Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I'm an introvert. I like people. I love ideas that spark thought. I love heart-felt interaction, one-on-one or in very small groups, (or online even, ya know?). I don't like small talk, chit chat, or large group conversations.
I don't avoid crowds all together, but being social just for the sake of being social is really not my thing. I love quiet time in my garden or strolling through nature with my family. I'd venture to say that roughly 4 out of 5 of us in my immediate family are introverted to one degree or another.
We're not necessarily shy or anti-social. My kids make friends pretty easily (more easily than me, perhaps), though they tend to connect with just one or two other kids rather than with the group-at-large, as do I. We usually like a lot of home time in between our adventures, and would often prefer an adventure with one other family over a large group field trip.
I generally feel awkward if I force myself to act differently than what is in my own nature (for example, feeling like I need to participate in adult group chitchat when we do choose to do group outings). I have (recently, consciously) given myself permission to be quiet if I feel like being quiet, to wander off to take pictures, or do cartwheels with the kids, or whatever, if I don't feel like chiming in with the adult conversations going on. I find that I'm much more comfortable listening and occasionally participating if the (internal) pressure to do so is removed.
This might be a total no-brainer to other people, especially extroverted other people, but it took me a while to figure out. I came to it through the idea of supporting my children to be true to their own unique selves, while respecting others to do the same. Unschooling children, deschooling mama.
All of that being said, we recently had a lovely outing with the Kickapoo Homeschool Cooperative.
Back on shore, we had a picnic on the beach with some of the families and the kids swam and played at the playground.
I think the key, for both me and my children, is to work with our innate natures and not against them. We can push the boundaries of our comfort zones, without pushing aside who we are at heart. It's kind of like embracing stillness within, while engaging in the glorious messiness of life at large.