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What a Snow Day is Like for an Extrovert

snowday

This past weekend, our region got quite a bit of snow. Now I know it’s not a huge amount for you folks out in the north or Midwest. Yes I get that you’re used to TONS of feet of snow and we folks down in the South don’t know how to drive. Fine, you’re better than us and we suck at life. (We really don’t, but that’s what you want to hear isn’t it?)

But it snowed all day causing several good inches to fall and making the roads really bad so everyone pretty much stayed in on Saturday. Being as how I didn’t need to be anywhere, I stayed at home the whole day. These are the thoughts of someone who is extroverted being cooped up in their home all day.

9:00 am – Oh hey it’s starting to snow.

10:00 am – All I can think about are the lyrics to Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

(Christmas) Oh, the snow’s coming down

(Christmas) Now I’m watching it fall

12:30pm – Dang it. I should have ordered that pizza. I’m really hungry now.

1:30 pm – I am angry at myself because I didn’t stock up at the grocery store beforehand. Food supplies are limited.

2:00 pm – Well, I’ve already read 2 books today. What am I supposed to do now?

3:00 pm – There is no one on Facebook or Gchat to talk to. Also…if I died today would anyone know?

4:00 pm – I am really bored right now. There is nothing to do.

6:00 pm – Well that was a long nap I just took. BECAUSE I WAS BORED.

9:00 pm – The Musketeers are on and that means I can live tweet with strangers. HUMAN INTERACTION THROUGH THE INTERWEBS SAVES THE DAY?

11:00 pm – There is nothing left to do. I’m just going to bed. Because I’m bored.

7:00 am – Whaaaat? Church is cancelled? Now what?

12:30 pm – The walls are starting to close in. We are reaching full cabin fever mode. AHHHHH

4:00 pm – I AM SAVED. I GET TO SEE PEOPLE TONIGHT. ALL IS WELL.

I know. Not entirely exciting but it did make me realize that while I can go a full day without seeing or talking to anyone, I really do need to be around people at some point to recharge myself. I wish I could be an introvert because I was basically living the introvert’s dream this weekend. But there’s only so many books you can read, so many TV show and Netflix you can watch, and so many of not talking/seeing a single other person that I can take.

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Stop being so scared and just do it!

I love trying new things. I’m all about getting out of my comfort zone and trying out stuff.

I just hate trying new things for the first time by myself.

I’m just going to state that people who are in relationships have it so much easier. If you can convince your partner to go along with you, the battle is already half over. Then you at least have one more level before you have to resort to friends and family. If you’re single and you can’t get any of your friends/family to go with you, you’re always going to be doing things on your own.

Case in point.

When I go back to my hometown for the holidays I’m looking forward to picking up some local beers that I won’t be able to get back in the DC area. I’m also looking forward to going to a local brewery so I can try out some of their beers plus it’ll be good to catch up a friend that I haven’t seen in a long time.

However I’m dreading the whole situation. Why? Because I’m worried about going by myself and not knowing what to do. I don’t like that feeling at all. We all know how much I love spoilers. And in scenarios like this, I want to know exactly what’s going to happen so I can avoid looking and feeling awkward as much as possible. Even just the thought of trying to figure out where to park and finding the right entrance is terrifying because I’m already admitting I don’t know what I’m doing and I have to do this alone.

See, I’ve worked in customer service. And I know from personal experience how much people hate n00bs who don’t know what they’re doing when everyone else seems to have their act together. People hate it when you’re standing in line and someone doesn’t know the correct way to order something and takes up too much time trying to figure it out. Patience is not a strong virtue among a lot of folks. I don’t like doing things new by myself because I’m afraid of acting like a fool in front of regulars. Sure there are some people who like helping newbies but there are also those who hate it when someone tries to enter what’s already been established.

I honestly can get a panic attack from worrying about this too much. I know that some of you could care less what other people think.

