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Is It Possible to be a Shy Extrovert?

EXTROVERT-Introvert

My asbestos friend always calls herself an introvert. She claims she prefers to be tucked safely away inside her house toiling away on her next book, only surrounded by other people she feels very safe with.

introversion: the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life. …Reserved and solitary behavior.

–Wikipedia.com

I think she is crazy. If that is the case, she has everyone fooled. She is the most outgoing introvert I know. Her kid is enrolled in a million and one activities, which she must transport her to, and often help out. My asbestos friend also volunteers all the time—and for stuff I would never dream of! She will invent a support group at her church and offer to lead it. She will sign up to man a table at the local craft show to help raise money for a cause, not batting an eye at conversing with total strangers strolling by.

EXTROVERT-Introvert care

When I was a kid, it seemed like my mom only left the house three times a week, to go to the laundromat and the grocery store. I was told from an early age that I wasn’t allowed to join anything where she would have to participate, such as Girl Scouts. I was sorta shocked when she went with me to College Info Weekend, where they had a program for several hours for the parents, but she did.

If my asbestos friend is an introvert, then my mother is a hermit. #TrueStory

EXTROVERT-Introvert joke

So then what am I?

To people I don’t know, I am quiet. If I don’t know you, I am not going to take the chance of talking to you and having you disagree with me or, heaven forbid, attack my unique beliefs. I was always labeled “shy” as a child. Uhhhhh. *cringe* I am not one who generally signs up for things. I sit at home watching television and taking care of my family. I only venture out of my warm/drafty house when something catches my eyes/ears and compels me to take a chance at an adventure that could prove to be a disaster.

Yet, I kind of like to talk to people. I have held several cashier jobs, where I checked out people’s purchases. I had to greet them when they came into the store and provide assistance. These have actually been some of the jobs I have counted as my most enjoyable.

Sure, I can sit quiet and work independently behind a desk inputting data. But if I have to do it full-time, I tend to become rather miserable mighty quickly.

EXTROVERT-extrovert care

Is it possible to be an introvert who craves fame?

I have been slowly collecting my 15 minutes of fame a few seconds at a time. When I was a kid, I had my name announced on a Canadian music video show (Miss you Video Hits!). I have always found unusual opportunities to get myself on the radio; TV as well, but those opportunities are rarer. I spill forth embarrassing events of my life into my blog to provide humor to the universe. I publish books. You might not realize this, but for every copy that heads out into the world a little piece of my heart (and my sanity) heads out with it.

It is stressful and scary and crazy to put myself out there like that. Why would I do that?

So what am I? You tell me…

I enjoy the sense of helping people. But I have to put on a front to do it. I have to pretend to be braver than I actually am. I get hot and sweat profusely. I literally have to wear a different brand of higher powered deodorant to work such a job.

I believe I am an extrovert with generalized anxiety disorder.

 

extroversion: the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with obtaining gratification from what is outside the self. …Tends to be…outgoing, talkative, energetic behavior

–Wikipedia.com

 

generalized anxiety disorder: an anxiety disorder characterized by excessive, uncontrollable and often irrational worry, that is, apprehensive expectation about events or activities. This excessive worry often interferes with daily functioning, as individuals with GAD typically anticipate disaster, and are overly concerned about everyday matters such as health issues, money, death, family problems, friendship problems, interpersonal relationship problems, or work difficulties.

–Wikipedia.com

This is all simply self-diagnosis, of course.

But it makes sense to me. I spent a lot of time as a kid sitting home whining about how bored I was all the time. I felt like the world was going by without me, that other people were having awesome adventures that I was missing out on. I don’t believe that an introvert would care about missing the fun others are experiencing.

And I care too much about what else is going on in the world. I worry about it all so much that then I tend to not want to leave the house for fear of sliding on a snowy road or showing up to an event that is canceled or worse, too many other people have already showed up and now there is a crowd and a line.

Is there such a thing as a “shy” extrovert? I provide the evidence above as proof of my theory that I am this creature in the flesh.

And what would happen if a lightning bolt zapped my brain and removed my anxiety? Would I be unstoppable? Would I suddenly start singing on Broadway?

(I can’t sing, so the answer would be “no.”)

EXTROVERT-just me

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I Have Written All My Life (Doesn’t Everybody?)

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I have always written stories or poems, almost all my life. I didn’t realize that not everyone does this. Only recently did it dawn on me.

Does that mean my career calling should be to be a writer? I have been spending 37 years trying to figure out what I should be when I grow up.

Is writing the answer?

"The Worst Snow Storm!" My first book.

“The Worst Snow Storm!”
Commentary:  My first book.

I made my first book a long, long time ago (but in this galaxy). It had a cohesive plot, but questionable spelling choices. You’ll have to excuse that fact–I had no editor, and was only in elementary school myself. It even had characters of varying ethnicities–one family was white, the other was black. That must have been the influence of 1970’s and 1980’s cartoons, which all had a token black character on the cast, because I didn’t even know any African-Americans at that age. The story wasn’t a school project or anything. I just made it all on my own, at home. I was very proud of it, because my mom put it in the scrapbook.

"Bobby Jones and Marty Cargo one day planned to play on that day.  But they had a snow storm." Wow.  Snow's so thick, I can't see a thing!

