I am a lot of things. Some of them are good and some of them are bad. I’m good at some of them, mediocre at others, and just plain bad at the rest. For example, I’m a pretty good accountant. I just spent a few minutes classifying expenses from my personal finances and I’ll probably manipulate spreadsheets at work today until my eyes are crossed. I’m pretty good at that. I’m a mediocre pianist. I took lessons in college and enjoyed it very much. However, today my piano sits in the corner of the living room collecting dust and begging for attention. I’m a procrastinator. I guess that means I’m bad at getting important things done. If it can wait until tomorrow, then tomorrow is when it will be done. This cycle often repeats itself into perpetuity. I’m an expert in very few things. However, I am an expert introvert.
What is an introvert? The famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator invariably pegs me as a strong introvert. It’s not a bad thing. It doesn’t mean I’m antisocial. It just means that I’m the type of person who gets strength from solitude and joy from within. Introverts recharge their internal batteries from spending time alone, away from the nightmares of small talk and rooms crowded with strangers. Introverts aren’t scared of people. Introverts have a strong love of other people and choose to learn more about them and their lives by listening to what they have to say rather than interrogating them with an endless list of mindless questions. We introverts usually don’t volunteer information about ourselves. This just draws attention to us. If I were to win the lottery, lose a loved one, or have any other major life experience, no matter how big or small, I likely wouldn’t volunteer the information. That’s just how I am.
What does in introvert do for fun? I can only speak for myself, so here is an example of an ideal day for me. During the holidays, I had a few days off. I decided to take what I call an “introvert day.” The night before my adventure, I made a list of everything I wanted to do the next day. I decided to go shopping in Jacksonville. I woke up early as I typically do and drove to Jacksonville. I had a few podcasts to catch up on so the drives to and from Jacksonville were perfect to catch up on these and let my mind wander into the stories the podcasters had to offer. I did a little shopping. I picked up some tea and pomegranate juice at Fresh Market. I had a gift card from Home Goods, so I picked up a couple of lamps and a new rug. I ran a few other errands and enjoyed seeing all of the people returning Christmas gifts in a frenzy that almost matched the frenzy of Christmas shopping a few days before. Before I came home, I did something that I love to do. I had a nice lunch of tuna tartare and pear salad alone. I’m the type of person who loves going to a nice restaurant alone. It was wonderful. My mind and spirit were renewed. Introverts appreciate simple things. Peace and serenity come to us from spending time alone. That’s just how we are.
If you see me in public, trust me, I’m glad to see you. It may not seem like it, but I really am. I promise! Even though I’m not a good conversationalist, seeing familiar faces is always good. If you see me at coffee hour after church, I’ll probably sit in at the table in relative silence, but that’s ok. There’s no place I’d rather be. I love church and the fellowship after Eucharist. It’s the highlight of my week. But, since I’m an introvert, I look forward to climbing in bed after church, reading for a while, and taking a long nap. It’s the way of the introvert and, for better or worse, it’s the way I am.