- Hush

When an introvert tries, and fails, to live as an extrovert.
Abby Norman in Human Parts

There was never any question in my mind that I was an introvert by nature. Though, convincing anyone else of that proved impossible. Growing up, I was theatrical, melodramatic, loud, inquisitive, a little girl who stood up and said, “Let me do it.” From the moment I first uttered the word, I lived by the gospel that “No.” was a complete sentence. Even as a very small child I held strong convictions and an inner sense of justice that didn’t exactly make me popular with my peers: I held myself, and consequently everyone else, to very high standards of performance. If I did wrong, I expected punishment. If I witnessed someone else doing wrong, I wanted to witness justice being served. I very much wanted to live in that kind of world. As I grew up, I suffered innumerable existential crisis’s when faced with the reality that the world is anything but just.

Year after year, I got up on stage and entertained. I seemed to have a natural ability as an entertainer, and could perform comedy and drama in equal measure. I was just as likely to make someone laugh as I was to reduce them to tears. I seemed, as they say, “at home” on stage. I suffered no trace of “stage fright” and never had trouble speaking in front of a group. It seemed that right from the get-go I was about as extroverted as they come; and for this, I was praised and rewarded consistently. Each time I performed, got a laugh, received applause, it was reaffirmed for me that this is what people want.