Most people who meet me may assume that I’m an extrovert, but if you know me the truth is that I’m actually an introvert who has been challenging herself for as long as she can remember to step outside her comfort zone. As a result I have done many things that have terrified me: I have been on TV and radio, I’ve done on stage interviews, I’ve organized meetups and done public speaking, I’ve traveled overseas alone, and I’ve run my own business. While these things may have made me insanely nervous, I’ve conquered my fears and emerged out the other side feeling prouder and braver that I was before.
Since having children, however, I’ve found my shy nature has crept back into many parts of my life. Maybe it’s because I have more excuses to not do things now, maybe it’s because I haven’t had as many opportunities to challenge myself. Whatever the reason though, introvert Lisa is back…and I’m not at all sure that I like it.
So Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come appealed to me right away, a book written by an introvert who challenged herself to do things she wouldn’t normally do for a year. I couldn’t wait to read about Jessica Pan’s journey, it seemed to be the exact same position I find myself in now. I loved the book right from the very start, so many things she said made me nod my head in agreement, giggle out loud, and just marvel at how someone else could put into words the inner thinking of my own heart.
Fast forward a week and I find myself at a local shopping centre waiting for my husband. I notice a couple trying to use the information board. I immediately think about what I’d read and ask them if I can help. They are so relieved and ask me where the nearest pharmacy is. Such a simple action, to choose to engage with another person rather than avoid them, but one that left me smiling and high-fiving my husband later about putting the book into action.
If you’re an introvert you should read this book because you’ll find yourself identifying with so many things and you’ll be inspired to make changes in your life. If you’re an extrovert you should read this book because you’ll find yourself being able to understand those people you know who may be introverts. But more than the labels of being an introvert or extrovert, there are such important lessons to be learnt from this book just as a human being, about choosing to interact with other people in a world that discourages such interaction. To call someone rather than text, to smile in real life rather than send a happy face emoji. To engage and be present, to seek joy in life even when you’re stepping slightly outside of your comfort zone.
As a busy mom there were life lessons in Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come that I was needing to hear, encouragement that I was wanting to hear, and motivation that I was seeking to lead a more fulfilled life. I’m so happy that I read this book, and I think if you read it you’ll be happy you did too.
Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come: An introvert’s year of living dangerously is available from book stores and online retailers for a recommended retail price of R320.
Thanks to Penguin Random House for sharing this inspirational book with me.