If you’re reading this, thanks already.
And if you prefer to listen to the audio-blog version instead, find it **HERE **
Hello, my name is Ashlyn, and I am an introvert.
Recently, along my quest for self-growth, I’ve come to discover, I am an introvert. And instead of man handling my thoughts into wishing I was a handshaking, small talking, wine-drinking, networking, extroverted goddess, I’ve recently found empowerment in accepting my reality.
I initially found this to be an odd character trait for a chick who throws her deep thoughts and half nude body online and pretty much sparks conversation with anyone brave enough to make eye contact: but nonetheless, after much internal reflection, I’am most certain, introversion is my calling.
For the longest time, I affiliated “introversion” with shyness, with anti-social attitudes and with a lack of love for people. I had a hard time accepting that my desire to be alone was a necessity to my wellbeing. Introverts always seemed like assholes who didn’t want to hang, or party, or make friends.
But after much self acceptance, I can proudly admit: I am one of those assholes. And instead of forcefully opposing my souls true search for solo-time, I’ve decided to embrace my once-imagined character flaw and share with y’all that there ARE benefits to being an introvert like me.
So if you’re a fellow stay-indoors, clean your place, throw on some music and cook a delicious meal in the comfort of your own home while performing your best solo signing act in your panties: than you might be catching my drift. Nod along if you feel me. Yes, this one is for you.
And, if you like books, and silence, and meditation, and yoga and your own company and sprawling out in a king size bed spread-eagle with no one around to touch, talk, chew, breathe or listen to- then maybe you, too, will find solace in this introverted movement I’m claiming.
Oh, and if you enjoy the space between your ears, the moments when you’re walking alone, the times you’re driving without passengers, the darkness of the bedroom when you’re just about to fall asleep. If you thrive in those moments: just you, your breath, your thoughts, your naked spirit with no distractions or words or voices, if you find bliss in this abyss: and you REQUIRE “you-only” time in order to fully function like the badass woman you are: then, throw your hands in the air and embrace your solitude sister: this ones for you.
Basically what I’m saying, is, this blog is for all those who are simply cool with avoiding an abundance of human interaction.
I see you. I am you. But don’t worry, I won’t talk to you.
So, here’s the thing about introverts: the whole “opposites attract” notion has us all in love with socialites, partygoers and extroverted hunks.
And true to that testament, my anti-social gremlin of a soul is married to a great man who thrives in social environments. A text-book extrovert, if you will.
The guy gets his energy through interaction, like a fucking friend magnet- he’s a friend to everyone (even people he doesn’t know, they know him, and somehow, they’re friends).
Creepy side note: my husband was once so kind to spark conversation with an 83-year old man at a doctor’s office, that the man believed Rob was a disciple of God. He proceeded to write love letters and emails to our business after seeing our logo on Rob’s tee-shirt and using the local library computers to search our location. He then frequented our office (as shown on our security cameras, peering into the windows on a Sunday morning wearing a trench-style jacket). He came via city transit with hand-delivered written messages to my husband. This guy really believed my man was a gift from God, so he left us his contact information and genuinely inquired about purchasing Rob’s sperm (this was after he told my husband that he should, quote: “leave his b*tch”… yes, that’s me, I’m the the b*tch). Long story made semi-short: police had to get involved and it turns out, Rob really isn’t a disciple… dang… but he’s super cute and often way too nice to strangers. That shit just wouldn’t have happened to an introvert like me.
ANYWAYS, my husband is all about dinners, concerts, cards, darts, beers, hockey, golf, camping, boating, fishing, talking, drinking, socializing-all-night-ing, never-say-no-to-nothin’: all things I absolutely love about him.
But, it ain’t me.
Just listing all those activities has my Apple Watch telling me: “Just Breathe”
You see, I’m more of the “I’ll be there”, then regret that I said I’d be there, then slip out the back about 45min earlier than the hostess wished I would. Ghosted. Sorry.
I’m more of the “I have so much shit to do” when in reality I need to finish the last episode of “This Is Us” and snuggle my dog while I eat cottage cheese and cry at yet another episode, alone, in my bed.
I’m more of the talk talk talk talk, slip into the bathroom, sit on the toilet, play on my phone, deep breathe, pretend to poop, resume to party after a moment of quiet followed by continual talk talk talk talk talk.
And although I can speak to a crowded room with confidence, scream with excitement at any public gathering or competition, smile graciously at naked women in the gym locker room, trash -talk the entire length of a sporting event and bump and grind on the D-Floor when I get white girl wasted: I still know undoubtedly, that I am an introvert. And guess what? That self introspection is pretty fuckin’ cool.
Those who typically encounter me at work or social events are probably thinking “Ashlyn, an introvert, WTF?” and I’m here proclaiming, “Fuck yah girlfriend, I actually hate people!”
(… totally kidding, that’s not what introversion is about).
But the truth is: people are energy vampires to me. That’s how us introverts feel. Vampires we often love, but energy suckers, nonetheless.
My introversion discovery came when I realized that not all people felt drained following long bouts of human interaction. Those damn extroverts live for that shit. My husband, the celebrity face of an extroverted campaign, is often refreshed and renewed after a weekend of visiting and mingling and drinking and laughing and smiling and hugging and talking. His wife: well, she’d rather be quarantined in the woods alone, writing this blog in silence, with nothing but her dogs’ company and endless coffee. (If you’re thinking “that’s the life”, then you’re probably an introvert too).
