The introvert inside me

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Working in the public eye has its perks. You get to know tons of different people, some who share your views and some who donít. Either way, you come to understand the world a little bit more. You might also get recognized at the grocery store, which is an experience I canít seem to get used to.

Truthfully, I donít feel very important. I donít say that to be self-deprecating. If I felt like being self-deprecating, Iíd find much worse to say about myself, like how I perpetually forget to feed the cat or snap at my poor husband when he doesnít deserve it. Nevertheless, Gideon likes to remind me how important I am.

ďMaybe to you,Ē Iíll laugh.

I appreciate his support, but Iím a pretty realistic person. I know Iím just a small town newspaper editor. I know this column isnít changing the world. Still, it adds fuel to the fire when weíre checking out at Harts and the person behind us says they liked my column that week. Gideon will nudge me and give me that ďI told you soĒ look. When we get to the parking lot, heíll say Iím famous or, at the very least, a good journalist.

That last part continues to confuse me. Iím not sure how good I am at this job, but, on paper, I shouldnít be good at all. A journalist is a person who interacts with people daily. The most important part of the job is being able to talk to people from various walks of life. While I enjoy meeting new people, Iíve always been pretty introverted.

That doesnít mean I dislike being around people, or even big groups of people. I love a parade as much as the next person, and I enjoy trading life stories over coffee even more. Talking is fun. Most people who meet me probably consider me a talker. It might come as a surprise, then, to know how quiet I am when left to my own devices.

On most Saturdays, I spend hours without speaking. Gideon works weekends, freeing up time for me to hang out with myself all day. Iíll go for hikes, catch up on the TV I missed during the week, clean the apartment, do jigsaw puzzles and surf the InternetÖall without saying a single word aloud. After a week of talking and interacting with others, itís cathartic to take a day for myself. That doesnít mean I dislike being around people. Itís just that I need some time to recharge, so I can continue to enjoy all the perks of my job.

After we started dating, Gideon told me he was surprised by how quiet I am at home. He called my at-home demeanor ďsubduedĒ at the time. Now, he calls me an old lady. Heís pointed out my affinity for loafers, knit sweaters and jigsaw puzzles, saying heíd think I was 90 years old if he didnít know me personally. My friend Kelby agrees with that. This past weekend, he asked me if ďweíre settled down or just boring.Ē

ďI think Iím boring,Ē I said, ďbut I like it.Ē

Iím sure many of you know how that feels. We canít all be extroverts. Some of us just want to curl up on the couch with a cute cat and a good book. When I tell people Iím introverted, they seem surprised, as if that means I donít enjoy meeting new people. I do. Iíve talked to strangers since I was a child. For a long time, my mom had to remind me that I donít have to talk to every person I meet just because our paths happen to cross.

Of course, that doesnít mean youíre going to find me at a party on Saturday night. If you want to see me during the weekend, you better come to my apartment and knock really loud, because Iím probably taking my second nap of the day. Thatís definitely a boring way to spend free time, but thereís nothing wrong with it.

Sometimes, itís the only way the world feels right.

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Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.