My struggle with being an introvert of sorts
Hey people. It’s been more that a month. I didn’t abandon you 🙂 Let’s just say that life took a toll on me. I had to intently concentrate on school work and therefore sent everything else pending. But the good news is that I’m slowly coming back. Thanks for keeping waiting. 🙂
Now to the post;
For some weird reason, people have always expected me to be bubbly and outgoing. It was the case when growing up and still is up to now. Many times, when I haven’t lived to this expectation, I’ve been judged quite harshly. I have been confused for a snob, a shy and a less concerned girl.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always enjoyed solitude. May be it was instilled in me. There’s quite a gap in age between my siblings and I and my mum was strongly against visiting neighbors. That means that I had little or no playmates back then. I learnt to stay alone.
Fast forward to adulthood. I’m my best company. I love to hangout with me and I’m fine having just me. I could stay in the house for a whole week reading books, taking naps, cooking and just thinking through stuff in a solitary attitude. It’s usually the same case when I go home for holidays. I could be at home for a whole month but never leave my home compound. My craving for being alone is so serious that sometimes I rush to my room after classes in order to avoid company. There are days when ‘I can’t people’.
Speaking of thinking through stuff, I’m a heavy thinker. I turn and toss ideas in my mind. At any moment there are like twenty tabs of the things I’m thinking about in my mind. It’s how I find perspective into things. It’s how I assess problems and think about solutions. I don’t like to be interrupted when I’m in deep thoughts. I like to be left alone and undisturbed.
My roommate is a deep sanguine. As a christian, I should accommodate her. I should give an ear to her never-ending stories and respond to her sometimes incomprehensible energy. I admit to having failed terribly at this. A number of times she finds me in the house and it’s like I have a tag written ‘do not disturb’ on my forehead. Such times she has had no option but to keep to herself. That’s torture to a sanguine!
I hate loud music or any disturbance of that kind. I enjoy grave silence when I’m alone and in deep thoughts. I have requested neighbors to turn their volume low several times because loud music literally gets into my nerves. That explains the reason why I have a problem with most of the Nairobi public service vehicles and wish Michuki was alive to tone them down!
During my third year in school I rented a house alone but there were a number of Christian Union peeps in the neighborhood. The thing with brethren is that they pop in your house every now and then and they are generally free around your house. Sometimes when I couldn’t overcome the craving for privacy and personal space I could lock my house as if no one was in, just to have me-time. Unless there is fire and I’m the only one who can put it out, I can’t open the door during such a time.
I don’t hate people. But sometimes I want to be alone. It’s even worse that I’m poor at initiating conversations. At times I don’t think it’s necessary to start a conversation with someone because I prefer minding my own business. When I meet acquaintances in school I only say hey and hurriedly walk past.
Recently some two guys from the Christian Union in school confessed how they feared me especially because of my quietness and general lack of involvement in the lives of people I wasn’t close to. I was deeply and sincerely sorry about it. I felt guilty and it got me thinking about our personalities visa vis how we ought to treat people.
After the incidence I began asking myself just how far I should go, how to balance between the introvert I am and the Christian life I’m supposed to live. You see, one of the marks of true Christianity is Christ like love. Love is demonstrated through actions and not just words. Does it mean that my lack of involvement in the lives of people around me is a mark of selfishness? How am I supposed to go out of my way and show love when I don’t feel like it? I honestly devalue vague and empty interactions. When I interact with someone, I like to touch base and not just acquaint myself with them.
I’m also not the kind of people who are good at PR. I’ll not pretend that we are friends when we are not. In fact, it offends me when someone assumes that I am their friend whereas both of us know too well that we are not friends. For instance I’ll be offended by someone who asks about personal details yet they aren’t close.
When I think about interactions with people, I think about many things. I think about love, sacrifice and a intentional stepping out of my comfort zone. This isn’t pleasing. God knows that I have to psychologically prepare myself way before meeting groups of people, and I have to recharge after meeting them. Yet, this is the Christian life. We don’t do stuff because we feel like it. We do it in obedience to Christ who enables us to live life in His will.
So, yes I’m a work in progress. Over and over I ask God to teach me how to love beyond my comfort and convenience. Then I depend on Him to help me love. I may not be warm enough to everyone. But trust me, God is teaching me to love and accommodate His people. I’ll not disown or deny my personality inclinations since this is really who I am, but I’ll inconvenience myself for the sake of glorifying God and serving His people.