Friday, February 15, 2013

Not exactly an extrovert...

Apparently my last blog post was depressing? I don't know, but I need to do that again. I got so many emails from people telling me to cheer up because I am super awesome and amazing and incredibly cool. Somebody even told me that I am "inspiring." Seriously. Me: inspiring. As I read that one, I was sitting on the bathroom floor in my oldest ripped-up tank top, with green dead sea mud slathered on my face and my hair in some kind of crazy pig tail situation. I would've laughed out loud at the irony but the mud was already dried to the point that I couldn't move my face muscles.

It's all gone straight to my head, of course, and if I was depressed before (I wasn't! Swear I wasn't! I was just thinking aloud and writing in code.), I certainly couldn't be sad now. I don't have time to be sad, people. I'm too busy being inspiring! And, in case you didn't know this - being an inspiration is downright exhausting. I feel certain I can't be inspiring while wearing my oldest jammies at noon, so I actually have to make an effort to get dressed and put on socks and stuff like that. Really a lot of work for a weekend.

I've said this before, but here it is: I write so that I'll remember. In other words, I write for me. I want to have a record of the things I'm thinking and doing, so I put it all here. Sometimes, yes, it's a bit coded, because apparently people read this thing. Who knew? And no offense, but there are some things I just don't want to share with you. I still find it odd when people tell me they are reading. Example: a friend just told me he was TDY'ed to somewhere-in-Europe, and when he mentioned that he's posted in Amman, people in his training class started talking about my blog. What the what?

So okay. You all know all sorts of stuff about me, but I don't even always know you're reading. That puts me at a disadvantage, don't you think? I consider myself to be a hard-core introvert, which means that I keep to myself and don't go out of my way to talk to most people. Yet here I am, telling you all sorts of stuff, "Dear Diary" style.

Now. About the introvert thing. The other day, over lunch, a few of us were talking about introverts and extroverts, and I got the impression that my friends disagreed with my self-assessment of myself as an introvert. I got that impression because they laughed uproariously at my insistence that I just don't like talking to people. Something about how I never shut up? Dunno. They were all laughing. And laughing. I was worried they might start choking on their chicken bones, that's how doubled over they all were.

So right there on the spot, I coined a new term. Somebody call the trademark office, quick, because I need to TM this baby. Are you ready? I'm not an introvert. And I'm not an extrovert.

I'm an ASStrovert.

Seriously. It's the perfect word for me. I get kind of uncomfortable out in the wide world, trying to talk to people, but instead of shutting down and putting an awkward smile on my silent face, I usually move in the opposite direction and start clowning around, acting like an ass. Everyone laughs, then I go home, put on my jammies and go to bed. Being an asstrovert is exhausting business.

I know I'm not alone here. I mean, really, doesn't everyone put on a fake public face sometimes? It's just that, for us asstroverts, the public face is the exact opposite of the private one. When I'm out and about, I keep my serious side under wraps. Then I come home and blog my serious side, and everyone thinks I'm depressed or something.

All of this is to say: I'm not depressed. I'm in a good place here. I'm already finding my single mom stride. I have a few close friends to keep me afloat, even one or two to whom I can spill my non-bloggable secrets. The sky is blue, the kids are (relatively) healthy, the job is interesting, the world is infinitely fascinating, and I am happyhappyhappy, to be here, still in my jammies, pretending to be inspirational despite the fact that I forgot to buy milk again and I'm planning to phone in dinner.

It's all good, truly. I'm a lucky sort of asstrovert, and I try never to forget it. That said, I did appreciate all of the emails and Facebook messages and texts I got after my last sort-of soul baring blog post. It's a good feeling, to know I have so many people looking out for me all across this globe, even though I truly don't deserve it.

Tell me, my friend: what are you? An introvert? An extrovert? Or an asstrovert like me? Hit me up in the comments. I really want to know.


Naomi Hattaway said... [Reply]

Can one be all three? I am normally VERY much an extrovert, but then in a self-preservation act, I turn into an introvert in an effort to recover.

Anne said... [Reply]

Big time introvert here.

Dorothy Handelman said... [Reply]

I guess I'm an introvert who longs to be known all over the world for her talent with a camera and the occasional ability to coin a well crafted phrase. Who says contradictions don't ceaselessly abound?
Anyways, you make a great asstrovert if you don't mind my saying so.

Meaghan said... [Reply]

Ha, I fit your description of an asstrovert perfectly!

I have always had the same reaction to my claim to introvertedness, but my first boss was really into psychology and had an interesting insight, which was that some definitions of introvert/extrovert aren't about how you ACT around people, but about what you find draining and what gives you energy.

So sure, I can function with a big group of people and enjoy myself and not be a wallflower, but I find it exhausting and I need to recharge by going home and reading in sweatpants. And I have a friend who is such an extrovert that she gets tired out from being alone too long.

مارية said... [Reply]

Yes, Meaghan is right. It's not about how much you like talking to people or how outgoing you are. Also, being "shy" is totally different than being an introvert and being one doesn't mean you are also the other.

"I got so many emails from people telling me to cheer up because I am super awesome and amazing and incredibly cool."

People who say things like that annoy me. To me, it's the same as the random men who order a woman they pass on the street to "smile, it can't be that bad!"

How do they know??

Popster said... [Reply]

Well, you asked for comments but you have me flummoxed. Your asstrovert concept has a certain cachet but unfortunately we, as humans, are not an either/or decision. I say let’s put asstrovert on the chart in the continuum personality traits and let Webster deal. We’ll just have to be left guessing as to where we fit as the occasions present themselves.

LeesOnTheGo said... [Reply]

Funny! I was just thinking about this! Not the asstrovert part...that's a new fun phrase though!

I'm an introvert in extrovert disguise. But mostly I was thinking about this bc my oldest son is an introvert and I'm "trying to help him" (which is code for I'm spending way too much effort trying to fit a round square peg into a round hole rather than appreciating the beauty of the square peg) acquiesce among our extroverted compound of 20 some odd kids. It's not going so well. He keeps sneaking inside to play alone and read.

So thanks for the laugh and new vocabulary word!


carrie said... [Reply]

Amen! I am an introvert, possible ASStrovert. I would so rather be home in my pajamas and hanging with my family than trying to pretend. I have had similar reactions when telling people that I am an introvert, because we hide it well, but damn it is exhausting! We live in a small expat community so there is no anonymity, which I think makes it even harder. I would love to be in some cities where I don't stick out or don't know nearly everyone else. Thanks for keeping it real, yo.

Samantha said... [Reply]

I think you just described me! Totally an ASStrovert!

Please. Write your own stuff.