Introversion and the perfect chocolate cake

Self Care

There are many assumptions made about introversion and if you are an introvert, you will be familiar with them.

One assumption is that because we don’t socialize as much as our extraverted counterparts, we have hours and hours of leisure time. Spent at home. Doing absolutely nothing. Agreed, we introverts can happily devote multiple hours to doing not very much at all. However, many of us choose to spend our leisure time doing something we genuinely enjoy, that we have an aptitude for and that others might consider work.

Then there are introverts like me, who don’t seem to have an aptitude for anything in particular. I seem to spend a lot of my leisure time trying new things, but nothing seems to take. At least not yet. I firmly believe however that there are some skills that really should have improved by now given the amount of time I have invested in trying to improve them. And yet…

So here they are…the things I want to be great at, and believe I should be great at, but clearly aren’t.

There something about the chemistry in baking that eludes me. You know those amazing cooks that can cook by instinct? I’m not even close. Even when I diligently follow the recipe, something goes awry. The one success I had was when I (somehow) made a perfect soufflé in a very dodgy oven. Can I replicate that now with a decent oven? Not a chance. My life is seemingly an endless stream of unrisen loaves of bread, too-soft cookies, and over-baked cakes. Still, I persist in the hope that the perfect chocolate cake will one day, materialize from my oven.

My entire history of knitting is riddled with dropped stitches and half-used balls of wool. My mother can knit with her eyes closed while cooking a casserole and still produce row after row of perfect stitches. Frustratingly, I haven’t even mastered the basics and it’s not for a lack of trying. Stupid hands and brain.

Making a really good cup of tea
There really is no excuse for this one. I have generations of English heritage behind me. The Brits practically live and bathe in tea. Tea-making is a skill that I should excel at, it should be in my DNA, and yet…some five-year-olds can make a better cup of tea than me.

Home decorating
You’d think that for all the time I spend in my own house that I would have successfully decorated it to within an inch of its life by now. Alas, no. I buy the home/garden magazines, I think I have a pile of them somewhere devoted just to bathrooms. I can put together an stylish outfit without really thinking about it, but I can’t seem to sort out my living room. Or dining room. Or garden. In my defence, my office is probably the only space that accurately reflects my personal taste. I guess that will have to do for now?

I have zero desire to sing in front of others but I would dearly love to be able to hold a tune in the privacy of my own shower. I find myself singing a lot around the house, so much so that I should have mastered breath control, have perfect pitch and a much better recall of the actual lyrics. Nope.

Perhaps I should just accept that I’m never going to be proficient at these things and stop trying. There is the stubborn part of me that thinks it would be defeatist if I did. I think everyone wants to be truly great at least one thing and let’s face it, introverts arguably have the time to invest. Should we feel bad if we never conquer our personal Everest?

The more important question is this – is my introversion actually holding me back? It could be argued that taking a class in any of the above things could vastly improve my abilities and thus improve my personal satisfaction.  Of course, I don’t want to take a class because that will involve, you know, being with lots of other people. Is my aversion to learning in a public environment greater than my desire to excel?

I will continue to ponder these questions as I binge-watch Orange Is The New Black and eat some (store-bought) donuts. I’m actually pretty good at these two things, no classes required.

Over to you! Is there something you want to be better at but your introversion is holding you back? Feel free to share in the comments below.

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