It’s that time again: welcome back to the Weekly Sip! If you’re new around here, catch up on my past Weekly Sip posts here.
One day I will branch out from coffee/breakfast spots for this series and write about a cocktail bar or something. But there are so many awesome coffee and breakfast shops in town that I have so many options for the Weekly Sip. Then again, we do have plenty of bars, too.
The Camp House is one of my favorite spots in town. Its convenience to my work is an added bonus to its vast menu and chill atmosphere. It’s a great spot for meetings, study sessions or just for coffee and a meal. I haven’t actually had any of their non-breakfast food, but I will say that their biscuits are some of the best in Chattanooga.
That morning, I decided on a “stuffed” biscuit and mocha. My tall, buttery biscuit was “stuffed” with eggs, cheese and pesto; I opted for no tomatoes or onions, per usual, and took roasted potatoes as my side. I almost had to eat the biscuit with a fork and knife because it was so tall, I couldn’t bite it like a sandwich. Potatoes aren’t my usual breakfast side of choice, but I’m glad I picked these.
For the record, a plain Camp House buttermilk biscuit with honey butter and jam is simple and delicious, too.
I recently took a Myers-Briggs style test, just out of my own curiosity. I had a pretty good idea of my personality type, but I wanted to see just how close my guess was. My result was hardly surprising: INTJ, or introverted, intuitive, thinking, judging.
According to the post-test description (which you can read in full here), top qualities of an INTJ personality are:
- We have at least one area of specialty–sometimes more–and we know a lot about it and we know pretty quickly whether or not we can help you. We do what we know.
- We are perfectionists and pragmatists and like theories.
- We are independent and seize opportunities when they come.
- We have no patience for slackers and indecisiveness.
- We care deeply for other people–usually a select few–and are always willing to put forth the effort to make a friendship or relationship work. (I could write a whole post on this concept alone. But that’s for another day.)
- We want people to make sense–which can be more of a curse than a blessing.
Fun fact: typical INTJ careers are in the sciences and engineering. Breaking the mold over here. #LiberalArtsForever
Aside from the career trajectory, that was pretty spot on. I’m a creature of habit, I empathize with others easily (sometimes too easily), and I operate on reason over emotion, most of the time. But out of all that, the one word that I hung on to the most was that first term: introverted.
I’ve never been an introvert in the truest sense of the word, especially when I was younger. I like being around other people, and normally I’m comfortable in groups, as long as they’re not too big. Going to an event or party where I didn’t know anyone wasn’t completely out of character, but of course I preferred to have at least one friend with me.
Last year, in the couple of months leading up to and after my breakup, I became more of an introvert than I’d ever been. I hardly went out and did anything with my coworkers; instead I stayed home a lot, which was probably better for my bank account, anyway. But I had zero social life and I was getting pretty lonely.
Soon enough, I realized the only thing holding me back was me. If I wanted to find new people and get involved in activities outside of work, I had to put myself out there and do it myself.Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and find your people & your place. #WeeklySip Click To Tweet
And that was absolutely terrifying. But I had to do it. It was the only way I was going to find my people and my place in this city.
My first solo venture was to open tryouts for Chattanooga FC last January. I’d tweeted back and forth with a couple people involved in the supporter group, and one of them invited me to open tryouts. It seemed like an odd event, but I was in no place to turn down an invitation to do something, so I agreed to meet at the stadium that weekend. I met several really nice people that day, but unfortunately didn’t think about staying in touch with them. I was still too nervous and introverted to push myself to the next level. But I was a step ahead of where I was before, and that was enough progress for me.
After that, I went to a Chattanooga Symphony concert solo. I didn’t mind that, because you can’t exactly talk to anyone during a concert, and with my background in music, I could geek out to myself. My independence also kicked in a little. A couple weeks later, I tried going to a bar on my own a couple of times. The first time, I stayed for half an hour and then left. The next time I went back to that bar before a networking event, and I lasted a little bit longer. The networking event wasn’t so nerve-wracking after that.
Soon enough, CFC season started up again. I’d seen Facebook events for tailgates and thought, “people tailgate for events other than football?!” But I was curious and I missed tailgating, so I went. Sure enough, I saw many of the same people I saw at tryouts, and they welcomed me to the tailgate and their group with open arms and cold beer.
Some of those people quickly became my best friends in Chattanooga. Who knew I’d find “my people” in a soccer supporter group?When was the last time you forced yourself to step outside of your bounds? Click To Tweet
As the summer went on, I became less and less afraid to go to events by myself. Heck, I went to the first night of the Riverbend music festival solo, in hopes of making a friend or two while I was there. I venture to the farmer’s market solo every Sunday. It’s oddly relaxing. Coffee or breakfast before work is also great “me time” before diving into a busy day or week.
As spring and summer really start to kick up with events, festivals and celebrations, I’m reminded of what I was like this time last year and how far I’ve come. Compared to the first four to five months of 2016, I’m a much more confident and outgoing person. But that doesn’t mean I’ve completely let go of my more introverted tendencies. Too much time around large groups of people gets overwhelming. When I start to feel that, I like to take a step back and spend time at home cooking, writing and watching movies, usually with Maggie Kitty by my side (as she is now, while I’m writing this).
Some people thrive on constant company and being around others. Sometimes I wish I were one of those types, but I’m happy with my little INTJ personality. That change of pace is a nice break when it comes.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. All it takes is one step in the right direction.
What’s your personality type? When was the last time you forced yourself to step outside of your bounds? What happened when you did it?