Celebrating Extroverts!

In the past, I think many of us introverts can agree that we were very easily misunderstood. The world’s ideal was that of the extroverted, outgoing personality. Introverts are associated with words such as “quiet” and “reserved” which – for some reason – were deemed negative by social standards.

As a huge introvert. I enjoy alone time, I love deep meaningful conversations, I am constantly thinking (perhaps a bit too much sometimes!) and I rarely get bored. But growing up in a world which favours extroversion has been hard at times. So I was really happy when all these wonderful articles on introversion (and how to embrace our true introvert) started sprouting around on the internet.

As my fellow introverts would agree, it felt like we were finally understood!

But well… It’s definitely amazing that introverts can now feel proud of who they are but sometimes I’m discouraged from clicking ‘like’ on certain posts because… well, some post titles seem a little passive aggressive. I don’t want to seem like I’m attacking extroverts.

Admittedly, I can understand where these writers are coming from. We’ve probably spent so long feeling invalidated for having our introverted needs such as alone time or avoidance of big social gatherings, that it’s easy for us to become defensive.

However, with all this spotlight being cast on introverts, I feel as though we’re forgetting about the equally wonderful qualities extroverts can hold.

So here are five great traits I admire about extroverts:

1. Confidence

That air of confidence and assertiveness often found in extroverts. At most, I can pretend to be confident where the situation asks, but authentic genuine confidence is something I’ve always admired in others.

2. Great talkers

Unlike introverts, extroverts enjoy small talk (and are probably better at it!). Introverts prefer talking about topics we’re passionate about so small talk can be a little draining for us. Personally, I generally only use small talk to avoid awkward silences! So I admire how extroverts are able to carry a conversation on just about anything.

3. Great conversationalist

Wait. Isn’t this the same as point 2? Well, not exactly. Conversations with an extrovert are not limited to only small talk. Small talk can lead into much deeper topics. And us introverts love a deep conversation! For some reason, thoughtfulness is associated more with introversion but we shouldn’t forget that extroverts are unique individuals too, just like us, and they often have plenty of interesting things to say too!

4. Good with attention

Having an extroverted friend is particularly useful because all the attention can be diverted to them instead of unwittingly falling on you. Attention itself isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes it’s nice – especially when it involves praise or compliments – but admittedly, I don’t always know what to do with myself when it happens!

5. Extroverts are people too!

So this one isn’t restricted to only extroverts but there are so many articles helping us to embrace and celebrate our introvert friends that I wonder if extroverts are feeling a little neglected. Intro or extro, we’re all unique individuals and we should celebrate that!

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2017: You Arrived Just When I Needed You

2017.
What a year you have been.
You’ve given me so much and yet have confused me so much.
Sometimes I don’t know if I should thank you or run away from you.
Do I love you or do I hate you am I seriously annoyed by you?
Then again, ‘hate’ is a little drastic.
And I don’t think I could truly hate you.
But that just shows how powerful these feelings are.
I asked for a year like you, didn’t I?
Right at the end of 2016, I secretly wished.
And that wish was an accumulation of all my wishes I had held for a long time.
Out in one go.
So I should be grateful that you appeared when you did.
Even if you did have a few… unexpected experiences for me.
Sometimes I wonder, why didn’t you happen to me earlier?
But when I think about it, there was no way that would’ve worked.
Had you have happened earlier, I would not have been ready.
I was a different person back then.
That person wouldn’t have been ready for you.
That person would have run away from all the opportunities you threw at me.
She wouldn’t have been able to handle you.

2017 was the year I started saying yes to more things.
I’ve spent this entire year trying new things.
More than I’m used to.
And it’s been amazing, I’ve really felt an internal growth spurt this year.
It’s been said that I seemed to have grown up a lot more.
Even if, secretly, that’s just my inner-rebel.
The rebel who was tired that people thought “this girl can’t do much”.
But you know what I realised?
It’s not that I ‘couldn’t’ but that I ‘didn’t.’
And really, what kind of a weird rebel am I?
A rebel who didn’t really break rules or do anything outrageous (because that’s just not my style)
This rebel is only a rebel in that she wanted to prove people wrong.
#ThisGirlCan

I started saying yes more.
But that only made me realise how important it is to say no.
I’m tired. I’m exhausted. I may even be burnt out.
2017, I did so many things.
I’m so happy that I did. I’ve had such wonderful experiences.
I did so much because I wanted to ‘do more things.’
And I have no regrets of doing so.
But in doing so, I forgot about myself.
I forgot to make time for myself.
And it feels I’m forgetting who I am.
Because my attention has been split in all directions… except towards me.
And that’s making me sad.
I’ve spent so much time doing these things to achieve this 2017 goal.
To ‘do more stuff.’
To just do more things.
I can do so much to make 2017 the ‘year of doing more stuff.’
But 2017 doesn’t really have power to do anything for me.
2017 is just a year.
I have to remember to make time for myself.
To remind myself of who I am.

