My Name Is Kim And I’m An Introvert

Before we got married, Penn and I did the required pre-marital counseling. We took a few personality profile tests, including the Myers-Briggs Personality type indicator. It showed I was an I-N-F-J. The most important letter here is the “I”.  For the first time in my life, this long test with bubbled answers deemed me an introvert. 

I was confused. 

I had a job as a news reporter where I talked to strangers all day. I had an active social life and a wide circle of friends. I rolled my eyes and assumed I had accidentally skewed results with some inaccurate answers. Then, when it was explained to me: Being an introvert was all about where I found my energy. 

Huh?

The Truth Revealed

That test was absolutely correct. After a long day at work, I would crash. I would joke, “I need silence. I’m out of words.” After a Friday night out with friends, I would hibernate the rest of the weekend, not leaving the house. While Penn gets his energy from being surrounded by people, I get my energy from the couch. 

Never has there been a more glaring example of our different energy needs than last week. We had the extreme privilege of watching The Amazing Race finale with our Race family and friends. Every part of me wanted to be there. 

In the days following, we were lucky enough to have several hours of interviews followed by more time with the cast. We had dinners, we went to karaoke, I loved every single second of the experience. In fact, Penn wanted to go back to the hotel at 2am one evening, and in a very un-Kim move, I begged him to stay out. “When are we all going to be together again?!” I begged him. We danced, we talked, we sang…then I crashed. 

As soon as we landed, Penn went to play tennis with friends. Me? I took, what I call, an introvert coma. I stayed in bed for two full days. I didn’t return phone calls (sorry Mom) or text messages. Penn brought me meals, the kids snuggled up to watch movies, but my soul needed the quiet. 

Giving Myself Grace

I am proud to say,  for the first time in my life, I gave myself grace. Typically, when my body needs recovery from an extrovert excursion, I feel some guilt. My career started in the days of extreme hustle culture, and breaks were seen as weaknesses. Productivity! Hustle harder! More is more! 

I caught myself saying, “I should really start cleaning out my closet.” And, “I need to start meal planning for the week.” Guess what? I didn’t create a meal plan. My closet is still a mess. The emails I need to return are still unanswered in my inbox. 

I’m now back and fully recovered. I’ve started to go through the sweet messages in an effort to return texts and calls. I gave myself grace, and I can only hope the people on the other end of the line will offer the same. Extroverting is hard, y’all.

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