For those who don’t know me personally, I’m an introvert. If you’re a follower of Myers-Briggs, I’m an ISFJ. (Enneagram lovers? Type 1). Whatever label you want to slap on my unusually small head, there’s no mistaking that introversion. In a world where everyone listens to he (OR she) who shouts the loudest, it’s taken me a while to be happy with my personality traits, let alone be proud of them. But, times are a’changin’ my fellow sewists, and I finally recognise that being an introvert is something to shout about too.
Introversion, in my case, means being a badass quilter who gains energy, happiness and strength from quality quiet time with my sewing machine (note: never have I referred to myself as ‘badass’ before until now, so bear with me as I test it out for size).
I quilt for many reasons. 1. Because pretty fabric. 2. Because I enjoy it. 3. Because I enjoy the physical product that I get out of it. 4. Because it’s a challenge. 5. Because it makes me feel calm (…unless it involves too much unpicking. Ain’t nobody got time for that). Sitting at my machine is also a way to unpack the events of the day, process what’s going on around me, focus on what I’m doing and be in the moment – am I a mindfulness writer now?
It was only last year that I really clicked that being an introvert doesn’t mean being shy and meek, but instead describes someone who gains energy from solitude and calming environments. So, after working 8am-4pm in a hustly-bustly open-plan office, I traipse home and sit at my machine for an hour until I get too hungry to continue putting off making dinner. That’s my time for me, and my time to get. Shit. Done. Woohoo! (Though I feel the need to point out that my sewing ‘hour’ very often doubles, nay, quadruples in size if I’m working to a deadline...).
So, rather than listen to the rest of the world and take my introversion as a hindrance, I recognise it as my strength. Was I a vivacious social butterfly, I’d probably still be out at 3am, walking barefoot in the street because I can’t handle any shoe without a flat, cushioned sole. Instead, I’ve spent solo time perfecting my craft, doing what I love, and building up my supplies to keep as many visitors warm as possible. I don’t see nothin’ wrong with that.