So, today, I wanted to pay tribute to my fellow sisters in solitude: the home bodies, the ones who are fine staying in, the readers, the tea-drinkers, the Netflix bingers, the Skip-The-Dishes tonight, chicks. You’re not boring, you’re fascinating. And I promise, you’re not the only asshole who needs solo time when hit with days of group gatherings, yappy clients, blabber-mouth colleagues, screaming children or family visits.
You just do you. Playing hostess or dress up or maid or rockstar doesn’t have to be in the plans.
And if you’re in a relationship with an introvert: consider yourself lucky. We enjoy our own company, we’re independent, we usually text back, we’re quite often DTF and tend not to make obscene plans that will cost you lots of money. Oh, and we’re super easy to take home after a couple drinks.
And if you’re still stuck wondering how to take control of your introverted lifestyle, read on for my top 3 tips on how NOT to let your life be consumed by this character trait:
Tip #1: GIVE ME 10, or 20:
If you follow me on the gram, you might have caught onto my morning coffee, nestled on the side of my bathtub, feet in the water, routine. I sit here each morning, sometimes for 10min, sometimes for 60. I get asked often what I’m doing, and truth is, I’m not quite sure.
I’m recharging, I guess. I’m sitting in the bathroom: the only room in the house that tends to have that “hmmmm” white noise vibe. I’ve spent so much time sitting on the side of that tub in silence: journaling, writing, reading, reflecting, I swear I have posture issues.
This 10 min or 20, whatever it may be. It revolutionizes my day. It keeps me on full blast. It keeps me wanting to jump out of my desk and hug each of my clients, it keeps me invested in my work, it keeps me exercising to exhaustion, it keeps me a happy and healthy wife, daughter, sister, friend, coach.
When travelling or visiting with groups, I tend to sneak off for a run, a bath, a drive in the car alone, a 5am wake up just to drink coffee in silence: I constantly seek moments when I can recharge to ensure my energy reserves are in tip top shape. Bathtub or not, this time alone is a necessity.
And I don’t care who you are: my own mother, nieces, sisters, clients, friend, husband. You still suck the life out of me, no matter how much I love ya. This is just how us introverts roll. So take 10, or 20, recharge and refill that energy tank- then move on.
Tip #2: HAVE A SPACE OF SOLITUDE:
I love playing hostess: for about, 3 hours. I am always super cool with you staying for a night or two, but after that, GTFO my space. I love visits with friends and family: but other people’s things cluttering my house fills me with claustrophobia and frustration.
I’m the chick who spent thousands of dollars hiking Machu Picchu and backpacking Peru only to upgrade my room EVERY night (of a 21-day adventure) when I found out I’d be bunking with the same peeps I just trudged through the woods with all day.
I’ll hike with you, I’ll talk with you, I’ll eat with you- but then I’ll pass TF out with my own bathroom, bed and husband.
Having your own space that you can retreat to when feeling overwhelmed is critical to a happy introvert.
Girls weekend? Get your own room! Work conference? Book at the hotel next door! Family Reunion? Bring your own RV! Destination wedding? Stay at the resort across the street! Cabin with your family? Offer to sleep in the guest house!
Planning ahead to protect your energy isn’t selfish, it’s smart.
And don’t you dare feel like a dick because you need your own space. Happy people know what makes them happy: the quicker we can own this and take a stand for it- the happier we will be.
Tip #3: DON’T DROP IT ON ME LAST MINUTE:
I once bawled my eyes out as my husband forced me into high heels for a steak dinner at The Keg. What he had hoped would be a romantic “surprise, we’re going on a date” turned into hysterical tears on my end. Dramatic, I know.
“I’ve been waiting for tonight all week” I proclaimed, after he told me we had reservations in 45 minutes.
“What were you waiting for!?” he questioned, sincerely.
“To do NOTHING” I yelled, probably a little louder than was necessary.
“But in the calendar, it didn’t say you were busy?” he continued to poke with genuine concern for my snot-filled rage.
“EXACTLY” I roared from the bathroom as my wet brush ripped through my greased-up hair extensions, styled with 1 uni-bobble hair tie. And as any novice hair extension wearer can attest, you can’t wash, dry and style 22” in any less than 30 minutes.
It probably didn’t help that by the time he “surprised” me I had washed my makeup off, put on my favourite sweatpants and was IN BED.
But let’s be real, it wasn’t about the hair, or the makeup, or the sweatpants. I’ve gone to public restaurants in worse condition. This basic bitch meltdown was all about needing a recharge and not getting it. That’s what happens when you throw last minute shit at an introvert. We need to recharge, and we recharge in silence, usually alone: so please, give us a head’s-up if you plan on celebrating tough weeks with public interaction. We don’t enjoy the ball dropped last minute.
And although I could probably give you hundreds of tips on how to deal with this introversion stuff, those extroverts out there are probably ready to go… somewhere… with someone… to do something…
and for my fellow introverts still reading: theres a plethora of other blogs for you to explore on my site, so keep on.
And no matter where you fall on this spectrum of socialization, please leave me your email on your way out to SUBSCRIBE to my writing- or follow me on the gram by clicking HERE and let’s stay connected (’cause social media connection is so much less exhausting, isn’t it?)
Catch you in the next one,