It kinda hurts, you know.
It shouldn’t but it does.
I have no right to feel like this but I do.
2017, you’ve been truly a rollercoaster.
But nevertheless, I still think I love you.
Because you’ve been a great year for me 🙂

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Sorry if this is a little emotional or intense 🙂 I’ve spent so much time this year trying to get out of my comfort zone more. It’s been really good for me. There have been some great experiences and unforgettable memories made.

But I’ve spent too much time pushing myself and not enough looking after my own needs and… just being. It’s almost December and I’ve reached my limit. In order to exit the comfort zone, I had to use up my outgoing, social battery. But after each use, I didn’t give it enough chance to recharge.

I guess it makes me sad because I used to look after myself really well. And this year… I kind of forgot to. And when someone forgets to look after you, of course it’s going to feel sad (even if that person was yourself!)

Near the end of 2016, I went through a ‘thing‘ which I think broke my mind a little. I came out of it a little fiercer. A little less scared. A little more willing to jump into fire even if I ended up getting burnt. I decided to jump into as many fires as possible (not literally, of course!) and 2017 has certainly given me the right opportunities to do that!

I truly feel like I’ve achieved my 2017 goal but now I need to scale it back. I need to find the right balance of jumping into fires but also staying in the water.

2017. You have given me so much. You’ve also given me a few things I didn’t necessarily want but even so, I can’t dislike you. It’s impossible to dislike you. Because on the whole, you’ve been a truly amazing year and I simply cannot be ungrateful.

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Finding My Own Definition in 2017

I’ve learned that everyone needs to find their own definition in life. Although you can ask others, nobody can really tell you the answer. You can only listen to each person’s own definition and decide if that’s what you want yours to be.

This time last year, I could never have guessed I would learn so much in such a short space of time.
I’m so grateful for all the experiences and growth I’ve had this year.
Yet at the same time, I’m a bit exhausted from it.
I’ve leaped into more than I normally would. And because of that, I’ve created so many new memories and feel like I’ve grown a lot.
I’ve learned a lot about my own definition in life.

Five years ago I wished for three things.
I secretly hoped that the universe would grant them for me. Or at least help me out a little.
A year ago, I went through a thing [link here]. And my faith in the universe began to vanish. Rapidly.
I began to think “what’s a wish anyway? I should grant my own wishes.”
And that I did. I became my own genie instead of waiting around for one.
And whilst that worked out for many of my wishes, there were others which were beyond my control.
Part of me still waited for the universe to lend a helping hand.
And just when I admitted to myself it could never be real
It became real.
Signs were nudged my way and it was almost impossible to ignore.

I made three wishes.
I wrote them in a letter.
Maybe my mind had always been subconsciously working towards them.
Maybe the universe waited for the ‘right time’ to start nudging those opportunities to me.
Maybe it was when I, myself, decided to take more charge of granting my own wishes.
I like to think it’s a mixture of all the above.
Whichever it is
It seems to be working.

How can you explain it?
Would things have happened this way anyway?
Regardless of whether or not I wrote my wishes in a letter?
Did more opportunities manifest simply because I asked?
Or could I simply spot the opportunities more easily now that I wrote my wishes on paper?
It sounds strange to say that things started happening after I wished for them.
Even though it sounds illogical, that really is how it feels.
Even if it took a few years. I think maybe I wasn’t ready yet.
I was a different person back then.
She might have been able to handle what was to come.

Or maybe I just think too much 🙂 There’s a high possibility of that.

I’m working hard too. I don’t want to be someone who waits around for something to happen. But at the same time, I can’t control what windows of opportunity will appear for me. No matter how hard I try to find something, it might not be there to find. Opportunities are not always planned or created, sometimes they just happen when you’re not looking.

I want to do my best so that when an opportunity strikes, I’ll be ready for it.

