Posts tagged ‘introvert’

Day 9.5 up to 10: Final Day/s to Happiness

"Girl Showing Thumbs Up" courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Girl Showing Thumbs Up” courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Of course this is not the last day I intend to be happy.  But this is the sort of end of my “spring break”, and tomorrow I will move on to other topics, with the occasional updates throughout.

Random semi-related thought: I’m really intrigued by the variety of “like”s from this week (because yes, I do sometimes obsess about these things):

Intro: 5 Pieces of Happiness:15       Days 1 & 2: 10     Day 3: 10     Day 4: 9     Day 5: 10     Days 6 & 7: 13     Days 8 and 8.5: 2

So. . . naturally I’m curious about the most recent day.  I think it’s likely that it was too long to read or that people are ready for me to move on.  Or people have places to go, people to see, other blogs to read etc.

Moving on. . .

1. My health took a hit with the two parties I had this week.  I overindulged in many delicious sweets, and I paid for it, especially today.  The overeating and sugar explosion resulted in a very cranky, depressed Teri who still has not completely recovered, though faring much better.  Sleep has still been fine, and exercise has been great.  Yesterday I took Bowser for a walk.  Today I biked 14 miles, and after the party I took Bowser for a mile walk.

2. I am having a lot of technological drama this weekend.  I’m trying not to dwell on it too much because I know I’m only attracting more to myself that way.  I finally completed my first vlog, but I’m still struggling to upload it to letsvlog.com.  Brian helped me with conversion — first getting it to be the right size, and then the right file format — and now I’m still trying to get the site to accept it.  As of this moment, I have just deleted the video (that the site was still “converting”), and am attempting to upload again.  I must admit these difficulties have lessened my excitement with this new venture.  But I do think I’m video-genic, so worse comes to worse, I may try youtube next.  I’d really like to start with the smaller vlog community, though, before I open myself up to the whole world.

3. People.  Ah, people.  I was completely awkward at the party last night.  Full blown introvertedness, though I tried to fight it/hide it.  It was a great party with a lot of people, but I was feeling extremely self-conscious and unsure of myself with all the new people, and my uncomfortablesness came to an unpleasant climax when I lived out one of my most awkward/drawn out goodbye — Brian confirmed it even made him uncomfortable.  Maybe I need to just give a blunt “Bye” and spin right around from now on because I think I’ve gone way out to the opposite extreme now.  The party today was fine.  It was family.  I was a little uneasy with the one new person there, but I got over it fairly quickly until the ladies began talking about engagement rings.  I think I masked my uneasiness well, but I didn’t even know what I was supposed to think and feel.  The thing is, though a part of me wants the traditional things, like a ring, another part of me thinks it goes against everything I am.  I don’t wear a lot of jewelry and would never want to spend that much money on any one item, and I certainly wouldn’t want to insist that Brian shell out so much for me.  Finally, I abhor the notion that my future decisions and happiness depend entirely on my partner.  (Why should deciding to get married be just the guy’s job?)   But I could go on and on about that sort of thing.  So, I’m moving on again.

4. This is still good.  Being present.  No, I’m not in a perfect state of awareness all the time, but I’m a lot more aware than I used to be.  And I have moments of meditative bliss.  Today I found the perfect tree to hug on my walk — the tree was actually leaning in as if about to give a hug! — and wrapping my arms around the massive trunk felt fantastic.  Bowser was really patient about the whole thing, too, even when I went to hug a second tree.  The trees are still more alive; the birds are alive.  I’m more in touch with myself.  Unfortunately, that means I’m also in touch with my inner unpleasant feelings, like the dread of going back to work, and my nervous emotional reactions to people and situations.  And speaking of touch, I’ve become much more observant of how often I touch my skin, especially my face.  I think it’s mainly a nervous thing, and I’ve noticed that I’m doing it a lot more now, as my break comes to an end.  I’m wondering if my skin issues are correlated to the amount of contact I have with my skin.  I still think stress is a factor, too.

5.  I don’t have much to say for this last one.  Just that I’m ready for a change and want a simpler life.  I’m willing to work hard; I just want to be able to play hard, too.  I admit that I miss my regular work routine, and I’m ready to return to work, if only for that part.  I keep trying to calm my nervous stomach and tell it that from now on I will not be as stressed, but my body doesn’t want to believe me yet.  It may take time.

