While shaking up my introverted routines is the inspiration for this year, I’d describe myself more specifically as a voracious reader, eager learner, avid organizer, enthusiastic cyclist, appreciative hiker, aspiring writer, and devoted parent to a dog named Mylee.
Few people are 100% introverted or 100% extroverted; most fall somewhere along the spectrum between the absolutes, including me. According to the Quiet Revolution’s 10-question introvert test, I, as an introvert, can be described in this way:
“Given the choice, you’ll devote your social energy to a small group of people you care about most, preferring a glass of wine with a close friend to a party full of strangers. You think before you speak, have a more deliberate approach to risk, and enjoy solitude. You feel energized when focusing deeply on a subject or activity that really interests you. When you’re in overly stimulating environments (too loud, too crowded, etc.) you tend to feel overwhelmed. You seek out environments of peace, sanctuary, and beauty; you have an active inner life and are at your best when you tap into its riches.”
Eerily accurate. I definitely fall on the introverted end of the spectrum but behave as an extrovert in certain circumstances (oftentimes at work, where I enjoy public speaking and can be one of the more outspoken members of the team, as well as when traveling). When the end of the workday arrives, though, I say my goodbyes, make a beeline for the door, avoid happy hours, and breathe a sigh of relief when I get to the peaceful comfort of my home and my dog.
I’m not going to magically start enjoying happy hours at the end of this adventurous year. There’s a reason you don’t see “hang out at the local pub” on the list of activities that appeal to me. I think that’s part of what excites me about this project, though: meeting new people who enjoy the same activities automatically makes things more interesting.
I adopted eight-year-old Mylee on March 4, 2015. In the first ten days of sharing my life with this dog, I met more of my neighbors than I had in the first six years of living in my home.
Having this little dog by my side makes me both more social and more approachable. She’s friendly, laid back, wants to explore, and gets me out of the house for walks twice a day. I go out of my way to do more of what makes her happy. She loves the dog park? Let’s find one! She enjoys meeting new people? Let’s walk around downtown!
Mylee has broken the ice in conversation with hundreds of people I never would have chatted with otherwise. And I’m happiest when she is with me. So she’s my copilot: throughout this year, the more dog-friendly activities I can do with her by my side, the better.