There’s this meme that flies around Facebook every now and then, that bugs the shit out of me.
It’s supposed to be an introvert’s brain, and it’s this line that swiggles around in some form of, I guess, thinking pattern, that makes no real sense as to why it’s an introvert’s, unless, I suspect, you’re either an introvert, or a thinker.
I was always the loud girl.
I was the girl who friends told at my-first-slumber-parties that I was bossy. (Usually said in a soda-fueled chaos, equivalent to one-too-many-glasses-of-wine overnights a few years later.)
I was always assertive, and passionate, and outspoken.
I live, currently, in a house on a hill in the semi-country with my family; with two children and a husband. I have no friends, not really. I have several friends actually, but they live nowhere near me, or they do, but they don’t have little kids, or they have kids, but our schedules never mesh—that sort of thing.
I live, essentially, in reclusion—this writer on a hill with her young-kid family, and I would be the perfect introvert, except for that I’m not.
There’s this other idea that floats around in general, and it’s more permeative than a cute meme I see sometimes on Facebook. It’s that kind and smart girls are quiet.
I am kind. I am smart. I don’t prefer to be quiet.
(I’ve met a few people who I assumed were thoughtful or nice because they were quiet, only to later discover otherwise—there’s this funny thing about assumptions.)
Until we stop pretending that it’s either special, or different even, or ideal to be this introverted caricature, we will never fully embrace the roundedness of being human, let alone of being a woman.
My best friend is an introvert. My own identical twin is classically introverted as well. I am not dogging the introvert, but I am suggesting that these descriptions I often see are neither my sister nor my friend.
Both women are socially capable to the point of it being curious that they are introverts, if you didn’t know them better (or if you didn’t truly understand what it means to be introverted or extroverted). They are not necessarily shy. They are kind. They are smart. I think they would both prefer to hold their speech until it was properly thought through.
Yet I’m a woman raising two daughters. I suspect that neither of my girls are introverts. (Although both live in a house on a quiet hill, and are kind, and are thoughtful, and are smart.)
I would love to see us all embrace the loud girls. I would adore to see this done without pretending that we are fighting against a claustrophobic stereotype, like I am now.
When I find an adorable, extrovert meme on Facebook—especially when they are directed at women—we are considered fun. We are “wild.” We are “bold,” or “fierce.” We are these nice words for living, breathing people with ideas that need some sort of justification for opening our mouths and letting out thoughts.
Unless we would rather be called “bitch.” Or introvert.