Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Despite many an incorrect definition of the word "introvert," I will offer you mine:
An introvert is someone who gains energy from being alone and from thinking.
An extrovert is someone who gains energy from being with people and from socializing.

So being an introvert doesn't mean that I am shy, quiet, or incapable of being with large groups of people. Any more than being an extrovert means you always want to be around people. We just gain energy in different places.

Summer camp is a hard place for introverts. 

I know. So begins my 5th summer and I've learned--through much experimenting--that this kid-friendly, high-energy environment caters well to people who love people and doesn't cater well to people who love space

I got into this gig when my boyfriend (and now husband) invited me to come to camp with him. "It's so fun," he said. "You'll have such a good time," he said. And frankly, he was right on all accounts. I'm grateful for the experiences I've had at camp. Camp has taught me a lot about myself and people and kids and religion and God. 

And now gearing up for another summer, it takes quite a bit of mental preparation to convince myself that this is indeed where I need to be. Again. But I know it's exactly where I need to be because it's hard, not in spite of it. 

Camp stretches me to be more sociable than I might prefer.
Camp exposes me to people who sometimes believe very differently than I do.
Camp challenges me to operate on less sleep, less quality time, and more stimuli.
Camp takes the emphasis away from myself and onto others.
And camp helps me seek balance even in some unbalanced scenarios.

There is still a place for me here.
There are surely other introverts here.
I can still have meaningful relationships.
I can take time away.
I can write.
I can pray. 
I can be. 


Bryan H said...

I'm an introvert... It can be a real challenge sometimes!