“Bobby Jones and Marty Cargo one day planned to play on that day. But they had a snow storm.”
Wow. Snow’s so thick, I can’t see a thing!

All through school, I would write stories every chance I could for class assignments. It made an assignment easy for me to complete. I would also write at home, just for myself. I would skip lunch during high school to write in the computer lab (much less chance of getting picked on or having food thrown at you). When I had a big depression my senior year, I became a prolific poet. I took lots of English classes as electives. I took the AP English class, but not the placement exam. I even took a one week summer writing workshop held at a local college.

"They asked their moms'.  Their moms' said, "No! You cannot go out." Smart moms.

“They asked their moms’. Their moms’ said, “No! You cannot go out.”
Smart moms.

One of my favorite teachers was my English teacher. We will call him Mr. C. He also happened to be the adviser for the newly formed school newspaper. I wrote a story or two for it. The next year, I ended up as the Co-Editor, which I actually really enjoyed. It was just kind of a happy accident that I ended up with that position (and because no one else wanted it). It helped to make my college applications not look so naked.

"But they went out anyway far, far away.  And they built a snowman.  While they were building a snowman it started to snow."

“But they went out anyway far, far away. And they built a snowman. While they were building a snowman it started to snow.”

In college I was busy, but I still wrote. During that time, I wrote one of my favorite stories. It is kind of goth. I used poetry at that time to once again get me through depression. I was a Communications major, with an emphasis on Radio and TV Broadcasting. I filled in the gaps between classes for my major and prerequisites with English and Psychology classes. I took so many English classes that the head of the department told me to make it my minor. He let me do an independent study to work on some stories and get a 400-level class on my transcript. (That would be an unfinished story that wasn’t good, and I wish I wouldn’t have wasted time on it.) (I could have minored in Psychology as well, but I didn’t want to have to take a statistics class, which was required to have it be an actual official minor.)

"After they were done with the snowman, they were very, very cold.  They would go home, but it was too far away." Damn, look at those goodsebumps.  They were REALLY cold.

“After they were done with the snowman, they were very, very cold. They would go home, but it was too far away.”
Damn, look at those goosebumps. They were REALLY cold.

My first full-time job, I found other creative-minded types. We read each other’s old stories. We wrote and emailed poems to each other throughout the day. They also were interested in dream interpretation, as I had been for years.

"When Bobby's dad woke up, Bobby's mom told him that Bobby was gone.  And when Marty's dad came home from work Marty's mom told him that Marty was gone." The mom's sure look happy about that.

“When Bobby’s dad woke up, Bobby’s mom told him that Bobby was gone. And when Marty’s dad came home from work Marty’s mom told him that Marty was gone.”
The mom’s sure look happy about that.

Really, the only time I can remember not writing was while my mom was sick. I spent one evening a week doing her grocery shopping for her, two nights doing her laundry, and usually taking her to a doctor’s appointment as well. And I worked 40hrs a week, plus a 2hr daily commute. She about killed me. I didn’t have time to write at that time. I didn’t even have time to think. Even though she got a clean bill of health a few years after she was diagnosed, I was still doing all those errands for her. I had to put an end to it when my son was born. Literally, like 10 minutes after I walked into my house from the hospital.

"So they went out and looked and looked for their boys." Sorry.  Too lazy to rescan.

“So they went out and looked and looked for their boys.”
Sorry. Too lazy to re-scan.

I went back to work after my maternity leave on the exact same day my company filed for bankruptcy. I also went back in a new position (my former lateral position that I had interviewed to get back into had been eliminated while I was off, so I was starting a new lateral position. Got all that?) where I got to work on one of the company’s blogs. It was fun. I found out a co-worker had a personal blog. This peaked my interest. Plus, I could read the writing on the wall. I knew I needed to add some new mad skills to my resume. So, I started this blog, got on Facebook and LinkedIn, and figured out how to actually use my Twitter account.

"They found their boys and picked them up and took them home." Wow, frozen solid.

“They found their boys and picked them up and took them home.”
Wow, frozen solid.

While hanging out at home with my son, I found more time to blog regularly than I would have anticipated having. Regularly publishing posts got me followers. Followers made me try to think up more content. This made me dig out an old story from high school, my only intent being to jazz it up a little, then post it on my blog.

That led to me deciding that I might be able to combine it with more short stories, and do one of those self-publishing dealios.

In 6 months time, that has led to me finishing 2 young-adult (short) novels, and starting a third in the trilogy, with plans for 2 bonus books.

My original goal is to have one self-published by year’s end. I am thinking the writing may be the easiest part of the equation.  I don’t know anything about royalties or percentages or designing book covers, etc.  And at first, well, I thought an e-book would be good enough to fulfill a dream.

But, well, a physical book with a cover with my name on it, filled with words spilled forth from my brain, is so tempting I can taste it. That was my first vision when I made that book out of crayons and pencil.

Trust me, when I get to that point, you will all know. imnotstalkingyou.com will be book-hawking central.

You know, I have also always had a love to art (drawing, painting, photography). Hmmm, maybe that is my real calling…

"They got home and laid their boys down, covered them up, and gave them some soup." This story has been sponsored by Campbell's Soup.  Mmm-Mmm Good.

“They got home and laid their boys down, covered them up, and gave them some soup.”
This story has been sponsored by Campbell’s Soup. Mmm-Mmm Good.

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