Letters to My Kids

The One with an Introverted Extrovert

I’ve been thinking.
And I think I’m coming to a conclusion.
I’m some weird ironic combination of extroverted people person who prefers quiet time in her own home.
Whenever I’m with people I’m totally extroverted.
Take charge.
Introduce people.
Meet newcomers.
Make a silly fool of myself.
I thrive on encouragement and friendship and getting to know others in a deep way.
However.
When given the choice, I’m a homebody.
Plain and simple.
Always have been.
And, I guess, that’s not something I’m going to outgrow.
Here’s my life’s story in a teeny tiny nutshell.
I didn’t spend the night away from home until I was 8 or 9.
And even then it was only at my best friend’s house.
Where I spent the most time for years and years when I wasn’t home.
And even then I cried and couldn’t sleep and felt sick to my stomach with homesickness.
It was chronic.
Just ask Elizabeth’s mom. The woman is a saint. 
I think I had about a 50/50 shot of actually spending the entire night away from home. 
Speaking of saints, my mom is definitely a name on that list.
I couldn’t even tell you how many times she drove to my friend’s house late in the night to pick me up and bring me home.
Thank you, mom. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say “thank you” enough.
I always preferred being home to being anywhere else.
Through high school it was the same way.
Friends invited me here and there and I loved participating.
And I had great friends.
But most times, I didn’t want to risk feeling uncomfortable at the outing.
So I just declined.
Later on in high school the party planning position fell to me. 
People from my “group” would call me and ask me to call everyone else and come up with plan.
When. Where. How.
Senior year was the first time I did much hanging out. Outside of my house. 
College was obviously a whole different ball game. 
I was away from home.
Permanently.
I had to be ok with it.
Sure, I spent the first three months with a knot in my stomach.
And the occasional tears in my eyes. 
I called my mom for an hour every night those first few weeks.
No joke.
Not sure who benefited from those calls more, me or her?
But all too soon I was comfortable in my new “home.”
But that’s the thing about college.
There’s always that feeling in the back of your mind that your really don’t have a place to call “home” anymore.
You’re in this strange in-between stage.
Living in dorms, visiting parents for weekends here and there, residing in camp trailers during the summers of counseling and worship leading and bathroom cleaning. 
I loved those four years.
So. 
Much.
But even on campus, surrounded by activity and friends, I was a homebody of sorts. 
I always created a sacred space for myself.
A private place.
To get away.
Be still.
Pray. 
Cry. 
Listen to music.
Do homework.
Talk to my mom.
Senior year, for instance, I chose a desk placement upstairs.
Rather than in the study room with all the other girls.
I love those girls more than anything but I knew I would cherish my separate space.
I need that to function.
I loved the library’s quiet floor. 
But even that wasn’t quiet enough.
I would hunt down one of the four study rooms and claim it for my own.
I wanted no distractions.
Peace and quiet. 
Nowadays a quiet home is pretty easy to come by.
I’m thankful for that.
Some people (well, probably most people our age) would consider us lame.
Boring.
Dull.
But Kevin and I love it being just us. 
No pretenses.
Just quality time together.
Playing games.
Watching our favorite shows.
Reading books.
Cooking.
Eating. 
Given the choice between fun hangouts with friends and time at home, I will choose home. 
99% of the time.
Most of my friends and family would tell you the same. 
If life was always my way, I would spend maybe one or two days with people and the rest doing my own thing.
I love baking.
Reading.
Studying.
Scrapbooking.
Televisioning. 
Blogging.
Praying.
Worshipping.
Talking with my husband. 
I have the capacity to be totally responsible with my schedule.
Have a list of things to accomplish and getting them done. 
So herein lies the question.
And this is probably going to sound crazy.
Don’t make fun.
Anyone have any suggestions on how I could make money…
…doing what I love (see above or this post)
…with limited interaction with people (no offense)
…where I can manage my own schedule.
I know, seems ridiculous.
And maybe you didn’t know any of this about me.
Frankly, I’m not sure I knew any of this about me before this.
I’m an extrovert around people who prefers an introverted lifestyle.
Go figure.

—edit—
I just realized it may seem I totally glossed over the fact that I am a Youth Pastor.
Some of you may or may not know that.
But it’s true.
It’s what I love.
What I’m passionate about.
The lives and hearts of teenagers.
Teens who are crazy and grating at times.
Teens who I love with my whole heart.
I would give anything for any one of them.
I love doing this ministry with my husband.
Our hearts beating together for the same work of God.
It’s amazing.
The only reason I didn’t bring it up previously in this post is simply because of finances.
The lovely parsonage we’re living in is our compensation.
And for that we are thankful.
But I was looking for ideas to make a little more money.
Supplement the fact that substitute teaching is Kevin’s only form of income.
And mine for that matter.
And subbing is just not that reliable.*
Two piano students and one AVON order doesn’t cut it for me.
And I know that if I were to start a baking company, in order to make enough money each month I would probably end up frazzled and frustrated. 
Which totally isn’t the point. 
I want to do what I love.
And happen to get paid for it.

And I love youth ministry.
I get to keep track of my own schedule.
My own assignments.
My own goals.
Get it done on time.
Spread the word.
Lead.
Teach.
Communicate.
Plan.
It rocks, really.



*Please join with us as we pray for a permanent position for Kevin come fall.
There is a teeny tiny minute possibility that if a school has a science opening he could get hired.
Because he’ll be pursuing certification.
This would take a rather large huge weight off our my shoulders.
Please. Pray.

—end edit—

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5 thoughts on “The One with an Introverted Extrovert

  1. I know exactly how you feel. I so love being around people sometimes (1-2 days a week sounds lovely), but I love being at home more. I have a HUGE desire to work from home doing what I love. I have always planned on working from home eventually, doing freelance graphic design, but I just have to get my business built up before I can make enough money to afford to quit my job. That's the tough part for me.I hope and pray you find something you love that you can do from home!

  2. Hey Melanie :)Thanks for stopping by my spot. I love the SHred, is what motivated me to start my weightloss journey- I did it for 61 days and got great results, but i was getting tired of it. I also did her other DVD's but P90X is the BES!!! A bit intense (and to be truthful not something you and i who have done the shred before can't handle)I recommend you get your game face on and bring it! Start doing P90X slowly- Tony Horton is a awesome intructor- You WILL be able to jump in at his pace soon, i promise.. I love it love it love it!!! The workout are approxiamtely 60min long, but they don't seem that long- Yoga is 94 min long.. Might seem long but it feels so good..Let me know what you decide :) I'm here for anything you need to know..

  3. Mel, every time I read your blog, I realize how similar we are. :) I am the exact same way – extroverted when I'm around others, introverted when I'm not. And I do love to be at home, and I value my alone time, too. No real suggestions over here; in fact, I'd love to make a few extra bucks too, so if you find out how, please let me know. :) I have thought briefly about making something to sell on etsy, or something of the sort. Pillows, or whatever. I doubt it would make a whole lot, but it's a thought. Maybe you should start a cookie baking business or something. :)

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