Vignettes on Aging – Ambivert

My youth was characterized by an outgoing, annoyingly loud personality. Many considered me forthright, mostly blunt. You knew what to expect with me. I didn’t play coy or stay silent if I felt something needed to be said or done. At my worst I was obnoxious. At my best, I was an extrovert. Then things changed.

I’m not sure when my outgoing ways began a shift inward. It wasn’t that I was less opinionated or judgmental. I just kept my mouth shut more. I didn’t feel the same strong pull to criticize or bless the actions of others. Instead of knowing what to expect from me, friends wondered, more times than not, when I’d pipe up about something or someone. I maintained extrovert qualities but not all the time.

Since about the age of 50, however, I’ve spent more time, money, and energy carving out the quality and quantity of my time alone. Not completely alone, I’m with my books, my computer, and my cat, Kali. A significant portion of my time these days I actively choose to be alone, to forego the party/dinner/event. I’ve become the queen of signing up for a trip, a concert, a dinner out only to cancel at the last moment. I’ve become an introvert. Or have I?

Yes, I can be labeled by an introvert’s characterizations according to Webster’s: “…person who tends to be introspective and enjoys spending time alone.” But, it doesn’t quite fit because my gregarious outgoing abilities that support public speaking or being the life of a party have lessened but not completely disappeared. So, let’s attach a more descriptive label:

Ambivert – equal parts extrovert and introvert

What about you?