I don’t think we ever stop growing up. Life lessons are constantly learned. I continue to learn and have my memory refreshed by things my children come home with from school. We are continuously growing within each season of life. I want to take a step back to share and embrace a few chapters of my life:
- The 20s: Ahhhh…..yes. The 20’s. When you are unstoppable and naïve at the same time. You think you know it all. It’s almost like the terrible two’s or three’s on steroids, but handled in a somewhat grown-up fashion if that makes any sense. What’s funny looking back is I was completely lost and I think that’s the case for most 20 year olds. I just graduated from college and I was trying my best to get into the fashion industry, but guess what? Guess who has a better chance at getting into any fashion empire? An outspoken extrovert. Team Rachel: 0. Extroverted World: 15. Ignore the fact introverts are one of the most creative types out there. If you don’t “speak” the part, you don’t get the part. I was willing to relocate to San Francisco, New York or even stay local with companies such as The Limited, Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie, Too Brands, you name it. I went on countless interviews, but I could not land one of these jobs for the life of me. “We’re looking for experience more than education” became the quote of the year and my student loans I was beginning to pay seemed pointless. Self-confidence booster, not so much. Fast forward to a few years down the road to my late twenties. I got married and found a job in merchandising with a furniture company. I ended up LOVING this job and the people in it and I was finally putting my degree to work! I never envisioned myself outside of clothing, but furniture ended up being a whole different ball game and provided me with experience throughout all different types of departments; design, marketing, planning, visual, buying, customer service, manufacturing, etc. Although, I loved my job. I ended up feeling stuck for several reasons. In my late twenties, we were expecting our first baby. I had every intention of going back to work, but a few weeks before it was time to return I just couldn’t do it. My career would be placed on hold and my sole focus would be on the home. Ironic isn’t it? Introverts LOVE home! Enter 30s.
- The 30s: Mom life. Sweet. Nurturing. Chaotic. Endless sleepless nights. Worry. Strength. The list goes on and on for mom life. Even for an introvert, constantly being home can be exhausting. Adult conversation is missed. Put a cup of coffee in my hand and send me off to Home Depot and I can start a conversation with a random dude. Weird right?! Also kind of humorous. In our 30’s, we find a sense of self. We become more comfortable in our own skin. We don’t really care as much about impressing the world or being “politically correct,” but we are wiser about the way we carry ourselves at the same time. We’re also more conscious about our health and want to take better care of our bodies. I began finding different work-from-home gigs. Yes. They’re hard to find and hardly pay well, which is difficult to swallow when you’re paying back a college education; but, it made me feel as if I was contributing to our financial needs and that was important to me. Although I was staying home with my babies, I knew some day I’d want to reenter the work force and didn’t want that gap in my resume. I became certified as a medical transcriptionist and pursued that for a few years until the field, unfortunately, dwindled. I then became an Independent Consultant for a direct sales business, which I originally said I would NEVER do. Those people are so annoying right? Can an introvert actually do well in direct sales? I then stumbled upon rating internet search results. I went from fashionista wannabe to a coffee-sippin, yoga pants wearing, bun on head, work-from-home mom. Team Rachel Introvert: 6. Extrovert World: 50.
- The 40’s: I’ve only been forty for 8 days, so I don’t have a lot here, but I feel like oddly at 39 I was prepping the whole year to become 40. Our kids are growing. Both are in school full time. I better get to work on that resume that won’t have a 10-year gap! Yay me! Team Rachel Introvert: 7. Oh wait, Extrovert World doesn’t care about what I filled that gap with. Everything I’d like to do has nothing to do with what I filled my gap with?! Extrovert World: 100. Sigh. Seven months ago I started blogging. Another thing I said I’d “never do.” My vision for my blog started out as something completely different than I expected it to grow into. Honestly, I really don’t know what I’m doing, but I’ve come to love it. Something spoke to me and just told me to go for it. You never know what things in life will lead you to. I have a strong belief that the paths in which we’re directed to and the forks in the road we choose to follow are for a reason. We may not understand it yet, but one day it will all make sense. One day it will all make sense. Some days I still feel like a lost little girl in a grown-up body. Other days, I feel like I’m close to being found. Today, I’ll just put one foot in front of the other and let faith and grace guide me. Team Rachel Introvert is racking up secret points.
Next up: Life As An Introvert Final Chapter: She Finds Her Voice.
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