So I envision one of these three scenarios happening when I try to go visit the brewery:

  • Scenario A: I get to the place but because I’m panicking about just trying to figure out where to park, I end up turning around and going home. I mutter to myself, It’s just not worth it, and make the drive all the way for nothing.
  • Scenario B: I get to the place. It takes me a while to figure out parking but I do it. I get inside and I’m not sure what to do and everyone else seems to figure it out. I don’t recognize anyone there and I feel very uncomfortable but I still keep going. I keep looking at menu or whatever is handy that I can read and feel like this is the worst thing ever and how much I hate being a shy extrovert and wonder why on earth I ever thought this was going to be a good idea. I finally figure out how to order my flight of beers and drink alone and check everything into Untappd so that it looks like I’m just fiddling with my phone the entire time. I either don’t see my friend at all or they ignore me completely and I feel very foolish. I wait around after I’m done in hopes that maybe someone will talk to me but no one ends up doing so. Eventually I leave feeling relieved that the whole ordeal is over but glad that I made it and vow never to do something like that again.
  • Scenario C: Everything goes fine, I’m not awkward at all, I manage to find people to talk to, I’m witty and charming, end up having a good time and wonder why on earth I was worried so much about all this?

I have no idea what’s going to end up happening. It’s a game time decision.

A friend told me to just get rid of my training wheels (other people) and do things. We’ll see what happens.

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A Late Bloomer Finally Gets It

Last week I talked about wearing masks and believing the lie that God could never love us. Here’s the second part to that series.

We’re so afraid that the dream can’t come. That if someone actually knew the real us, saw behind the mask, before the makeup that they would walk away. Our fear is to be known and be rejected. And when those things that we fear keep us from being loved and they are held in front of my face, we believe every bad thing about us.

It’s really funny how there’s a fine line as to how much Christians will take when it comes to openness and authenticity. We constantly talk about how we need to be real with other believers and that it’s important to share our problems because we shouldn’t face things alone. And that it’s good to do this in a safe environment with those we trust.

But at the same time if we see someone publicly talk about their struggles, we say they are being too open, over sharing, and some things are best left private. And then we start judging them, condemn them, and even try to shame them for acting this way and sharing it with the world without offering any help at all.

Thus we then repeat the cycle of never sharing anytime we’re going through something tough in life because we need to keep it all together on the outside because as Christians we’re supposed to be able to trust God in everything and never worry.

We can’t have it both ways can we?

Are we afraid to see struggles in other people’s lives because it brings out to light the ones we have in our own? Do we see someone having struggles and feel “blessed” because we don’t have that going on in our lives? Do we just not want to deal with anyone else and their problems because we have our own mess to deal with? Do we place perfect pictures on Facebook of how great our lives are because we are genuinely happy or because we want to brag? Is the intention to make someone jealous or just to show a happy moment?

The last five pics on Facebook I posted are

  1. a screenshot of Josh Groban retweeting me
  2. Me and my friends’ adorable baby
  3. A pic of my move in a tabletop game where I die.
  4. My friend and his baby making the exact same face
  5. All the flights of beer my friends and I were about to sample.

What were the reasons for me behind posting these? Well honestly, either out of sheer excitement at the moment or the baby being so darned cute. I don’t go on trips to photographic places, I don’t have an awesome boyfriend/husband who cleans my car AND cooks me dinner, I personally don’t have a very cute baby, and I haven’t recently had a major life event that I can share with everyone. Therefore I don’t feel like my life is anything anyone would be jealous over. Even IF I wanted to impress anyone, the people I would want to see “how awesome my life is right now” don’t follow any of my social media and therefore have no idea what is going on in my life at the moment. I’m not trying to get likes on these photos to make me feel validated. And let me tell you, getting a billion notifications is not fun either. I experienced that with my Josh Groban retweet. It makes me not want to ever be a celebrity. That was not a humble brag for the record.

I think sometimes I use social media simply just to make sure I’m not alone in how I feel and to see if there is anyone else that can validate my thinking so I’m not weird. I realize that not everyone will be excited about the things I am interested in. I’m not out for universal approval. If I were I’d be failing like a champ because I’ll never get it.

