The Loudest Introvert

The most profound thing profoundly smacked me right in the centrals the other day.

Rewind a bit first.

I am the life and soul at work. I am friendly and gregarious and open and trusting and kind and like to bribe people and especially like to feed people and most especially like to spread my knowledge around. Good things up the freaking ying yang. Happy things up the Christmas Tree. Blah blah blah.

I am funny as pork. Seriously. Ask anyone.

And because of all those things – people assume they know me. Worse yet, I assumed people knew me better than I knew me.

Obviously you are extroverted Jessie. Obviously you are all the things extroverted people are. OBVIOUS!!!

*insert mandatory Lunch Bar advert here and give away my age*

Except No.

I get to work rather early. I do allot of the very many things that my job entails while the office is quiet and calm and before all the peeps arrive.

And then I get to be me. The me who is friendly and the life and soul and smart and helpful and fast and considerate and and and blah blah blah up the freaking banana loaf.

IT IS EXHAUSTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I go home, I would really rather not see anything human. Quite often, I absolutely need to have a nap. I never do, because that is just sad and I am not that old, but still. The eyelids betray me.

I spend time with the fluffs and I cook and faff and watch rubbish on YouTube and then I Netflix and Chill.

Alone.

Because point in fact peepers. I am not an extrovert. I am an introvert.

You may think you know me better than I know me. But actually. You are wrong.

Funny thing about being exactly who you are and rejecting all the labels people think they are allowed to stick to you.

And yes, on one memorable occasion someone actually stuck a green sticky note to me with a single word on it.

Eccentric.

Well I raise you your sticky note and hereby embrace the eccentric.

I am loud as bananas. I have friends that seriously struggle with it.

I am sarcastic as all holy hell. I know people who simply take offence.

I am smarter than most people I know. I know that sounds vain but that doesn’t make it untrue, in my own way.

I am kinder, freer, more honest, more loyal, nicer, lovelier, truer, and funnier than so many people. Not better than. Just more me than. And that is awesome.

Labels can do so very much damage to you, if you let them stick.

Never let another persons sticky note for you stick.

Find your own labels. Find your own self. Be the loudest introvert that anyone ever met. Then go home and revel in the restorative quiet.

Be the most sarcastic empath, the smartest doffle, the loveliest chubber, the funniest kind. The least religious faithful one.

Be you.

Own your shiz.

Your shiz is fabulous.

Now bugger off and let me try to NOT have a nap.

*insert another gratuitous Lunch Bar advert just cause it brought back so very many memories and I loved it growing up*

Space to hang yourself

I grew up in the wide open spaces of a farm in the middle of Vereeniging in South Africa. The animals and my imagination were my friends. The wind and dust my companions.

I grew up solitary and alone for the most part.

I learnt to amuse and occupy myself. I used the gifts I was born with and crafted entire worlds around my existence, where I was always the hero. I learnt to be alone.

Which is not an easy thing to one who is a vociferous extrovert. At the time I had no idea what introvert or extrovert meant. I didn’t have enough human contact to be educated in the matter.

I was simply alone – so I learnt to be alone.

That skill has served me well over the years.

Now, older and wiser and way more careful with my heart and affections, I find myself spending allot of time alone.

Tonight, at the  tail end of a traumatic week, I wondered – when does a life becomes too solitary?

When does the silence of no answer start to chafe a bit too vigorously?

In a normal day, I will spend 9 hours in the company of colleagues. Talking all the nonsense and business that makes up a working life.

Coming home – I will spend 9 hours sleeping. I do love my sleep. Or is it rather that I hate the silence more.

6 plus hours, barring the odd outing, I spend in my own company.

The radio is always on. The animals become white noise. My thoughts, which are more often than not at odds with me, my company and my companion.

I think my life has become too solitary. And I do not know how to change it.