I am an extroverted introvert.
Yes. You read that correctly, even if you had to read it 3 times. I am this. This is me. My social excitement and love for humans may quickly place me in that box of extroverts who lives for the lime light, when in reality, my introverted self just desperately wants some time alone. It is in this space, this quiet where I restore my energy, I find my peace.
I labeled myself an extrovert for most of my adult life and honestly, in my 20’s, I probably was one? But now over the halfway mark of my 30’s and 3 kids deep, there’s nothing I love more than the peace and quiet of nothing. A warm latte and a good book. A solo grocery trip and a reservation for 1. Anywhere.
I wonder how many of us are socially confused? Who think because we enjoy social conversations and can hold our own in a crowd that we must be this label, this person. I love getting older. I remember hearing Ellen say how much she loved turning 60 because of the wisdom she had gained. While I’m not at that level of wisdom just yet, there is truth to this whole getting older thing. I am discovering who I am, and who I am not. I am choosing which table I can sit at, and which one I choose not to. I can be honest with my feelings, not fearing the heaviness of the weight they hold.
For us extroverted introverts, we must grant ourselves permission. Permission to say no to good opportunities. Permission to let the stillness of quiet overcome our busy schedules. Permission to set boundaries that protect and guard the souls that sustain us. We must sit with our thoughts, feel our emotions and be honest with ourselves.
The morning before my day begins and the evening before I rest my head, I am still. I wedge myself in to a comfy chair and clutch the cup of coffee that is about to bring me life. I ‘attempt’ to read, to fill my mind with truth, hope & laughter. I feel the energy of my Holy Spirit awaken and I start my day. My fingers begin typing as my mind begins imagining, planning, stepping foot into the day ahead. I laugh, I cry, I may lock myself in a bathroom or sit in my car for an extra 10 minutes before I reenter my home. This is my day and then it becomes my night. I gently rock in my turquoise chair, sip my wine, breath in my jazz and unpack the million moments of my day. I pray. I speak to God with thanks, with questions, with hope. Then I repeat.
As moms, it’s hard. I get it. It’s hard to go to the bathroom alone, let alone read a book. It’s hard to get dinner on the table by 6, let alone have our house clean. It’s just hard. We have daycare drop offs and diaper duty. Nighttime feedings and 21 questions. This is motherhood. We are touched beyond what any human being should endure in 1 day and we are lucky if our panties don’t have holes. New bras are a mystical dream and stretchmarks are our reality. This is our new normal. This is a blessing and this is still hard. We work hard, day in and day out. We plan, we pack, we prevent. We rarely ask for a timeout or a night out, but we should. The extrovert in us should maintain a healthy level of community, because this is good. People are good. Life is good when you live it with the laughter of friendships. The introvert in us should take that alone time, grasp the quiet stillness of sleeping babies and listen to birds chirp as the sun sets. This moment was made for you by a God that loves you and wants you to live abundantly, fruitfully.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
My friends, my sisters, the thief for us is time. It’s disappointed bosses and overtired babies. It’s the grocery store, the laundry, the list of to do’s. God knows we have these roles, the jobs, but he still gives us the option of choosing abundance. The option of choosing life. It is waiting for us when we choose to take it. No one will force you to stop saying yes or to quit that job that leaves you on empty. This is the choice and free will given to us. To embrace the voice of our extrovert and the peace that our introvert so desperately desires.
I wrote this to those moms today who feel overwhelmed . Who are still trying to figure out who they are and where they belong. I am with you. I understand you. I am a mom, a sister, a friend. Let’s embrace the many facets of who we are and what we offer. We are all doin the best we can with what we got. We are surviving the sleepless nights and showing up every morning.
Regardless of the label you place upon yourself today, extrovert, introvert, or just confused, we are all in this together. There is only 1 table, our table. We are moms, we are women, we are warriors. No one is doing your job better than you because no else is you. My favorite nugget of knowledge is that there’s enough room at the table for all of us. That “her” success does not derail yours. That her job, pregnancy, marriage does not make yours less than. The comparisons will kill us, the comradery will build us. Let’s take eachother by the hand, extroverts, introverts and all and just hold on for dear life.
This job is hard but it is good. It is worthwhile and it is valuable. You are needed, we are necessary.
I value everything you bring to the table. Lets show up.