Featured in the Lakeshore Weekly News
Despite the fact that I’ve worked in radio, have been on TV, currently host a podcast about the joys and pitfalls of being a grown woman and have written about my life and community for 10 years, I’ve always felt I was an introvert.
People have a hard time believing this about me because I’m such an open book. Being an introvert doesn’t necessarily mean you are a wallflower. Being an extrovert doesn’t necessarily mean you are the life of the party.
An introvert is someone who recharges being alone. It doesn’t mean you are incapable of being social; it is all a question of where you get your energy from. An extrovert is someone who gets their energy from being around people.
I’ve been to big parties where I’ve been absolutely drained after, even having to escape to a bathroom for a little bit to recharge. I find comfort in smaller spaces that feel cozy, without windows. Bathroom stalls have been a lifesaver for me at times.
Well, I’m rethinking this whole thing now.
Recently I spent time hosting an open house during the Parade of Homes for The Cove on Lake Minnetonka. Three hundred-plus people a day came through the house on the weekend.
I had to interact with many, many people, answer questions and be pleasant. The strangest things happened: I really enjoyed it and found it energizing. This really confused me.
Truly I was anticipating that I would be a wreck after this, and the opposite happened. The home I was hosting overlooked Halstead’s Bay on Lake Minnetonka. It was a beautiful home built by Charles Cudd in a luxury living community known as The Cove on Lake Minnetonka.
People coming into the home were so happy to see it and in awe of it’s beauty. Some were looking for ideas to inspire them with their own home remodel, some were dreaming of a future that could be, and some were in the market for such a home.
Many of the questions I would answer were repetitive, but this didn’t bother me. As a mom I’ve been repeating myself for 27 years. What I found energizing was the excitement and delight of other people.
There were even a few kids who had notepads out, who were taking notes and designing their future homes. The home and the neighborhood inspired people and got them thinking, dreaming, imagining what could be.
This home is one that most of us will probably never live in, but I didn’t see much jealousy and envy. Instead I saw inspiration. Parents remind their kids that if they work hard in life, put in the time and effort, that a home like this can be a reality for them, if they wanted it.
I saw families excited to implement a few of the design ideas into their own homes and also being truly appreciative of the work that went into building such a home.
This made something very clear to me. It’s not that I lose energy being around lots of people; I lose energy being around superficial people who lack joy and gratitude. Being in a sea of people drawing inspiration from their surroundings was invigorating and energizing.
This was such an eye opener for me. People were present and engaged. My conclusion is that when around a group of people who are not present and engaged, my energy becomes drained, and it’s a strain for me. When around people who are present and engaged, I’m energized.
I’m not an introvert. I’m not opposed to crowds like I thought I was. I’m opposed to negativity and drama. I’m opposed to superficial ego-oriented conversation, or complaints about how stressful it is to pack for a vacation. I’m opposed to a crowd of people who are not present in the moment.
This is also a reminder of how important it is that I, myself, am present and engaged, while practicing gratitude and creating joy. Life is too short to not have a heart filled with gratitude and a spirit that seeks joy, no matter how many people are around.
My adventures in living life perfectly imperfect are featured in the Sun Sailor, The Lakeshore Weekly News and South Lake Neighbors Magazine.