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I Get So Emotional, Baby. . .

"Circles Colours" by Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

“Circles Colours” by Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yesterday I’m struck by the range of emotions I went through yesterday.  Even when I get enough sleep, am eating pretty well, and my week has passed its climax, I can still live an emotional roller coaster.  It puzzles me, and the controlling, perfectionistic part of me gets extremely disconcerted and frustrated.

The first major part of my day was writing workshop.  It was fantastic.  I gave a quick mini-lesson and then spent the rest of the period in conferences.  I LOVED that part.  I am a one-on-one type person, and writing is my favorite subject, so having the chance to discuss kids’ original work was the highlight of my week (besides karaoke).

I felt a sense of peace as I left the school.  I felt like another job was accomplished, something else could be checked off my list.  And it was a beautiful outside; the sun was shining, no cold wind, etc etc.

The middle of my day was just as pleasant.  I read for a bit. (I’m enjoying I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak.)  I used the elliptical, making sure to go both forwards and backwards, and I had a pleasant 2-hour or so chat with my dad about various things that left me feeling that things were alright in the world.  I headed home, and settled down to read up on some world history in preparation for tutoring early the next morning.

And then things got a little off.

It started with the prep. reading.  I took too long.  We had an event yesterday evening; a friend was coming down from Wisconsin for a bit, and she was having people meet up at Gameworks to hang out for a while.  It started at “6”, but I had seen on the facebook event that some people planned to come late, and I figured that no one really shows up right on time, anyway.  I was nibbling here and there, and I didn’t know you could even eat at Gameworks.

But apparently I hadn’t nibbled enough, and Brian hadn’t eaten enough, because we both began to get cranky, and the evening turned a little hellish.  Finally, at 6:15 or so (after telling Brian 2 or 3 times that I wanted a little more time to finish reading . . . yes, I think I started it . . .) we finally set out on the road.

I realized a little late that neither of us knew exactly how to get there.  We just knew it was way up north somewhere, likely off of 355.  But we don’t like taking 355.  It has many expensive tolls. However, it’s also a lot faster.

So, now it’s 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, and Brian sets off in his car, heading toward 59, while asking me to use his phone to try to find the address, and then use one of his various map apps to try to get us there.  While I’m doing this, I ask him: “Why are we taking 59?  Isn’t it off of 355?”  while figuring that maybe he just didn’t want to take the tolls.  I struggle with the phone, and he gets frustrated and takes over at the next red light.  “Holy cow that’s far north!” he says.  “I know,” I say, “That’s why I was surprised you were taking 59.”  “We’re taking 355!” he announces, and turns the car east.  “But shouldn’t we go back home?” I ask.  “No!” he says.  “But aren’t there a lot of tolls?” I ask.   “Yes,” he says.  “And you don’t have an I-Pass,” I ask.  “I’ll pay them on-line later,” he huffs.  “But Isn’t it more expensive without one?” I persist.   “I don’t care,” he says.  Then 1 minute later he turns the car around.  “Forget it!” he says, “I’m not spending that much money on tolls!”

So now we’re backtracking.  We return home and switch cars.  I insist on driving for the semi-illogical reason that I’m not sure he’s listed on my car insurance (since this has never stopped me before), when I really just don’t feel like being responsible for navigation, nor communication with our friend.  I admit as much a few minutes later.

I neglected to mention that when we first left, Brian told me to call our friend to find out what her dinner plans were: if they were eating there, when they were eating there, and when everyone was going to be there.  I was already in a weird mood and opted to text her the 20 questions instead.  He insisted that I call her if we didn’t get a text back by the time we were on the road again; I stubbornly refused.  We never heard back.  We found out later that she had left her phone at her mom’s anyway;  we also found out that everyone had eaten right at 6.

We got there at 7:30.  The place was bigger than we thought, and after walking a lap around the entire upstairs and downstairs, we finally found her, as we were contemplating a second lap.  This was fortunate because we were now at level red irritation levels and the claws were about to come out.  We said a quick hello and make quick introductions, and then announced that we were finding something to eat.  We spent the next half hour of our “visit” alone with each other — and finally – with our desperately needed dinner. (Which was still vegetarian, by the way: a roasted tomato pizza, pepper jack potato balls, and onion rings.)

