Baby Steps, Random Ramblings

Introverts and Extroverts, Which One Are You?

I always thought I was an introvert because I tend to be shy, something I’ve somewhat overcome, but at my core, that’s my tendency. However, I’ve had to reevaluate this assumption, based on this definition:

Introverts tend to not know what they’re going to say until they know what they’re thinking, whereas extroverts tend to not know what they think until they hear themselves say it. —JP Sears

I do think there’s a sliding scale for whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, but based on the above definition…I’m an extrovert! A shy extrovert, but still…an extrovert.

I have to talk things through before I can understand how I feel. The other person…doesn’t have to say anything. I need to give my thoughts a voice for me to be able to process my feelings. If there’s no one to bounce my thoughts off of, I’ve found that journaling and blogging have been helpful.

This blog was supposed to be a platform to showcase my writing. But I didn’t write the books I thought I’d write. I didn’t publish the stories I thought I’d publish. I got bogged down in self-doubt and feelings of not being good enough. However, this blog helped me in ways I couldn’t have predicted. It gave me a sounding board, a way to hear myself think. It allowed me to meet other people who, like me, were wrestling with their feelings. It’s been a scary but rewarding journey.

Recently, I’ve made a few discoveries about myself, about why I self-destruct.  It’s changed my life. It’s scary to face your fears, to face your past. One of the things I’ve discovered about myself is that I don’t except nurturing very well. I do things to help others, but I don’t take care of me. (I don’t allow other people to take care of me, either.) I use food to nurture myself, especially when I feel bad. This doesn’t mean I always make poor food choices. Some of these choices are quite healthy, but it’s hard to admit that food is my primary way to self-medicate, to make me feel whole.

I realize that a LOT of my choices have been emotionally based choices, rather than logical, healthy choices. I feel like I’m not good enough, so I self-sabotage when things are going well. I don’t see myself as an attractive person, so I have a hard time accepting the body I’ve been given. I’m afraid that everything I care about can and WILL be taken away from me at a moment’s whim, so I tend to distance myself, to remain emotionally unattached, as a way to protect myself because I’m afraid. ALL the time. I make most of my decisions out of a place of fear and anxiety.

So…yeah.

This is still new to me, but I’m putting this on my blog, using it as a sounding board. And yes, this feels true. So…the next step on this journey of mine scares me to death. It’s taking a step completely out of my comfort zone. Tommorrow, I’m going to tour a gym that’s right down the street from my home—within walking distance. (Made plans with the gym yesterday.)

I have often made fun of people who go to gyms. I’ve said, “Why do I need a gym when I have a sidewalk right outside my front door?” But Michigan winters are pretty brutal and the summers are like muggy ovens. This really hinders my ability to go walking or bike riding a good six months out of the year.

In my delusional thinking, a gym membership would be significant. It would be the first time I actively chose to make my health a priority, to nurture my body and take care of it so my heart can function more efficiently. In the past, I’ve exercised for weight loss. Even if I said otherwise, I was lying to myself. I wanted to lose weight because I didn’t like my body. But, I’ve been doing some significant emotional homework the past couple of weeks. I’m still raw and fragile, but I think this could be a way to actively nurture myself.

There’s a little girl inside me who wasn’t athletic, who never felt capable. She was always picked last for dodgeball, and softball, and any other sport. The other kids made fun of her. They called her names. When I worked as a Furniture Sales Manager, I felt really good about my abilities. I learned how to carry a queen size mattress. By myself! I felt strong. I felt more comfortable in my own skin working in that environment than I’d ever felt in my life. I still didn’t like my body, but I was proud of what I could do, of what I’d become. I was as strong as a lot of the men I knew.  But it’s been almost three years since I’ve done that kind of work. I don’t have the muscle tone that I used to have. I feel tired a lot of the time. I feel like I’ve aged ten years in the past three.

In my mind, a gym membership is the first step towards me taking back control. I couldn’t control losing my job. I couldn’t stop the other kids from making fun of me. (That little girl is still hurting.) I can nurture my body, and take care of it, and take steps to allow myself to feel like I’m physically capable once more. I don’t need to be able to lift a mattress, but I’d like to feel comfortable bringing groceries in the house. I’d like to feel like I’m physically able do the things I need to do.

