Tag Archives: people

Ambivert.

Ambivert. It’s a new word. So new in fact that there’s a spell check line underneath it. Also because it’s a completely made up word.

Okay, so I should probably warn you, I’m a little bitter on this subject.

That being said, I’ll be as honest as I feel. ‘Ambivert’ is not a thing. It’s a word someone made up to make themselves or someone they know feel better. It’s kind of like a horoscope: you read all the information and you’re like, “oh. Well, yeah, that could be me” when really, it could be anyone. Well, almost anyone. Let me explain:

There’s kind of a spectrum of introversion and extroversion. On one side is the person who is, completely, without a doubt, an introvert. On the other side, the extreme extrovert. In between that is a scale and people fall on lots of places between the two extremes. Rarely is anyone so completely introverted that they have no extroverted qualities or so extroverted they have no introverted qualities from time to time. You can be one while demonstrating traits of the other.

People are now trying to place ambivert in the middle of that scale. They are trying to add grey to a scale that’s black and white. People can be grey, don’t get me wrong, but the scale is black and white. You can be a shy extrovert. You can be an outgoing introvert. It doesn’t make you an ambivert.

I understand the temptation to fall for this made up word; to fit yourself into a category so that you do not have to choose which one you are. I especially understand your confusion if you’re like me, falling directly on the line between introvert and extrovert; if it literally depends on the day which one you are. Yes, there is a temptation to just ignore it all together and call yourself an ambivert and get on with your life. In fact, if you want to do that, go for it. But if you’re being the life of the party with all of your friends and then decide you just want to be alone and all the people wore you out, you’re not an ambivert. You’re an outgoing introvert.

Maybe this all stems from the fact that people still are confused on the definitions of introvert and extrovert. Let me just clear that up. Introverts need to ‘recharge’ by themselves. They need time to themselves to feel well rested. For extroverts, the opposite is true. They need time with people to feel rejuvenated and recharged. That’s all it comes down to. Just because you’re quiet does not mean you’re an introvert. The exact opposite could be true.

And, while I’m on my soapbox that no one reads, let me just say this: if you think someone is an extrovert and they swear they’re an introvert, for crying out loud, just believe them! Unless you’ve crawled inside their body, lived a life in their shoes, and felt what they’ve felt, you have no idea what they are. Some of the most outgoing people I’ve met are introverts. Just let people figure themselves out- don’t do it for them.

As for me, I said I was directly on the line. That’s pretty true, though I’m probably 52% extrovert and 48% introvert. For me, it depends on my stage of life and, honestly, how healthy I am, if I’m an introvert or an extrovert. But I charge either way. Sometimes people energize me, sometimes they drain me. Sometimes I relish in the peace of being by myself, sometimes I get restless. And people argue over which one I am and then tell me which one I am. And now they’ve started to call me an ambivert. But let me assure you: I am both an introvert and an extrovert.

And I’m no more an ambivert than I am a unicorn.

I think my main point is this: tell yourself you are whatever you think you are. But don’t put other people in a box just because they don’t fit the mold in your mind. We’re all created in a unique way and you won’t always understand the person sitting next to you. And you know what? That’s okay. Personality tests were made to help us better understand ourselves and, while they’re fascinating, I think they can hold us back sometimes. You don’t always fit the mold, or in my case, you never do. But introvert, extrovert, or unicorn, just be you.

-Melissa

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Two.

I do much better in the daylight.

But it was dark. And cold. All the curtains were drawn so that no one could see in. It was meant to keep them out. But I was kept in. And I was very aware of my heartbeat.

Calm down. You’re fine.

I was fine. I’m fine. I. am. fine. My breath though… it was more shallow than normal. My heart rate was speeding up.

Would you stop? You’re fine. 

Yes, I had to stop. But my head felt funny. I couldn’t think straight. Why couldn’t I breathe like a normal person? Why could I feel my heartbeat so clearly? Am I okay? What should I do? I can’t sit hear anymore. Pacing. No stop. I’m fine. Am I safe here? I can’t stand anymore. Sitting. The floor.

For goodness sake. You’re fine. You know you’re fine. You’re being dramatic. Just breathe.

Just breathe… I can’t! I can’t get enough air. Why is my breath so shallow? Aren’t I breathing? My chest hurts. Should I… call someone? Text someone? What would I even sa–

No! You are fine. You are in control. You do not need to get a hold of anyone. No one would be able to do anything anyway. And you know that it’s no big deal! You’re working yourself up for nothing! It’s all in your head. You are fine! Pull yourself together. Why are you so dramatic?! Just breathe like a normal person!

How do I calm down? I want something… comforting. Something warm.

Tea.

Tea… Tea. Do I have tea? Why didn’t I bring tea! Why didn’t I bring enough of anything?! I’m supposed to be more prepared than this!

