I spend a lot of time in my own head. Swimming around the introspections of my daily hums, solving World problems, making plans, succinctly talking to myself and answering questions I’ve already pondered on.
I’m an introvert.
In my 20’s someone nicknamed me the Ice Maiden. I was never mean, just distant and that got misconstrued as snobby, unfriendly or cold. Apparently I was out of reach, too far away for some. I’m of the school that if I don’t have anything of value to say I say nothing. I don’t think that there’s enough oxygen on this planet to waste my breathe on empty conversation.
I spend a lot of time thinking.. a lot. My favourite thing to do is float in the pool with my ears under water to block out the unnecessary sounds and just watch the clouds go by. I can do this for a very, very long time. Once I floated for 4 hours, looking at nothing in particular, contemplating anything that flowed into my perspective, solving problems before they arose, counting dragonflies.
I used to wonder if being an introvert was going to be a tough ride for me career wise. How would I make it up the ladder if I didn’t have a voice? What about the loud popular kids getting in first? Would there be space up there for me if I didn’t want to compete with the crowd? I don’t like the crowds and the loud kids gave me the shits.
The answer is a resounding, quiet yes. I am finding my place, I am making my way, I have a voice that can be heard if you care to stop and listen and I have something to say if you have time for conversation.
I am a leader, an entrepreneur, a risk taker and an inspirer. The knowledge I have gained from spending so much time introspectively has given me a wealth of conversation that is worthy of air.
In fact I have found that while I am an introvert by nature, my private life filled with days of not socialising, of spending hours happily on my lonesome, of reflecting on the days gone by, my work self is somewhat extroverted.
My work self speaks confidently to the crowd while my personal self avoids parties. My work self stands up to raise the bar, my private self sits down to look out the window. My work self has a drive to change the World, my private self barely changes the channels.
I’m learning that we compliment each other, my intro and my extra-verted selves. We are lifelong friends on the same journey, looking at the same landscape and seeing it from different perspectives. All the more for learning, all the more to share, all the better to see my dear. We are one and the same but vastly different too. One writes poetry, the other sings. One plants seeds the other sells flowers. One takes on adventure, the other takes the photos. One without the other is only half and I’m glad we found each other with the help of my retrospective self.