This is such a scary step for me. In my mind, the people who go to gyms are the same people who teased me as a child. I feel like I don’t belong in that kind of environment, with people who take care of their bodies. I feel like those people are better than me. Logically, I don’t think I’ll be laughed at, but I am intimidated. To go into a place like that, on regular bases, to say that I am worthy of a strong, capable body…that’s terrifying!

I couldn’t have done this in my twenties or thirties—too scary. But being in my forties has some advantages. It’s FAR easier to talk to a pretty, twenty-something-year-old, without feeling like I’m inferior. I’m old enough to be the mom of a twenty-something. I don’t need to compete with them. I don’t need to dress like them. My body doesn’t need to be perfect. That time of my life is over. (And good riddance!) My focus isn’t about having a “bikini body.” I just don’t want to feel winded going up and down the stairs while carrying a batch of laundry.

Wish me well and share your thoughts!

xo Juli

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Introverts and Extroverts, Which One Are You?”

  1. So much of what you wrote is all too familiar — and you are right to choose to be a strong person, physically. Not for reasons of vanity, which we all succumb to (and which cause much unhappiness) but because you will be fighting osteoporosis and type-2 diabetes with every step. I live in an excellent, mild-weather city, and my neighborhood has plenty of great places for walking (hills, flats, beaches, trails) — but I haven’t been walking. Another plus about the gym, which I learned from my knee doctor: walking on sidewalks and paving is hard on your knees. Walking on a treadmill gives you a cushioned walk — and it feels great to see progress as you get more comfortable with greater inclines. I’ve done all this before — now you’re inspiring me to go back to that gloomy basement gym, start from scratch, and get strong again. Here’s to a healthy 2018 and our futures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!!! I have a friend who is quite a bit older than me who shrank FIVE inches in height, over the course of her lifetime. She was 5′ 7″ in her teens, now she’s only 5′ 2″. It happened gradually, but still…that’s significant. We were joking that these are things you’re doctor doesn’t warn you about. Aging in NOT for wimps!!!

      Like

  2. That was a beautiful post. Gym is something in my to-do list for 2018, but so far I haven’t been able to get myself in there. The whole idea of being in a room filled with a lot of people makes me a bit uncomfortable. Love your blog! And now I am off to watch the video you shared.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!! I promise, it’s not NEARLY as scary once you discover that EVERYONE at the gym is only thinking about themselves. Seriously, this is the only time that self-centered means awesome, at least if you’re a newbie. No one is looking at you, or anyone else. Everybody has the same goal: get through their workout and get out! LOL It’s the weirdest thing to get used to, almost like you’re invisible…unless you act like maybe, just maybe you DO know what you’re doing. Then you might get a little notice, but still nothing to worry about. That’s where a bit of self-confidence/pretending helps. When in doubt, pretend that you belong there, and if you’re too scared to ask, “How do I use this machine?” watch a video or read an article on the internet. Focus on good form, not on more weight/speed. I use light weights, because I’m SUCH a newbie, but I go slow and try to focus on doing the motions as perfectly as I can so I don’t hurt myself. I feel like that makes much more sense, long-term. Same thing when I’m on the treadmill. I try to stay as light on my feet as possible, which means taking shorter steps and landing on the balls of my feet, rather than on my heals. This is better form and SOOO much easier on my knees and joints than the longer stride/heal-to-toe method!!! 🙂 I use my water bottle as my guide. There’s a holder on the side of the machine. If I’m landing so hard that I’m sloshing the water around in my water bottle, I’m landing too heavy, which could hurt my knees and joints. When I’m light on my feet, my water doesn’t bounce around very much, even at a light jog. There’s a man that I sometimes see at my gym, who is SOOO light on his feet, he practically looks like he’s floating. He runs at a good clip using this method. So yes, I DO notice those people, the ones with excellent form, because I want to be able do THAT! But in general, I’m a people watcher and I don’t really notice what other people are up to at the gym.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.