Your backpack. Are there still some tea bags in your backpack?

Backpack…. Yes! There’s tea. Lemon.

Good. Go make it and calm down.

Calm down.

Calm down.

-Melissa

Outburst.

You know what absolutely sucks? Leaving bad things behind.

It’s not that part that sucks, really. It’s the fact that when you leave bad things behind, you inevitably leave good things behind too. And the good things.. let’s be honest- not things, people. When you leave the good people behind, they don’t really know why you left. They don’t know how much the bad things hurt you or how much it hurts to leave the good people. They don’t understand the pain that fills you when you think about going back. They don’t know you can’t let yourself think about them because it hurts much too much to do so. They don’t know how much you had to fake it or the kind of front you put up just so you’d survive.

And then you feel bad because you left them behind. And you know, you know, you know, you know, that you can’t go back. And you can’t do that again. And it’s the reason part of you is dead. It’s a piece of you that your body literally would do better without because it’s trying to infect the parts of you that are still alive. But still. You feel bad. Because you were good. You just had to be so freaking good to some people that now that you’re gone, they miss you. And leaving people like that really isn’t in your job description because you know what it’s like. And you want to be there for everyone if only they weren’t there. You know, that place you can’t go because… well you don’t know why.

But you know that you have to go back soon and the thought strikes you with fear and makes you crazy. Because why would you want to return to a place that saw so much of your pain? Why would you want to return to a place that stole hours and hours and hours from you that you’ll never get back? A place filled with emotion and pain and hurt but also with comfort because, hell! it’s all you knew for four years of your life. But at some point, a home turned into a prison and, for crying out loud, you still can’t figure out which one is it.

You just feel bad because you left all the good things along with all of the bad things. And you just wonder how long they’re going to keep hurting you.

-Melissa

Missing you.

I couldn’t find the vanilla.

I knew exactly where it should be. I’d been down the baking isle three times. I wondered from it, up and down every isle now because clearly it had to be here somewhere.

A song came on the radio. The familiarity struck me even before I realized what it was. It was late enough that most people were in their homes instead of grocery shopping so the store felt peaceful. I sang the song softly as I wondered around. What had I been looking for?

Did you still listen to this band? Hmm. I never would have heard of them if not for you. I found myself looking for a drink you once got here that I’d never been able to find since.

Where would I be….How different would my life be…. If you were still in it?

I squeezed my eyes shut for just a moment and tried to picture calling you right then if nothing between us had ever gone wrong. Because I wanted so badly- I want so badly- to talk to you. And not to rehash anything or figure out what happened. Just to talk. Just to hear your perspective. Just to hear you. Just because I miss you.

Yes, even still.

But I couldn’t picture what my life would be like now if our friendship would have lasted. I can’t imagine it. It’s taken so many unexpected turns since I knew you. I don’t know if they would have been effected by your presence in my life somehow or not. I just don’t know.

But I do know it sure would have been nice to call you today and here your voice… I so much hate that…. it seems like a foreign concept now. I’ve… I’ve lost pieces of you as time has gone on. I so much wish I had never had to. But I… the person you knew no longer exists and the only memories I have of you… well, they’re actually hers.

The way you cared about me wasn’t fair, you know. The way you saw me wasn’t fair. It didn’t make sense. You shouldn’t have been so good to me. You shouldn’t have been so in tune with me.

Because now I miss you quite terribly.

And then the song ended. Something much friendlier came softly through the speakers above me, like the other song had never played. And no one noticed the change. No one felt like something so, so, so good had been cut way too short. No one felt an emptiness in it’s absence.

Except me, of course.

Now….where was the vanilla?

Missing you.

-Melissa

Too.

I sat quietly, trying to read one of the thousands of pages I’d been assigned. Unfortunately, my mind wasn’t anywhere near the book I held in front of me.

I replayed the moments in my mind. Not the good moments, though I had many of those to choose from. Just the awkward ones. Just ones where the silence lasted a touch too long. Just the ones that didn’t go perfectly, that made me question every single thing either of you had ever said to me. And my mind worries over every single second.

Because what if one of those seconds made you realize I’m not as great as you’ve somehow made me out to be? What if one of those moments caused you to wonder why you had bothered to come? What if you realized how uninteresting I was and got bored? What if you suddenly became aware of the fact that I am a horrible conversationalist? What if you came to terms with understanding that you had an idealized version of me in your head?

And I know none of those things are true.

Maybe it’s because I can’t read either of you very well. Or I think I can’t. Or maybe it’s because I… well, I honestly think you’re really cool so I can’t imagine you actually wanting to be my friends.

I do realize that this is not fair to you. I know that. I know that you, if I said these things to you, would argue relentlessly. I know. I am aware. I know you’ve proved me wrong countless times by now. And yet I question everything. I wish I could just turn that off.

