I call myself a Wild Magical Woman.
It conjures images of unabashadly, joyful celebrations.
It conjures images of my erotic and bold dances.
It conjures images of courageous, risk taking, loud proclamations and high heeled hottie nights and vivacious dinner parties and fun rituals in the night. Wild sex. Magical food. Wild dance. Magical men. Wild parties. Magical drinks. Wild adventures. Magical journeys.
Fun. Fun. Fun.
And really, this is me. In my wild and magic….I’m moreso QUIET and STILL.
For some this is shocking.
I, Sheena LaShay am a full fledged INTROVERT.
The images above were all taken in social settings. (Taken, by my favorite portrait & boudoir photographer, GLEN GRAHAM)
Back to it, the photos above were taken in full on social settings. A wedding. A one year anniversary party of a wine bar. A christmas party. A train platform.
Notice my face? It’s the same. I’m surrounded by people. Sometimes interacting. Sometimes laughing. But take a second to capture me in a candid moment and I’m quiet, reflection, lost in my own thoughts while surrounded by tons of people. (Usually, trying to gather my bearings, trying to reserve my energy, trying to ground myself.)
That’s me, people.
Some people, including Glen, since he takes a lot of images of me, emphatically state that I am NOT an introvert. “But you’re not shy. You love performing. You can go into a room and captivate everyone. You walk up to strangers and ask questions. You make the first move with men. You’re not an introvert at all!”
Let’s get one thing straight introvert does not equal shy nor does it automatically equal quiet.
While people may have their theories about me and my public life, I, in fact am an introvert.
WHAT IS AN INTROVERT
Let’s look at a few explanations.
Belle Beth Cooper states on Fast Company, “introversion and extroversion actually relate to where we get our energy from.
Or in other words, how we recharge our brains.
- Introverts (or those of us with introverted tendencies) tend to recharge by spending time alone. They lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds.
- Extroverts, on the other hand, gain energy from other people. Extroverts actually find their energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone. They recharge by being social.
introverts are simply people who find it tiring to be around other people. I love this explanation of an introvert’s need to be alone: For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating.
Therefore, when I say introvert, I mean that people take energy from my life force. People can tire me, drain me and exhaust me. It sounds negative but Belle above writes the positive version of it. I get my energy from solitutude, from my thoughts, from the quietness in my apartment, from journaling and meditating. My energy comes from there and allows me the ability to engage with others. And every person I speak too, every person I smile at, every person I give a bit of time…takes a bit of me with them and by the end of even a normal day, I collapse on my bed exhausted…even from just making eye contact.
Remember “Things I’m Afraid to Tell You”??? Among the really telling things about my psyche, I wrote
7. I wish most people would just shut up. (Along with having the ability to hold a mean grudge, I can be judgmental and critical and sometimes I wish most people would just shut the fuck up and stop wasting my and everyone else’s time.)
12. I’m not afraid to be alone. I value my solitude and could go days without seeing or talking to anyone. I’m afraid though that I’ll die a slow and painful death and it will be during some weekend of solitude and no one will know I was suffering and no one will find my body until weeks later.
Extroverts get their energy from people. When they are feeling depleted, people help give more energy to their life force. That’s a beautiful thing too.
When I’m feeling depleted I need to be alone. I need to gather my thoughts. I need silence.
And some people are a blend of it all.
What makes my introversion seem unlikely is blending my other personality traits into the mix.
- I am a clear communicator… When I want to be.
- I am not scared of putting myself out there even if it means I fall on my face or make a fool of myself.
- I can be open. I can talk about sex with latex cat suits and gas mask with strangers, colleagues and anyone else who wants to hear. Whether you are introverted or extroverted, most people remain private about sex, money and a few other key topics. I’m not like that.
It doesn’t speak to introversion or extroversion. It’s related to a different personality trait.
Therefore even though a selected portion of my life is public and I use social media like a pro and I can easily talk to strangers and I know how to control the energy in a room for good or bad, at the end of the day I need solitude, quiet and just me.
If you are going to crack open, shed new skin, continue to grow and push yourself, you have to know yourself. You have to know the foundation of your energy. Because this work that we do, this self discovery, this opening….its going to challenge you and when you want to give up, throw the towel in and maybe say “fuck this shit,” perhaps if you’re introvert and you’re feeling depleted from all this self work, you will know to go home, sit with your thoughts, ground yourself and breathe through it. And if you’re an extrovert, you’ll know, I need my community, I need my bestie, I need someone to support and hold me through this moment.
And to push yourself further, step outside your comfort zone. For extroverts, learn techniques of introversion. When you HAVE to see people, push yourself to be alone and see if you can find ways to energize yourself. And for those like me, push yourself to find people who give energy to yourself.
I roar. I am a leo after all. My mind is always in motion. But I know, when I get overwhelmed with vulnerability and with openness, I’m gonna need to check in with myself and fill my energy back up. And that’s okay. I have to always give myself the freedom to be who I am…even when that simply means being alone.
I help run a team of over 100 bloggers. I’m a project manager…i.e., managing teams. I’m a stage manager…i.e., managing teams…creative, artsy ones. I’m a videographer and photographer. I spend HOURS with people capturing their best angles and movement. I’m a performer. I spend HOURS in front of crowds. I’m a public person. And at the end of the day, I need to go home, turn everything off and drink tea while watching the sun go down.
You can be wild and magic even in your quiet, solitude.
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