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Following All The Signs

I chose to stop pretending.
I chose to stop fighting it.
I chose to embrace it.
It feels better this way.
Not perfect but definitely better.
It’s such a paradox.
I want to run and hide.
Yet part of me wants to stay too.
Dear Universe,
Are you deliberately trying to drive me crazy?
Do you think what you’re doing is funny?
But I shouldn’t jest.
I asked something of you
And to my surprise, I got it.
Even if it wasn’t perfect.
I guess I should still thank you.
Like I do every day.
Because I’ve learned so much from it.
And because it nudges me to run away.
Every day, a little more.
That nudge will become a push one day.
And maybe that’s what I need.
I always did want a little more adventure.

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All Signs Point To This

I’ve had a lot of thoughts… I had to write them all down.

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I spent too long pretending.
I thought I’d get used to it.
But what use is getting used to it?
Just because it’s comfortable?
That isn’t a good reason to “get used to it.”
What use is “getting used to” something when you know it isn’t right for you?
Just because it isn’t bad?
Well, it isn’t good either.
Not bad but not entirely good. That “okay” zone is a dangerous place.
And I think I’ve been there for too long.
I’m getting agitated.
I’m going mad.
The truth is spilling out because it’s too difficult to hide.
I wonder if anyone notices.
Little bits of honesty, albeit disguised.
All because I can’t fight it anymore.
It isn’t fair on them.
That’s why I keep trying to hide.

I suppose that’s the wonderful thing about being ‘quiet.’
Not many people can tell when you’re being quieter than usual.

I’ve grown in character. A lot over these past three years.
There’s a part of me I now really admire.
I didn’t think I could reach such a point.
But there’s a part of me which I’m not so fond of.
I’m not sure I like her.
I’m trying to get out of that.
It feels like I’m forgetting who I am.
I think I need time to get to know myself again.
Have I been around others too much?
Have I lost focus on myself?
Am I thinking too much?
Why do I care so much?

I wrote a letter to the universe once.
About three five years ago.
And it’s a little unbelievable… because the universe answered.
It happened when I started to think it was impossible.
It happened completely by accident.
My favourite way.
But the universe is also ironic.
Be careful what you wish for.
When you ask the universe for anything, be sure to be specific.
Now I don’t know if I should be thankful that my request was answered
(Because I maintain I’m happy such a scenario could occur)
Or should I be sad that it wasn’t exactly what I hoped for.
For whatever reason, I’m straying towards thankful.

So afraid of leaping.
Yet by not leaping, it’s driving me mad.
There’s potential for more out there.
Oh but it’s so easy to stay here where it’s familiar and comfortable.
What if it’s worse out there? Scarier? Not what I wanted?
But then what if it isn’t?
What if it’s better than here?
Leaping is better than being comfortable in a place where you’re not content.
Leaping is an experience.
And remember no matter how high you leap, you will always land.
Even if not smoothly, even if not immediately, you will always land.
That’s what I tell myself.

If the signs are so strong,
Why am I still struggling to listen to them?
All of this
Is advice I would give to someone else
So then why is it so hard to give it to myself?

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The Feeling That Keeps You Up At Night Smiling

Before this year, I don’t think I ever realised how much love I could feel for something. That passion for an idea. That excitement. It keeps you up late at night working on it because you think it’s such an amazing idea and you need it to come alive.

It makes me happy like nothing else can.

But on the other side of the coin, it can make you sad like nothing else can. When you work on it but hit a creative block. The words don’t read right, the drawing doesn’t look right, the imaginative flow has stopped suddenly. It can be frustrating.

But it doesn’t stop me. Knowing that it might brighten someone’s day… I’ll spend hours on a little sketch if it’ll make someone happy.

This year, I’m happy to have learned that this kind of feeling exists.

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Keeping Memories

“But you know there is something I believe… I want to try live my life, carrying all of my memories with me. And even if those memories are painful. Even if they do nothing but hurt me. I want to keep them, even those memories I sometimes wish I could forget. As long as I carry them with me, as long as I can keep holding on, then someday… Someday I will be strong enough that those memories don’t hurt me anymore. I will be glad that I have them, that’s what I believe with all my heart. That’s why all my memories are precious to me. I don’t think it would be okay to forget a single one.”

– Momiji Sohma, Fruits Basket

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I bring this up every so often on this blog but it’s seriously one of my favourite Fruits Basket episodes. The idea that every memory is important and makes us stronger, no matter how painful they might be at the moment, and the importance of holding on through that pain. They help us grow and eventually, we’ll overcome them.

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