On Being an Introvert and…Missing Out On Life?

I don’t know about you but I have often felt left out, passed over, ignored. I’m not the one who gets the big birthday party thrown in my honor, or the one who has a gaggle of friends to go out with on New Year’s Eve. I’m not the one who had a bachelorette party before my wedding.

Being an introvert, I have cultivated a quiet life, rich with reading, periods of time alone, and quietness. This is the type of life I am drawn to, that makes me comfortable, happy and sane.

But, if I’m honest, I have often felt left out of the fun; a sort-of bystander as life meanders right on by me. I’ve felt this way throughout my life-as a child and even as an adult. Following my introvert instincts and needs has put me in a position where I sometimes feel I am not actually living life but watching it pass me by.

Recently, I had a ‘big’ birthday. The exact number is irrelevant, though it is a birthday one traditionally celebrates with a big To-Do.

I did not have a big To-Do for this birthday. But I wanted one. I wanted a party. I yearned for a party. I wanted my life to be celebrated on a night of dancing, drinking, eating and socializing.

Wait, I’m an introvert, right? How could I want that?

Well, I did. For one night I wanted to be the Belle of the Ball. And even though I received beautiful birthday wishes via Facebook and text as well as phone calls and very nice presents from my husband, I felt like life had, once again, passed me by.

And I was sad.

I wanted that monumental celebration that I had seen so many friends and acquaintances have.

But, I can’t handle many social situations. I don’t like crowds. I like to go to bed early to read. I like quiet gatherings with small groups of good friends.

And my husband knows this. Thus, no party. Make no mistake, my life was celebrated-just in a quiet way. But for once in my life, I wanted the Big Bang. I wanted to wear a crown (how fun is that?) and play the extroverted party girl whose soiree everyone wanted to attend.

So what gives? How can I be confident in the introvert that I am while I often feel that life is passing me by?

I don’t have an answer to this question. Rather, I’m curious as to your experiences. Are you comfortable and confident in your introverted self or do you feel that you’re missing out on a life well lived?

*If you don’t want to comment publicly on this blog, feel free to private message me on my FB page or send me an email. I am always eager to share experiences.

Cheers! Tracy

About TracyHewittMeyer

I love to write...anything and everything...aross genres and back again.
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3 Responses to On Being an Introvert and…Missing Out On Life?

  1. Katy R says:

    I am totally with you here. The reason why I came across your post is because I typed almost the exact title in Google during this, my latest soul-search. I have been introverted forever; I didn’t know what it was when I was younger but I’ve always been this way. Being around others tires me out – I can only deal with it at certain times (when I am in the right frame of mind) and for certain periods of time, then I need to escape. The only people I can be around constantly – without the need for breaks to recharge – are my partner and immediate family. I never wanted a big party for any of my important ‘milestones’, I am now nearing another and feel no different. However, I feel the same as you in that I feel like I should be able to have one of these. I see photos of other people’s, and think wouldn’t it be great if I could have a party like them. Because I like dancing, music and having a drink, and even having a laugh! But I can’t deal with having to be around a lot of people for a long period of time – especially as it would mean me being the centre of attention. I just can’t cope with being scrutinised in any situation, it makes me incredibly anxious. I have recently had to take leave from my nursing course because I was totally exhausted from the relentless contact with others; patients and co-workers. I have always gone for jobs that involve a great deal of contact with people due to the fact I am interested in people – my degree subjects were psychology and anthropology! It is only recently that I have realised that I can only deal with people from afar. It makes me sad that I have wasted so much of my life trying to become someone I can never be, and now I am faced with the task of figuring out what it is that I can do that interests me but also suits my introversion. Wish me luck!

    • Hi Katy. Thanks for the comment. Boy, do I understand what you’re talking about. There are parts of my personality that craves attention and being social and being that extraverted person who has a gaggle of friends. That part of me is easily swept under the rug of my introverted self. Similar to you, I was in social work. Once I had children and tried to return, I realized I couldn’t do it anymore. The clients’ needs plus my family’s needs overwhelmed me. That’s when I started writing. I’ve found my home in fiction because it lets me spend hours alone during the day and also get lost in my dreamland, a place I love to be. But it didn’t happen overnight and sometimes I wonder what will happen if this writing thing doesn’t pan out. But please don’t think that you’ve ‘wasted’ so much of your life. I don’t think any of us, extroverted or introverted, are born knowing our true selves. Life is a journey and I really believe that. Part of that journey is getting to know ourselves, and love ourselves as much as we can, flaws, quirks and all. And I do wish you luck! Please keep in touch!

      • Katy R says:

        Hi Tracy! Thanks so much for your reply. Wow, we really are similar! I think maybe we are drawn to these person-centred jobs because we want to understand others, and ultimately ourselves, better. But yes, it is incredibly hard to take on another person’s needs in addition to your own. If you’re anything like me, just getting through each day is a challenge – even without any extra stressors! After a shift I would beat myself up about the way I had handled patient cases and worry that I had somehow made things worse for them (as I was working in mental health this was pretty much a constant issue). I have been thinking recently that I might try making jewellery, nothing really fancy, just simple beading. I had a go a few months ago and I found it incredibly therapeutic. The fact that I am a huge perfectionist certainly came in! Plus I love to make things neat and pretty, so it is pretty much a perfect hobby for me. I can see myself on a little stall one day, working on my own and selling my own products! As for the nursing, I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I have only a year left to complete but it will be even harder than what I have done so far, and that was enough to make me ill. It is playing on my mind a lot at the moment and I really don’t know what the answer is. I think that given the right work environment I could be really good at it, but if I’m honest with myself I know I am not suited to it. It gives me courage to know that you decided to leave your social work behind, it makes me feel a little less of a failure. Thank you for wishing me luck in my decision of what to do. I really hope that the writing works out for you 🙂

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