Many may be surprised to know this about me..
Those who know me well will not,
but at core of who I am
lies a tried and true introvert.
When I say this to people I often get the response, “No you’re not. You are so outgoing.”
I will correct them and answer, “I fake it. I was raised by a mom who is people lover and extrovert through and through so my survival technique in social settings is to channel the spirit of my mother, ask myself, ‘What would mom do?,’ and conform in the most socially appropriate way until I can escape to the sanctuary of my own company.
I think that is why I love to blog and write letters. Both are activities that allow me that rare duel opportunity of both socializing/conversing while also being alone with my own thoughts and company.
I know this might be completely altering your perception of me and maybe even lowering your opinion of me, 🙂
but I always strive to be honest, and the truth is:
“My name is Katie and I find small talk tedious, talking to strangers burdensome, and being social engaging overwhelming and exhausting.”
I wish I had a bit more of my mother in me. I wish I eagerly sought out new faces with the same driven desire to hear their life story. I wish I cared deeply enough and was emotionally invested enough to remember everyone’s children’s hobbies and interests and birthdays. I wish I could be that person that looks at a room of new strangers with a thrill of anticipation of the possibility of making 200 new friends. I wish my stomach didn’t drop when an invitation comes in the mail or when the phone rings. I wish a night out with a group of ladies held as much appeal as a night at home with a book and a cup of peppermint tea.
Ok…now I really sound bad.
Its not that I don’t love people. It is not that I am anti social. It is not that I am a friend snob. I am just an introvert at the center of my soul.
What does that mean?
This sums it up well:
And while the introverted side of me struggles with large groups, the strength of an introvert is their loyalty and complete devotion to their closest friends…that small group of safe friends that they deem their “tribe.”
People in general drain me. No, that is not quite right…
It is more like social expectations drain me.
And the more emotionally tapped out I am by stress at home (like the stress we have been consumed with the last 6 months) the more I find myself avoiding social situations that will drain me even more. Others may perceive it as me isolating or pulling away when in reality it is just self preservation. In the midst of the chaos happening at home I am desperately searching for quiet, peace, and alone time to recenter my thoughts and refill my bucket.
My bucket fills with those closely guarded moments of solitude. The exception to that rule is my tribe.
My tribe consists of my family and closest friends. Those people I can share my heart with safely. Those are the people that fill my emotional bucket as opposed to draining it. I am not one to have many, many friends, but rather I tend to draw close to a handful of ladies that I shower all of my energy and effort into connecting with. My tribe is my safe place, my happy place, my stabilizing force, my council and my joy. I am grateful for my tribe. I don’t know how I would navigate this heartbreakingly hard season of life without them. I draw from their strength and their friendship.
This week I had two opportunities for “tribe time.” One came in the form of a Relief Society garden party and the other in the form of a co-op ladies night out. Both filled my bucket. It was so nice to connect with friends I haven’t seen all summer. The show of concern, the words of encouragement, and the opportunity to laugh and be light, free of responsibilities and worries for a few hours was a lovely gift.
I am grateful for my tribe.