Wednesday, May 26, 2010


When I was in third grade I had to give my first presentation in front of the class. It was a book report? Or maybe it was that "how-to" exercise that is meant to teach children something. I still haven't decided if it is to teach children that stupid people need extra detailed instructions or just to teach children about implicit instructions or something. Anyway, I had to stand up in front of my class and present something.

I was TERRIFIED. The thought of standing in front of my class and giving a presentation was, to that point, the most horrifying feat I was ever faced with accomplishing. Mrs. Mulrooney (for whom I have generally fond memories) told me that if I didn't do my presentation then, I would receive a 0. A ZERO. A big, fat, red F. I cried. I did not deliver my presentation.

Somehow I passed third grade. Somehow I was able to coax myself into giving presentations in the future with no similar failures (except for that one time in that masters level seminar in Germany). I even felt so evolved that I thought I was extroverted.

Apparently, I am not. Apparently the ability to force myself to speak in front of people does not mean that I am not fidgeting or shaking uncontrollably. I guess I just don't notice it.

I have been receiving subtle hints over the last several months. I was once described as "reserved and thoughtful." Who? Me? I guess, maybe. I have been told by a friend that he and another friend thought I shouldn't be so down on myself. What? Conan O'Brien is FAMOUS for his self deprecating humor. Not that I would want my own show, I'd probably die. And recently I had the great fortune of talking with someone who had interviewed me about what I could improve upon and what my weaknesses may have been. Apparently, I was visibly nervous and this cast doubt upon my ability to handle this job well.

You guys, I have just come out of the closet, er, gone back into the closet, er, I guess I'm an introvert.

I suppose there have been many signs over the years: I spent my entire life reading and drawing and, most likely, the most extroverted things I may have done growing up include having less than 10 lines in two separate plays and being on the mock trial team. In college, my most extroverted thing was doing sorority recruitment, which, I'm pretty sure, was never my best experience on either end. I didn't even get invited back to two of the three houses when I went through.

And I know what you are thinking, "You're a bartender, you have to be extroverted!" Not true. I work in the least busy bar ever and I literally shake after I have to kick someone out. Or maybe you are thinking, "But you have, like, a thousand million friends on facebook and you are always out doing things with friends!" And that's true. But I guess my friends think I'm quiet (relatively) and reserved and thoughtful. And everyone needs a friend like that. I probably make an excellent wing woman.

The world wants me to be an extrovert. The world wants me to be fierce and aggressive and oozing of confidence. The world wants me to be composed during an interview and the world wants me to want to be president.

You guys, I am probably supposed to be a librarian.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I think there's a continuum and that you and I both fall somewhere in the middle. For example, I love being around people and get really lonely and bored when I'm by myself. But on the other hand, I hate clubs, dancing, parties, and being in big groups of people. I feel lost and kind of panic. The idea of going out and seeing who I can meet is terrifying.

It's also funny how I can feel completely comfortable in front of my students, but contributing at a staff meeting is impossible.