Thank you for taking a moment to read my Her-Story. My hope is that you recognize some of yourself in my story.
Having been born in New York around the time Keane paintings became popular and looking as if I had stepped right out of one, this should have been a indication early on that I was an introvert.
But I had parents who were young and had limited emotional real estate. As they were struggling to keep their marriage together they paid little attention to their quiet, somewhat otherworldly, child. I learned early on how to be alone.
Yet I never felt alone.
The conversations that were happening inside me in the silence supported me through various tumultuous times in my childhood.
My Grandma Irma was my savior as, looking back, I now understand she was also also an introvert. I lived with her for 2 years at ages 7 & 8. She and I were pals and she would take me everywhere with her. I would observe my Grandma and her quiet way of doing things and how she could slip into her own world when she was busy.
I was the luckiest kid back then as I had the coolest handmade wardrobe of mod frocks all lovingly stitched by my Grandma.
From age 9 to 19 I spent with my Father and his new wife as an only child until I was 16, when they had a child of their own. I was left to spend most of my time with a step parent who ignored and resented my presence nor could they understand my quiet way of moving through life. I retreated more into the little world inside my head which seemed more real to me than any place I was physically existing. I delved into books and music which basically saved my life during this time.
School these years was a minefield. I never felt like I fit in anywhere. And even when I did find some group to become a part of, there was always a part of me that felt like I was faking it.
At age 19 I applied to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. It was only one hour from where I grew up but a world away. I had no real specific interest in fashion but I knew I didn’t feel called to all the rah rah schools my peers were attending. And once I moved smack into the middle of the city, I knew I was beginning to meet my tribe.
FIT attracted a wealth of colorful misfits that I immediately felt a kindred Spirit with.
During this time I met my best friend, Nadine, who is also a strong introvert. We ran around the city until the sun came up visiting galleries, listening to music and eating donuts in coffee shops that looked like Edward Hopper paintings.
We also took our first trip abroad to England together.
I began to be approached to model and act. Being young and naive I figured if someone more experienced then I told me I should do this I should try it. Yet I would precede to self sabotage any opportunity that came my way fearing the success more then the failure.
I moved west to Los Angeles in the early 90’s. No longer able to sustain the energy I needed to live and work in NYC this seemed a logical choice.
The Introvert Paradox?
Yes I’m an introvert!
No I’m not shy!
But the little unrealized introvert still lived within me, feeling disconnected again having moved to a city where I arrived knowing just one person.
On a visit to Hollywood Blvd with a friend from England, we searched for a star he could photograph me with. I chose Snow White, the girl I could most relate to out of all those personalities.
Meeting a woman in front of a grocery story in 1994, who was soliciting help for the then little known Best Friends Animal Society, I signed up. The catalyst being the relationship I had with the dog who became my best friend not long after my cross country move. Volunteer work proved to be my ultimate introvert social outlet. I am still an active volunteer with Best Friends but my service has expanded to include many causes, both social and spiritual.
The most surprising being community activist training during the 2007/08 Presidential Campaign. I went on to travel to Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Nevada on my own dime for the Obama Campaign. The crescendo being called to be a backup singer with Will.I.Am at the Democratic National Convention and being invited to the inauguration where I also volunteered.
My own personal career has also moved in the direction of being of service. Moving west offered me the opportunity to be exposed to many holistic and alternative methods of healing. I began training in 1995 and it has been my life’s work.
Only recently did I discover the true meaning of introvert. Like many I thought introvert meant only shy. And I never really identified as being shy. In my mind I always felt I lacked the “socialization” chip as I call it. Yet I craved authentic connection. Hearing Susan Cain’s Ted Talk and then reading her book changed my life. And then propelled me to begin to share this with many of my clients who I discovered also were unrealized introverts. Hence my “Introvert Activist” title began to take shape.
Born out of my own struggle to discover and understand who I have ALWAYS been as an introvert came “Sacred Introvert”. It is my sincere hope that if this work can help one other to know, understand, accept and love themself more it has done its job.
Many Blessings and Much Love,