The Corner of Stretch and Snap

“I haven’t warmed up first. If you try to stretch me right now, I’ll snap.”
– Yours Truly, said in the wryest of wry manners this weekend.

I generally consider it to be significant when various people, with no connection to one another except myself, starting throwing around the same words.
This year, everyone and their aunt Lillian has been gently lecturing me about “stretching”, and no, we aren’t referring to yoga poses.
I do not need to be reminded to to do yoga.
I wonder if, having been so enthralled recently with the concept of introversion and having discovered that I have one of the more peculiar Myers-Briggs personality types, I’ve simply stopped there and refused to move. Now that I know that I’m “this way” for a good reason, I haven’t felt like I needed to exert myself… and I think people have noticed.

We all know that I don’t like huge greeting exercises, so for the last several months, I have allowed myself the delicious luxury of not doing it.
This probably makes me look like a jerk, since people tend to assume that holding a microphone in your hand for fifteen minutes obviously makes you an extrovert (t’aint so). Generally, after helping with worship, I would like to go sit quietly and decompress. There’s a lot of adrenaline and emotion racing around my nervous system, and I need a minute to cool off.
Sitting in service and taking notes helps me regain my equilibrium, where playing the social butterfly (when I’m already running low on social energy) brings out the odd, desperately uncomfortable, Gollum-like creature that resides immediately beneath my (apparently placid looking) exterior.
That said, I could simply circulate in my section every Sunday, and greet the same people each time.
That wouldn’t kill me.

I generally don’t eat lunch in the break room at work.
This is partly because I generally don’t eat lunch, and it makes people uncomfortable when they see a female not eating… it throws up all sorts of eating disorder red flags.
I also struggle with feeling a bit drained afterwards (the room is generously sized, but we all sit at a table in the center). My brain automatically follows any conversations within earshot, and when there are four or five going on at once, I get tired.
That said, I could go to the break room with a small snack two or three times a week, with the understanding that I will be planted face down on my desk for the rest of the day, and that is the price that my coworkers will have to pay for the dubious pleasure of my company for forty-five minutes.

I don’t want to be the type of person who is never willing to put herself out, simply because of natural inclinations. On the other hand, I don’t want to go back to being the type of person who simply did whatever was requested or demanded, because it wasn’t worth the trouble of refusing and explaining and finally giving in, anyway.
I want the people around me to understand me… not to push me or fix me, but just to allow me to be precisely who and what I am. At the same time, I want to be able to fit and exist comfortably within this (ridiculous) culture of high fives and exclamation points and bonding exercises.

I haven’t quite decided how to proceed with this train of thought. I feel like I’m getting old and set in my ways, and it bothers me. I don’t know that it bothers me enough to force me to put on a mask (unless we’re talking a Nixon mask… I would wear one of those).

There has to be middle ground with this introvert-in-the-real-world thing.



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