I had a little meltdown today. It had to do with old baggage about competition and insecurity. I should have known it was coming. I’ve been going 100 mph lately. The primary reason: I’m prepping my house for sale. Lots of organizing, cleaning, mess avoiding and workmen swarming. I’m stressed about timing and frustrated because my creativity buzz is stymied.
Introverts and Competition Angst
When my friend announced he would be starting his own inspirational blog and asked for help coming up with a name, I cracked. I felt a twinge of darkness. I was jealous of his energy and creative time, and with voice shaking told him so. Deep down I worried that he would surpass my abilities and lose respect for me. Yes I said it. I am sensitive to competition. I have lost too many times. Intellectually, I know there is more than enough love and success to go around but in my gut I cried.
Too Many Seasons of Not Being Me
My friend, referring to my house selling obligations said, This is just a season. It will pass. I know he is right but I feel like I have watched many seasons pass with me lost in a barrage of doing the expected. I’ve spent seasons being flavorless and asleep. I’m awake now and I can’t bear to go through the motions without expressing myself somehow. Once again I feel my spirit dying in the name of the busy-life because I can’t manage my creative world and my day-to-day responsibilities.
It’s hard to watch someone do with ease what you have struggled to do for years. I have to be mindful of my energy so I don’t get overwhelmed. I used to think of it as the introvert curse. It seems most people DO NOT have to watch their energy levels so diligently. They can barrel through the leg-work of an idea and hit the promotional and productivity road hard.
I can’t spread myself so thin. I’ll crack. My children will pay because my attention will be scanty and my patience will be short. My emotions (the weepy/outburst kind) will surface unbidden. I have to be selective with my endeavors and follow them up with a good amount of restorative solitude.
It sucks but it is also a blessing.
I have to be judicious with my choices but those things I deem valuable I pursue with fierce attention. I may be pulled away by everyday interruptions but I always return. I cannot NOT seek further clarity. My mind involuntarily absorbs information so keenly that it doesn’t stop until it’s reached meaning, beauty or some kind of personal evolution. This is definitely a blessing. This is why trite interactions (short phone calls, gossip, small talk) are so energy zapping and meaningful ones are freakin’ exhilarating.
Vulnerability Sets Others Free
Admitting to my friend that I was jealous and a little frightened of his writing plans rendered the most incredible response. I’m not sure if it was the shaky voice or soft crying, but letting down my guard lifted him. He said it made his heart sing. Sing with freedom? Freedom to be real? He said he liked me more because of my vulnerability. He didn’t get defensive about his right to create or make me feel small for getting upset. He was genuinely appreciative of the safe space between us. The space where we can have little meltdowns and not be judged. Wow. Meltdown avoided, empowerment in place.
Have you cracked lately? Do you get jealous of others’ energy and ability to self-promote? Does someone value your sensitivity?
If Introvert Meltdown… spoke to you then you may also love:
There’s Nothing Wrong With You. You’re an Introvert (space2live)