Wouldn’t that be great? Do you have any idea with how much more comfortable I would be around you? Do you know that I rarely, if ever, fully let my guard down around you because I am so focused on how I’m being perceived? No, you don’t. Because I can’t tell you. Because that would legitimately hurt you, and for good reason. Because I should not be like this. I consider you close friends and yet… I’m afraid it’s too good to be true.

I’m so sorry for that.

-Melissa

Missing you.

Someone asked me the other day how I ever could have been friends with you.

For once, I tried to put myself in his shoes. Really, in their shoes. Because I know he wasn’t the only one. I knew how… hard you could be. I knew, vaguely, how other people saw you.

And I listened as he tried to explain why it never made sense that you and I were friends. How it never made sense to anyone. He said the same about another one of my friends too. Honestly, he doesn’t see much clearly. But I understand what he was saying. I mean… sort of. I understand what he thought he saw.

But that’s just the thing. He didn’t see you. He thought he did.

But he didn’t see the first time you spoke to me. I sat there quietly, just like I always do, and you made conversation with me. You know, I don’t remember the moment I first meet someone. Most of the time, you just wake up one day and you’re friends with someone and you can’t remember the moment it started. But I remember you. Because I could tell you…saw me. Do you know how rarely that happens?

He also didn’t see the time I had to deal with a death surrounded by people I barely knew. You were the only person here that I could tell. He didn’t see the way your face fell when I told you. You had no reason for your face to fall. You didn’t know them. But you let yourself feel my pain.

He thought he saw you. And maybe he did. But it wasn’t the real you. It was the hard you. The you others couldn’t see past. The you people were afraid of. Who pushed people away. Who constantly built up your walls, higher and higher. But he didn’t see that crack in your walls. Just barely big enough to let a grain of sand get through. And I got through.

I just… I didn’t know how many layers of walls there were. Not that that would have changed anything. Okay. Maybe it would have. Because I do hope I would have fought a hell of a lot harder than I did at the end.

What terrifies me now is that I know you’ve pushed me out. And you repaired that crack in that one wall. And your walls got higher. Stronger. And I’m… terrified you won’t let any one else find another crack. I’m afraid you’ve repaired them all so perfectly that no one else will even be able to think about getting through to you. I’m afraid you wake up every morning and take a walk around the wall, a bucket of mortar in your hand, and fill all the cracks, even add another layer of cement where you think it might be weak. And then, when you get a chance, you go out an buy a few more bricks and make the wall thicker and taller. And it’s just this ongoing process where you make sure that no one sees you.

Which… I don’t even think you see you. Actually, I know you don’t. Because you choose to see the you other people see in you.

Ha.

Not me. Other people.

Because you never believed any of what I told you.

Oh, what did I tell him? When he asked why I had ever been friends with you?

I told him he never saw the you that I did. He didn’t see the way you talked to me. The way you cared for me. The way you were literally there for me whenever I needed you. I told him about the time when, at four in the morning, you were begging me to come outside to talk because you knew how badly I felt. Because you knew how much pain I was in and you knew I needed to talk about it.

I told him he didn’t actually see you.

Missing you.

-Melissa

New.

Change is inevitable. I mean, clearly.

You know what else is inevitable? Strangers. Meeting new people is just a part of life. Within the next month, I’m going to be meeting a lot of new people. And not only that, but I’m going to have to be with them, work with them, and do life with them.

Part of me is excited. This is often drowned out by everything else, but I actually love meeting new people. I love making new friends. I love getting to know people. I love that stage of a friendship where you can literally just ask each other questions for hours. I love figuring people out. Observing them. Learning what makes them tick, what makes them light up. Goodness. It’s so silly. I get almost… Giddy just thinking about it! People are fascinating.

There’s another part of me that’s nervous. The more normal part of me. I worry that I won’t fit in with these new groups of people. Worried that they won’t like me. Worried that they’ll think I’m someone I’m not. Worried that they won’t even see me. Worried that I’ll think I’m making new friends and then something will happen that makes me feel completely rejected.

I’m also worried that I won’t be who I want to be. That the silent me will come out. That I won’t like them. Or that I will like them so much that I’ll be intimated by them and not be able to talk. I’m worried that I will want to be a part of them and they will not want to include me. Or worse, that I’ll just think they won’t want to include me so I’ll hold myself back. And that just sucks. I just hate it because, if I get to that point, I will get used to that and then I won’t change.

I just don’t make friends as easy as most people. Sometimes, I can. Absolutely. Sometimes, I’m a crazy person and I can meet a new group of people and talk freely and I really like that person. She is very carefree and actually has a lot of fun. But, that part of me rarely come out.

I think that’s the worst thing. Going to meet a new group of people and not knowing which side of me will come out.

-Melissa