So yesterday I did something I never thought I’d do in light of the fact that I’m a die-hard introvert. I went to a psychic fair with a friend of mine and her friend, who both sell home based products (Thirty-One and Zudora). When my friend first mentioned it to me, I thought “uh-no. I don’t do crowds, sorry. Introvert, remember?” But after thinking it over, and considered the fact that it was being held in a church (which I felt was a safe enough location-not too big, and likely not too many people) and the fact that it was a craft sale and psychic fair, I figured it was a pretty safe bet that the people that frequent these types of things would be of the quieter, laid back nature.(I had, in the past, suffered from a social anxiety disorder in addition to being an introvert, so any type of socializing with strangers/crowds/unfamiliar settings would cause me a ton of grief.) But not to bore you with that, I’m apparently over it because I (shockingly) had no issues with going or with being there all day.

Aside from it being a fun day, simply because it was something different from the norm for me and because I was in good company, I couldn’t have anticipated the positive effects that came from venturing into the unknown for one day. Not only was it a great opportunity to talk life with a couple of other soft spoken but hilariously funny ladies, it turned out to be the catalyst for change on a much deeper level.

I joked with the ladies about needing to call in sick on Monday because I’d need the time to recuperate. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Introvert, we need time alone to recharge our batteries after socializing. Heck, I don’t let anyone talk to me for at least 15 minutes when I get home because I work in a crazy and busy building department for the municipality I live in, and am a volunteer firefighter for (but that’s another blog-me being such an introvert and engaging in such an extroverted activity, which I love and have been doing for almost 20 years).

Fortunately, I don’t feel drained at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Even more surprising was that one of my two teenaged daughters has had a friend over all weekend, which I would normally find draining, but it has barely phased me.

My little adventure yesterday allowed me to tap into a long forgotten part of myself-the part that often is neglected by women, wives, mothers-that part being ME. I’m so programmed to see myself first and foremost in relation to my kids (as a mother), my husband (as a wife), our two dogs (as their number one caregiver/walker/feeder/cleaner upper- the hair and other unmentionables – after), housework (as the maid) work (as a trying-to-always-do-my-best employee) before I even think about or remember that there’s a ME buried in there somewhere.

I honestly felt like a new person when I woke up this morning. I chatted with both of the ladies that I spent the day with yesterday, on FB this morning, and smiled at the realization of how much I missed having girlfriends. My introversion can be a double edged sword-I crave the solitude to help me maintain my sense of equilibrium but I miss out on forming new friendships and therefore don’t have many close friends, and even less that I actually go out and do things with. I thought I was totally ok with that until now.

I’ve been reminded of the gift of girlfriends, of being able to talk to other moms and wives about the issues we all have in common, to be able to share stories and experiences and offer suggestions, to inspire and empower one another, even if it’s done through baby steps, and best of all, to share a few laughs.

I often joke about being a turtle in a shell, who every once in a while-like once a year maybe-will poke my head out to take a look around and see if I’m missing anything.

Turns out that I was. Thank you ladies. 🙂

Jennifer Grigg