The "get to know you" gathering.
You know the one...strangers put together for a specified number of days for similar purpose and now you have to open up and share with these people right off the bat.
Oh, I really hate it.
As a youth pastor, I would plan these inane kinds of activities all the time - "Icebreakers" they're called in the youth ministry manuals.
In my world, they're called torture.
So, I waited until the last possible moment to speak (because well, I was really hoping that we'd run out of time).
I was up. Eyes on me. Ugh.
So, I say my name and where I'm from. And then explain that this introvert, quite frankly, was really dreading this moment.
That's been my rationale all these years. My thinking behind my angst.
But something - nagging at the back of my mind - has made me question that logic. But I don't question for too long.
And then, during our time away,
in the midst of strangers who heard some of my story,
in the midst of really quiet mornings on a lake with hot tea,
in the midst of reading books I didn't know were written,
I think I have finally figured out that this introvert is also just plain scared.
I am scared to show me.
To just be me.
I am scared that I could be found wanting.
That I might be rejected.
That I might disappoint.
That I might appear slow, silly, immature, odd.
And so, I've chalked it up to being an introvert. I say Meyers-Briggs has dictated my dread of "get to know you" talks.
But it's not really true.
What's true is I am scared to be myself.
What's true is I might still hate icebreakers but I can be me.
What's true is I can simultaneously be scared to be me but still be myself.
So, I am gonna work on it...being me - all the time - unmasked and vulnerable...even when I am scared.