I've only recently realised - over the last year or so - how much of an introvert I actually am and how much my job requires me to be otherwise.
As a child, I was always more shy than the average person. I had lots of thoughts, ideas and inspiration but I rarely voiced it for fear of not being liked or saying something silly. As I got older, I was always the most 'shy' in the group until I got to know the people I was with and then I could be myself. My boyfriend's friends thought I was so quiet when I first met them, but it's because I like to listen before I speak and get to know the types of people they are (their sense of humour, the way they talk about things) before I let people know anything about me.
You could say this was social anxiety more than anything else, which is partly true as I do think I suffer from it, but the introvert side of me definitely flourishes in social situations and I always shrink back rather than push myself forward.
That is, however, until I started working in marketing and doing this blog as a part time career. In my last job in a marketing and PR agency, I had to ring clients, go to meetings, do presentations and pitch ideas. At first it was my worst nightmare, but I forced myself to do it and guess what? I survived.
Through my blog I've overcome my travel anxiety and frequently get the train down to London to go to meetings and events. I recently did a photoshoot which was possibly the most nerve-wracking thing I've ever put myself through, as I am the least smiley person on earth (the RBF is strong with me) but I did it and I actually don't mind how the photos turned out. It's definitely pushed me more than I could have pushed myself and for that I am incredibly grateful, but I am definitely still an introvert at heart...
It was my all time favourite blogger Lucy who was talking about being an introvert and suffering from an 'introvert hangover' on Instastories recently, and the whole thing totally resonated with me.
Even though I've become more comfortable talking to people over the years - though I still find small talk difficult (does anyone hate pretending to care? As horrible as that sounds) - I definitely find my energy from being by myself.
I love my friends, as they're such an amazing, creative bunch of ladies (and guys) and they're always here to help me when I need it, but being alone is genuinely how I recharge my batteries and where I feel the most inspired.
It doesn't always take long for me to feel like my normal self, but sitting on the sofa or on my super comfy bed, watching my favourite tv shows or listening to music and catching up with some things online always makes me feel 10x better.
It's often difficult to understand an introvert when you're not one. People don't always get why sometimes I don't want to answer the phone or I'd rather say no than yes to social plans on days after a lot of social interaction. Being an introvert is exhausting to me.
I've got a confident person on the inside dying to get out, but I just can't force myself to bring that person forward 24/7, so it is difficult sometimes. When I'm 'at work', I can literally do anything I set my mind to, but when I get home, I collapse in a heap and silence is so important to me.
So, if you know someone who is more on the introvert side of the spectrum, give them a bit of space every now and again. Chances are, unless you're an ass, they're not ignoring you and they just need to recharge their mental state and get back to being themselves after social occasions.
I know this is an odd topic to talk about, but bloggers (especially YouTubers and those with large followings) are always depicted as these super bubbly, strong and confident characters but I just wanted to say that's not always the case. Does anyone else get where I'm coming from? Fellow introverts, holla.