“Really Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time”

And yet…

Right now I’m at a point in my life where I fully enjoy all the interests that I have. It’s taken me a while to realize and accept this. I’m a late bloomer. I know this. I’m sure there are many of you who figured this out the day you were born.

I’m going to tell you this though. It’s hard. It’s really hard when you are excited about something, either an interest that you have or something that you’ve accomplished, and NO ONE can share in your excitement with you. Either they simply don’t care or they don’t share the interest so when you try to explain it, they don’t get it or understand why you’re so excited. And then someone else will come along with something everyone else can relate to and you’re just left alone in the dust.

For example: there are many times when I like something and I’m literally the only female in the group of people I hang around with that does. There have been many times when I’ve been considered one of the guys when it comes to shared interests. It’s great fun during that specific time period because I enjoy stuff like beer, tabletop gaming, and comics. But then they go back to their significant others who are the complete 180 of me and I’m left alone. And it makes me feel like I have to be something/someone else in order to have that too. That there’s something wrong with me where I’m cool enough to do one thing but it’s not enough to have everything else.

It’s hard to watch all my female friends go through the process of being single to being a girlfriend, wife, and mother while I’m left behind. And now that I’m literally the last one of my girlfriends to be single, it’s sometimes hard to not think if I’m doing something wrong or if there’s something wrong with me. There’s also the Christian side of this that tells you you can’t pursue and you need to wait. And also the view that if a guy wants something, he’ll go after it. Well with that logic, what happens to all the women who are never asked? Does this mean they are never wanted? What’s going on here?

I believed it was my fault that no one wanted to go out with me and that the responsibility for it rested squarely on my shoulders. If I were more spiritual, or more beautiful, or less opinionated guys would be into what I was selling.

But I know that it’s not true. I know that I can never be what I’m not. God has made me into the way I am and while I can tweak and work on things, I’m ultimately the person that I am.

Something I’m trying to accept: Even if no one else I know personally likes something I do, it does not mean that I am doing something wrong or that I am so weird and must change myself.

I’ve always felt like an outsider and that something must be weird with me because no one else likes what I like.  No, I don’t think I’m some sort of special snowflake that is so incredibly unique. When I really think about it, even though I would have liked to have been part of what everyone else does, I’ve always done my own thing. I’ve always gravitated towards things that the majority doesn’t really go after – from types of food I like, to TV shows, to books I read, even down to celebrities I like. Almost everything I like, the majority of people I know won’t be into it because I discovered it on my own. It suits me fine to have my interests but it would just be awesome to be able to share in the excitement with people you actually know. There’s always the internet but when you’re with friends, it feels odd standing out.

But I’m learning to accept that it’s ok to be different. I mean I wish people wouldn’t put me down for the things I like even if they don’t like them. That’s actually something I’ve never understood. If someone is genuinely excited about something and they tell you about it (in a non bragging way, but still) why on earth would you shoot them down with a “Why do you like [certain thing]? That’s so stupid.” There are many things that many of my friends do that I have no interest in. It doesn’t lessen what they do just because I don’t.

There are hard days. Yes. I look at many Christian women who are strong believers, awesome at what they do, are gorgeous, and yet they are single. I’ve read or heard them say they struggled with it because they didn’t/don’t really want to be in that situation.I can’t figure out why in the world they are single. And it makes me wonder if THEY can’t find anyone, what makes me think that I can have any hope?

But whatever God wants to happen will happen. I don’t know His ultimate plans but right now I do know that I’ve enjoyed becoming the person that I am now. And while yes, I can always work on some things, I am happy with how I turned out. I am who I am. I come with quirks, flaws, and baggage. I think my laugh sounds too loud and my sneezes weird everyone else out. But you know what? I’m happy. I’ve reached that point in my life where I’m not going to change myself just to get someone else. I’m not going to try pretend to be someone I’m not just to keep and maintain any sort of relationship. If someone wants me to be something I cannot ever be and doesn’t allow my true self to be appreciated then you’re not meant to be in my life in that particular way.

I’m no longer hiding behind any more masks. This is me.

And me is awesome.

