I used to be an extrovert. I tested as an extrovert both summers I worked in Maryland and we had to take the Myers Briggs test and then talk about how our personalities affected our ability to work as a team. I used to be a huge extrovert in high school – the life of the party, the loud and outspoken one. I used to count a whole day spent in the house with my family a waste of a perfectly good Saturday. Recently I retook the Myers Briggs test and to nobody’s surprise, I tested as an introvert. I think all of that extrovertedness was intentional and a little forced – not that that’s a big thing. I had so much fun being an extrovert. But now I’m tired and I’m learning about pride and self-focus and how those two guys often accompanied by life-of-the-party attitude.
Now saying yes to much needed rest means saying no to exploring this country with friends. Saying yes to writing a blog post every day in order to grow as a writer sometimes means saying no to talking to a friend. The thing that I’m learning, especially here in the midst of all of these servants called here to this city to work together, is that everyone
is different. And we can all be called by the same God to the same ministry and even to the same school and apartment but for vastly different reasons. Right now I don’t feel the need or desire to explore the country. And while various pins on Pinterest and various posts on Facebook tell me that not-traveling is pretty much the worst mistake I could make as a 20-something (and I won’t mention how the majority of people posting these posts have never left their home state for more than a week long vacation to Florida), I am okay with saying yes to boring days in my bed with my cat.
In high school I would’ve forced myself to get out there and make new friends and experience new things.* I would’ve been very concerned with whether or not people thought I was a fun person. As I grow in Christ I feel more secure in who He has made me to be and more secure in the seasons that come and go in all of our lives. Right now I am in a season of nesting. Of growing these roots down deep because I am here to stay. I don’t care if people think I’m boring because I’m tired and I really want to finish reading this book. And because taking care of myself is important. If Glee has taught me anything, darnit, it’s that being true to yourself is important. If yourself is an introvert worrying about whether people think you’re a lame-o for wanting to skip out on the next big party, don’t worry! You are not alone. If yourself is an extrovert thinking that your friend is a lame-o for wanting to skip out on the next big party, don’t worry, your friend is not a lame-o.
(*Disclaimer: Obviously, I am a pretty big advocate for making new friends and experiencing new things, but if you’re not feeling it or forced into it, you’re probably just going to be grumpy. Be discerning. Think things through. If you get the chance of a lifetime – take it. Here I am talking about going to the movies versus watching a movie at home by yourself, the kind of every-weekend things. Being an introvert shouldn’t be an excuse for never doing anything new, but it also shouldn’t be an excuse to think badly of yourself or to be envious of anybody.)
If we were all introverts, nobody would talk to anybody but if we were all extroverts, nobody would ever get any sleep. We are all needed here in this big world and today I am reassuring myself as I am hopefully reassuring someone else – don’t force yourself to do something you don’t want to do just because you feel like you should. Don’t be ashamed of the you God intended you to be, the you God is shaping you in to. Sometimes that you needs a day of 50 to yourself, with your thoughts and your Kindle and your TV and I think that’s okay.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Have you always been that way?