I want to say hi, if you’re new here. If you’re wondering “what is this all about?” I’m going to explain.
I am an extrovert – an intuitive and empathic one (qualities often associated with introverts), but still an extrovert. Which means I get energy from extroverting: externalizing my thoughts and ideas.
Even after “testing” as an extrovert multiple times, I’ve only started to identify as one more recently. I was raised in a family of intense introverts. Lovely, quiet, complex, low profile, introverts. I have memories of being a small child and being told it was quiet time (legit request by the way, children don’t really read the room well). But all I wanted was to share my thoughts – desperately! – and all my mother wanted was to clean the house in silence.
I’ve made total peace with silence now, by the way 🙂
From an early age I was really creative. Music, visual arts, fashion, design. I loved all of it. In high school I picked up a guitar, taught myself how to play it, and started writing music. I remember making a myspace page one day (remember myspace?) and putting up four or five original songs I had recorded. I didn’t tell anyone, didn’t connect with anyone, just went there sometimes to listen, for myself.
I thought “these songs are great “. But I didn’t dare go further.
On a volunteer trip in Spain shortly after graduating from my first stint at business school, there was a music night and I played one of my songs. They were blown away and loved it, and some people came up to me after and wanted to know whose song it was so they could find out more about the band. I did not say “thanks, it’s my song”. I told them the name I had given my myspace page… and then wondered nervously if they would check it out.
This is what not working with the universe looks like, by the way.
What was happening was that I didn’t have the awareness yet to know that I’d been imprinted at a young age with values – stay under the radar, other people aren’t safe – that didn’t really work for who I am.
I am an extrovert. I’m wired for sharing. Under the radar is not my optimal position.
Fast forward a few more years – I’m deep into my corporate career and craving some form of creativity so much that I decide to start writing a blog. But once again, I don’t tell anyone, don’t connect, because that doesn’t feel safe. I love creating, and the pure creation is a huge charge for me, but then tiny lights of feedback would happen –
One reader who also happens to be an accomplished writer herself commented: “You write so beautifully. Loved this.” when I wrote about loss. And when I wrote my it-still-makes-my-cry-when-I-read-it account of FL’s birth, a reader commented that she “found it incredibly real and inspiring and teared up the 3 times I’ve read it this morning. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂”.
Seeing that what I had to share had an impact gave me so much joy. This is the currency of an extrovert – giving something imperfect to the world and in return knowing that it meant something to someone.
So I feel called to be in the world at a higher volume. And quite frankly, I’m just going to do it. For many people, finding their voice isn’t a struggle. They’re like, “hi internet, hi social media, this is cool” or whatever, and keep moving forward.
For me, it was scary, unsafe, insane to even consider putting something so personal, so authentic, so flawed and true, into the world. And then claim it as mine.
And yet it feels so right.
Over the next few weeks I’m sharing a series on Career Cornerstones for a Lit-Up Life. Number one is simple but if you don’t don’t nail it, things just won’t feel right. Examine, unpack, challenge and define what matters most to you. In other words, get to know your values.
This is me doing that. What about you?