I spent most of the week at a blogging conference called Blissdom. If you follow me on Twitter you’ll have figured that out, certainly.
Ok so here’s what I think- I think I let my introverted nature get the best of me far too often. Don’t misunderstand me, I love being an introvert. I identify with the watcher, the observer, the deep waters introverts swim with ease. It’s just that being an introvert also pegs me as outsider or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I make myself an outsider.
I’m drawn to extroverts, the yin to my yang, clearly. I married an extrovert, several of my closest friends are extroverts. I’ve needed this energy even as I never envied it. I don’t want to become an extrovert and yet I love to soak in these incredible extrovert friendships. Up until a few days ago I didn’t realize that I truly felt some lacking in me around this.
What strikes me about the gathering of women in this context is that I realize I’m thrown into gradeschool emotion all over again. I FEEL like I’m 8 years old when I attend large gatherings of women. I am that little girl on the playground, glad to be alone and yet terrified of being excluded. She had no idea how to connect with people live and in person. She wrote poetry in her notebooks filled with longing and lament, even then, sitting on the cold ground in the corner during recess. She sat there waiting for her moment, for some cracking in the earth to come and save her from the awkwardness of it all.
Just as me being thrown into that emotion was not the fault of the kids on the playground when I was 8, it’s not the fault of the women gathered at Blissdom that I went there this week, not at all. It was a lovely, diverse, intelligent and fascinating group of humans. Honestly. It is for this reason that I regret that I let my fear paralyze me when it came to engaging. It’s not just that, though. The lacking I feel is anchored in joy I read in them as I watched from my seat. I saw a great number of these women reaching out to one another, not seeming to be afraid of injury, using strong voices and rich words and I was taken apart. I long for that in me. I know it is there.
I’m not without humor or joy, I know this. I can channel my extroverted performer energy when I reach a level of comfort but I want that joy I saw. I want it more readily, more often, worn on the outside. And then I wonder if there is a place that will fall open in my soul one day…a crack in the earth of my finely crafted veneer when I will finally free the 8 year old and allow her to shine, brightly.