Then our friend and her new lovebug met up with us and we caught up/got acquainted.  Besides my unexpected onrush of crankiness (which I guess may be attributed to starvation), my emotions from this point on baffled me.  I am contiunally amazed at my reaction to meeting new people: I am completely uncomfortable.   And this time I was even uncomfortable with my old friend, having nothing of the complete peace and ease that I had felt with our last conversation.  I was worried about whether I was paying more attention to one person or the other, wondering if what I said was appropriate, and then sometimes not knowing what to say at all.  When I met up with the rest of her friends, I barely conversed with them beyond the regular pleasantries.  Why was I so extremely uncomfortable?

Later, Brian’s friend came over to meet us there, and my emotions baffled me further.  Again I was feeling annoyance and awkwardness.  I felt as if he were taking Brian away from me, as he and Brian drew toward each other and meandered off to the side to chit-chat, while I observed the others in their bowling game.

Throughout the rest of the evening I struggled to understand and deal with my emotions: awkwardness with new people, awkwardness with my friend’s change in relationship status, awkwardness with Brian’s friend, competitive frustration when I stunk at bowling, and discomfort and confusion about whether I even wanted to spend the money and play any videogames – most of which I normally have an aversion to for their violent or unappealing nature.

Why couldn’t I just have relaxed and made some simple chit-chat?  Why couldn’t I have gone with Brian and his buddy to play that basketball game, instead of stewing on the leather sofa?  Why can’t I be the life of the party, instead of the mope of the party?  Why do I feel this way, and why do I let my emotions control me?  How much do I just observe and accept myself for who I am, and how much do I try to analyze what’s going on inside me, recognize the negative energy, and try to flip my attitude on its head?

Needless to say, my mostly peaceful day ended in turmoil, and I just wasn’t sure what to make of it.  I guess I’ll just accept it as it is and move on.  Next time I can try to be a little friendlier, try to sidestep the emotions that attempt to tie me in knots.  But nobody died, I haven’t lost any friends, I haven’t embarrassed anyone or made a fool of myself, and Brian and I aren’t fighting.  So, I think in that way at least, I can call yesterday a definite win.

Networking

Yes, so I’m an introvert.  Don’t get me wrong, I love people.  I like being around people.  But I have those introverted tendencies: I don’t like small talk; I get tired after being around people and need to recharge, etc etc.

When one is trying to figure out what to do in life and needs to make connections, it becomes tricky, being an introvert who also doesn’t like to ask for help.

Today I wanted to smack my head, looking over the events of the day.  I did branch out and take a leap, and visited a career center and went to a job fair today.  (I almost chickened out on the second one, but I pushed myself ahead, and I’m glad I went.)  But looking back, I realize things could have gone better.   My posture was slouched.  I could have made more eye contact.  I didn’t get names.  I didn’t have questions in mind ahead of time.    (I began by hovering around people who were already asking questions and eavesdropping on their questions.)  And at the career center I spoke so softly I might as well have had laryngitis.

But, I had some definite “Yay!”s:

  • I went!  I risked!  I practiced! That’s the first step, right?
  • I learned!  Among other things, I learned that LinkedIn is super important — the career center stressed it, and immediately upon walking into the job fair, I heard one of the employers at a table asking “Are you on LinkedIn?”
  • I set up a career counseling appointment for next week.  I hope I get someone who is a good match.  I’m already thinking positive thoughts. . .

It was interesting which areas I was drawn to in the Job Fair.  Not a huge surprise to me, but still interesting:

  • Joliet Junior College — What can I say — there’s an educator in me, even if I’m just hanging around educators!
  • A Forest Preserve — What’s not to like about nature?  Didn’t sound like they had any positions I would fit into, though.
  • Senior Living  — This actually sounds like great work for me.  I’m not sure that I could make enough, but I would love to work with the elderly, especially those who are semi-self-sufficient and just need the little bit of help
  • Clerical work: I like to type and to file . . and I like computers. . .

(Aside:I watched a great clip from GYA today’s blog about Zig Ziglar: The Zig. It put things in perspective for me again today, and it reminded me a lot of me, like in my Just Do It — Be Happy! post. )

Well, it’s always good to know what’s out there.  Where do I go from here?  A little bit of work every day.  This was a great day for me.  Now I’ve gotta keep at it by getting into a regular routine.  That will be my next post. . .

Image: photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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