge. I am excitable and genuine, which I navigate in both of my planets. My evolution was slow, steady and on-going. My auto-core response is action. Action fooled me into thinking I prospered emotionally. I was sure I was doing the “right” things, but I wasn’t safe nor satisfied. I exited the door marked “Exhausted” and entered the safety of a calmer world, which is my learned response that requires routine tending. Yes, I want to dance with my one true soul mate – me and welcome the excitement of life. It’s not one or the other, it’s both!
Thank you bunches! Sharon
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You “exited the door marked exhaustion and entered the safety of a calmer world.” And you wrote those beautiful words. May you continue to own your safe, calm space so when you enter the world you are full. You’re such a gift.