We have some pretty big ideas of how our lives should go. We feel pretty strongly about what we don’t want to happen, and we’re perfectly willing to spend our entire lives fretting and fussing and not trusting that—whatever it is—God is for ushttp://shereadstruth.com/2014/07/15/please-thank-2/

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Why Do I Blog?

Sometimes I wonder why I keep blogging.

It’s certainly not for the numbers. Every time someone asks me how many subscribers I have, I don’t like telling them because it’s a really low number. My stats are not amazing. Anytime someone says they have low stats, I want to say “you don’t know low stats.” I do know that a few people read almost everything I post, but otherwise I have no idea who actually reads my blog on a regular basis. While I share new blog posts on social media, unless someone tells me that they read something, I just assume no one reads it. I don’t expect any of my friends to actually read this. There are days when I get really excited about writing a post and I put a lot of time and effort into it only to have nobody even click on the post at all much less read or comment on it.

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It’s not for exposure. I’m not getting famous by doing this. I’m not expecting any of my posts to go viral, for me to get discovered, or for me to get a book deal out of this. Nor am I doing this in order to work on my writing so that I can go somewhere with it. It’d be cool if this could lead towards a job because of my blogging but as of right now that’s not happening.

And contrary to popular belief, this blog is not so I can write about everything that happens in my life. It’s not like I’m waiting around for events to happen so I can talk about them on here.

You may think I’m being completely open on my blog and to some extent I am. But I don’t treat this like a diary and there are a lot of things that I am not going to overshare with the rest of the world. At least not on a public platform like my blog. Therefore if you only read my posts but never actually talk to me, you only have a one-sided view of what I’m really like.

No, the real reason why I started blogging again was because I want others to know that they are not alone.

There’s a difference in wanting to be by yourself and then feeling like you’re alone in what you’re going through.

I know that one of the first things I do when I go through a crisis or situation is to Google it. Because I want to believe that I can’t possibly be the only person that’s going through this situation. Surely there must be someone in the world who knows what I’m going through and I’m not just some freak of nature that this is happening to.

A lot of times however I can’t. And while some of you are perfectly fine in situations where you’re the only person, I know for me it is super hard because I feel like I’m drowning and there is no one who can help me. I don’t like the feeling of being the odd person out in a negative way. When I feel like nobody understands what I’m going through, trying to make things better is a very steep uphill climb.

So with this blog, in case someone happens to stumble up on it, I just want them know they aren’t alone. Whether that’s a someone who suddenly has a completely random thought and is curious if anyone else thought it, or someone who happens to like watching the Olympics AND Doctor Who and wonders if it’s possible to like sports AND be a geek, or if someone is struggling with an issue and worries they are the only ones going through this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

While it doesn’t have the highest amount of hits, the post on my blog that constantly gets viewed every week is my post on Trusting God When Things Seem Impossible. Out of all the posts I’ve written on this blog, every week since I first posted in October, this post is the most searched and most regularly visited. There have been so many variations of the phrase of trusting God in impossible times used in search engines to find that post. Which to me seems that there are many people who feel the same way I did and they want to know what to do and to know that they are not alone in that situation. I don’t know if my blog helps. I’d like to think that what I said has some impact and can give them some reassurance and advice but I’m not sure. What I do know is that for me, every time I see that post appearing in my stats for the day, it helps to remind ME that God is still working in my life and that I need to trust him even when I have no idea how things will work out for myself.

I just feel like I am meant to do this right now. I may feel like stopping at some point but for now this is what I feel like I’m being led to do. Like I’ve said before, I have a story. Several stories actually. And if I can help others somehow with my story and make an impact in their lives, then that’s what I want to continue doing. I’m pretty sure I’m getting better at it and will continue to do more so in the future.

Writing this blog has also helped me a lot. It’s keeping me disciplined and accountable as I’ve kept up with my schedule of posting three times a week. It’s helped me become more creative and allows an outlet for me to let it out. Even if I’m not actively trying to have a writing career, I am writing more and I do believe it is improving. Doing this has also helping me figure out more things about myself. And that’s always a good thing.