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January 1, 2019

Embrace your Introverted Way of Life on World Introvert Day

As the new year starts, I once again look at what I want out of life. I recently declared I wasn’t going to hold myself back anymore. As an introvert, empath, and highly sensitive person (HSP), holding myself back from happiness and joy comes naturally to me, but I am tired of it.

I have learned, not only do I want and need the chance to have the world’s riches in my life, but I deserve them too. I am not selfish, I think everyone deserves all the things the world has to offer, but when I say riches, I don’t necessarily mean only material goods, I am also talking about what fills us mentally and emotionally too. For me, right now, it is writing.

In preparation to write, I looked for writing prompts in several different places. I came across a couple of websites that cataloged a list of ‘holidays’ by day, week, month, and year. A lot of what is listed are silly reasons to celebrate like National Spaghetti Day (January 4th) or National Sticker Day (January 13th). But these lists also include essential dates like Home Office Safety and Security Week (January 7th-13th) and Poverty Awareness Month (January). These celebrations are typically general in nature, though the Festival of Sleep Day (January 3rd) and the International Day of Acceptance (January 20th) both speak to me as an introvert.

January kicks off with World Introvert Day on the 2nd. And right off the bat and one day into the new year, I am faced with a BIG world celebration. It seemed daunting. What is more important than a day dedicated to introverts! My first response to the challenge was purely introvert. I wanted to stop, overthink, and worry about creating a post that was perfect. And then I was reminded by Facebook a post I shared six years ago,

“The easiest way to make a change for the better is to stop thinking in the ‘All or Nothing’ mindset.”

This quote resonated with me again and cut a little too close to the bone. I had a choice, I could fret over my English and sentence structure, or I could write and publish a post for this important day.

World Introvert Day is important because it marks the end of the holiday season notoriously a highly stressful time for me and it is the beginning of a new year where dreams, like newly fallen snow, are clean and undisturbed. I love to make plans and create dreamy tomorrows. And I am not alone, the introverts I know, are full of dreams and ideas not just for their selves, but for the world too.

But for us, as easy it is to think, it is just as hard to take action. We hold ourselves back. We doubt ourselves, and we start believing that nothing can be changed. And quickly, both snow and dreams get packed down and dirtied by the constant need to get life back to ‘normal’ by those outside our tribe. And in the Spring, the only things that are left are the stains from salty tears and the grit of DOT road sand.

We DO deserve the world’s riches. But we are the only ones who can define those riches. If something doesn’t feel right in the world, then it is our responsibility to find what soothes the feeling, whether it is physically, mentally, or emotionally.

This journey of discovery doesn’t start with the outside world around us, in our hearts, we know the cure is never there, it begins with a deep dive into the inner us. I am not going to lie, the journey is long, hard, ambiguous, and never-ending but that is not a reason to not start. We will lose our way, but at the same time, our intuition will help us continue even when we get stuck in our own dark corners.

I keep coming back lyrics in one of my favorite songs, “Smiley Faces” by Gnarls Barkley;

“So what went right,

What went wrong,

Was it a story or was it a song,

Was it overnight,

Or did it take you long,

Was knowing your weakness what made you strong.”

For all of the above, yes. This is our journey. And for those who don’t subscribe to my I/E/HSP tribe, please understand and accept that we are worthy of all the ‘riches’ of this world as well. Give us the time, room, and support it to get to where we are going. We do arrive! And when we do, celebrate with us our victory (and then leave when we are tired.)

How am I going to observe the day? Lucky for us World Introvert Day shares January 2nd with National Motivation and Inspiration Day and National Buffet Day, so I plan to make a trip to a Breakfast Buffet (I love Breakfast!), sit alone, and think about all the things that motivate and inspire me. Oh yeah, and then do something about it!

Besides;

Perhaps we should celebrate World Introvert Day at least every quarter, so we have a chance for a renewed start four times a year!

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Chris Hanlon  |  Contribution: 2,345