Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I Am Who I Am

Okay, so I think we're constantly growing and changing. We may think we know who we are, and what we stand for. In a lot of ways, we do. We each have "lines" we won't cross, or things we won't say, or other such things.

But from time to time, we're made aware of some things about ourselves that we thought we were okay with, only to find that we are, in fact, not okay with them.

It's a hard thing to face, especially as an adult--someone who shouldn't worry about what other people think about them.

But -- *whispers* -- we still do to some extent. And over the past several months, I've been wondering about myself.

See, it's pretty hard for me to open up to people. I have this wall up between me and others, and I actually like it. I don't like to hang out with large groups of people -- or even one-on-one is hard for me. It takes years for me to really come to be friends with people.

I care about them (I'm not a sociopath!), and I call them my friends, but I don't share personal information very often. I don't talk about personal things. As I've watched others, I've wondered, "Why don't I want to stay here and talk while my kids play?" or "Why don't I want to go to girl's night?" or "What's wrong with me that I'd rather be at home with my computer rather than hang out with my family?"

I've decided that there isn't anything really wrong with me. I took a personality test as part of my back-to-school activities, and I was labeled an "Achiever." I like to make lists; I like to get a lot of things done in a day; I like to do everything as efficiently as possible.

One of the characteristics of Achievers is that we constantly struggle to "get the next thing done," or "spend time with family and friends."

And it was comforting and eye-opening, because that is so me! I don't want to hang out while my kid plays, because I can get a lot done during that two hours! I can answer two dozen emails, organize a blog tour, format my next book, or write 2000 words in that two hours. I have things TO DO, you know?

So I've decided that it's okay that I like to get things done, but that all things need balance. And I do force myself to attend social situations, and be more friendly and open up more to trusted people. It's hard, but I can do it--I'll just add it to my list. *wink*

Have you ever had an eye-opening realization about who you are? Are you okay with it? We are, after all, who we are.


Melissa Sarno said...

Oh my gosh, I identify with this soooo much. I recently read a book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts In A World That Won't Stop Talking and it helped me understand why I am the way I am. It was very eye opening. You might find it interesting, given some things you've mentioned about yourself in this post : )

Cathy said...

In your public persona, I would've seen you as an uber-achiever, but also uber-friendly and always passing around with countless friends. You have hidden the 'real' Elana well. But I like both Elanas! I am also driven, can't stand to waste time, and seldom share info about myself in conversations.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I can so relate too. As I adjust to my husband's death and my daughter going away to college after this year, I realize I have to balance things better between working, working at home, and being with friends. I'm working on it.

And sorry not to be at WriteOnCon, but I'm super busy with swim mom captain duties right now.

Cathy said...

Didn't mean to say 'passing' but pals-ing. As in pals. Darned ipad thinks I don't know what I am saying.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I am the SAME way. I have a really really hard time opening up to people. Especially friends. It's hard for me to talk about personal stuff to anyone really. I have a hard time in crowds as well, but I'm trying to do better. Slowly. :)

Claire Dawn said...

Yay you. Staying true to yourself is one of the most important things as a writer. Stories might be made of colourful lies, but they are based on our heart ' s deepest truths.

Unknown said...

I totally get this! I'm all about not wasting time and using every moment to get something done. But I have to keep remembering that relaxing with important people--family and close friends--is valuable (even if I could be formatting a book during that time!), and that I don't need to feel guilty for taking time out :)

Angela Brown said...

I've found that I don't have much time as I used to. I found this when I tried to do a few extra things here and there when I had deadlines to meet. Didn't work out like I thought lol!!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

It sounds to me like you're an introvert -- like me!

Introverts Unite! ... except we really would rather hang out by ourselves, thanks.

Example: My husband and I were out to dinner tonight. The people at the next table were engaged in a lively conversation about their favorite science fiction movies and TV series. My husband and I, who couldn't help but overhear, were nodding along. I pointed out that if we were our extroverted friends (lets call them Kate and Max), we would have joined in their conversation and probably pushed our tables together by now. Kate and Max would have had no fear of being rebuffed. My husband and I were content to say, "We would get along great with those people," and stay at our own table, talking only to each other.

Veray said...

I too am like this. They want me to bring my daughter to play group at the church and I do sometimes, but I sit there thinking about all the things I need to do at home and I come home all tied in knots. I wish I could read, but they all keep talking to me, so I find it very difficult to do. I thought I was weird or something.

mshatch said...

I can so relate to this! I always want to stay home and get stuff done!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I am a fellow introvert myself. Though I do believe part of the reason some of us are that way is because we enjoy our own company and are selective about who we share it with. I have had the misfortune myself of misjudging company and was so glad when the person left.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness, I thought I was reading my own words from a journal entry I once wrote. :)

Some people mistake me for an extrovert. It's not hard to see, I really--I mean, really--force myself out of my comfort zone (and find my energy suffering for it later). But it's nice that I get to challenge myself, go out and have fun meet new people, and deepen my friendships and gain new experiences.

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