Have you ever been so overjoyed because you finally discovered who you are and why you do the things you do? Have you ever nearly cried with relief because you found other people who think like you and make decisions like you? Have you ever wanted to shout to the world that you aren’t weird, abnormal or strange?
After four decades, I found my people. I found them here online and they’re a blessing. I know who I am. But that doesn’t mean life suddenly became blissful and perfect. Far from it.
I am an INFJ. I’m an introvert. I’m highly sensitive, idealistic and I have high moral standards. I am slow and careful about making a decision, sometimes to the point that I don’t make one at all. Big procrastinator, that’s me. I also don’t trust easily but I’m a people-pleaser, and I hate confrontation. I’ve missed out on more opportunities that I could ever list.
I’m struggling right now. Most people, especially extroverts, are suffering with the current stay-at-home order. I must admit I’m mostly fine with it, even though I don’t like not having the choice of going out with friends or attending the weekly auctions my husband and I love. I know it will get better and most of us have our families both in our homes and online. We will get through it together. I believe that.
What I’m struggling with is the fact that even though I understand who I am and I found this new group of people like me, I still feel like an outsider. I still feel like I don’t belong.
I’ve reached out to many of the beautiful, amazing, inspirational people I’ve found– writers, artists, entrepreneurs, coaches, speakers, musicians and bloggers. I’ve received replies, support and some days, I feel like I can accomplish everything I’ve ever wanted. I can write more, sell more books, meet more amazing people and have that future I want.
So why have I started retreating again? Why am I that scared turtle who just wants to go back into its shell?
I’m here writing this post trying to understand my reasons.
I’ve always felt like I’m not good enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not talented enough. But I thought that always had to do with my introverted nature, my natural shyness and inability to have a decent amount of confidence. Why wouldn’t I feel better after learning about myself and finding my people?
It’s too soon.
As I write this, I realize I haven’t given myself much of a chance to change my opinion of myself and develop my confidence. It takes time and I’m not usually very patient. After a lifetime of feeling and acting one way, it’s difficult to flip that switch and change my thinking. I need more time.
So when I stop myself from commenting on a blog post I resonate with, I get it. I don’t want my words to sound stupid. I don’t know if my comment will be received well or get a response. The writers that I follow are incredible. I know I’m not. Here’s a lyric from a Nirvana song I love:
I’m worst at what I do best.
I’m a writer. It’s what I do and what I do best. But I feel like a failure compared to these new friends of mine. They are smart, brave and successful and I’m not. How could I ever belong?
Should I keep reading, learning and growing? Should I remember that I am a part of this community I found? Should I remember that every person I’ve contacted has been wonderful? Should I continue sending emails and commenting on blogs? Not stress or overthink what I write? Should I just be honest? Should I just be me?
I know the answer to all those questions is yes. As I sit here on the couch by myself thinking about all this, I know that somewhere inside me is that person who isn’t scared. I’m not that turtle, not anymore. I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m on the right path. I can’t retreat now. I’m too close to finally respecting who I am. I want that confidence, that strength. I want that success.
If you’re reading this, thank you for being a part of my journey.