In part two of my four blog series of my battle with introversion, I want to talk about leading into my adulthood. At a glance, introversion is a personality type, oftentimes thought not able to be overcome. This is wrong. If you are an introvert right now, as you read this, and align with my writing about how you, yourself feel the way my original blog described – understand – this is not a sickness, this is not an ailment, it is a personality type.
Personality types do not always have to define who you are, you can tackle certain aspects of your life and overcome them – being an introvert is no different.
After I graduated high school I often told myself, “Ahhhhh, a year or two off then I’ll figure out what I’ll do.” – boy is this the biggest mistake I ever made. I sat at home at the computer day in and day out, relishing all this free time I got to waste doing whatever I wanted. This fed into my introversion. I was getting my social interaction out of a video game, why would I need to get it anywhere else? I was done with school! Done getting made fun of! It was time to dig my head down, and enjoy myself without the anxiety of being in a classroom with all these other kids I didn’t know, and the pit of my stomach rolling around when the teacher goes, “Okay class, I want you to find someone and talk to this about ____ subject matter.”
This went on for a year, or more. I oftentimes look back, and realize I was just digging myself into a hole. I disconnected from my mom due to the experiences I had, I was living with my dad, and his friend. I was staying up 24-48 hour stretches gaming, non-stop.
I shared a computer with my father. I didn’t get to play as often as I liked, and most nights it was a waiting game as I waited for him to pass out drunk at it, so I could get on (Emotional and verbal abuse I received from him aside.) It was this notion that pushed me to wanting to have my own computer. Problem was – I didn’t have any money, and my dad was broke most of the time. I was fighting with him all the time for the computer, and he was staying up as much as possible on it drinking, and talking to women. This carried on for a while until we moved into a trailer, away from his friend. Then, I did the craziest thing ever – my motivation to get a computer pushed me to get a job. Ya, you read that right, a JOB.
As any normal teenager would do, I put applications in anywhere I thought I could work. I stayed out of food service, and focused on retail. I figured I could stock groceries or something, wouldn’t be hard. My journey with Wal-mart began. I remember interviewing, being nervous. My social anxiety was so bad at this point, I don’t think I even looked the manager in the eye during it. It being Walmart however, they hire anyone and everyone, as I would come to learn in my life journey. I was hired for Frozen Food stocking. I didn’t know anything about stocking, I got a small crash course, then thrown over into the department like a swimming pool, and told to swim. It was rocky at first, the overnight thing was petty rough honestly, but I was a night owl and this eventually catered to me.
I had to be the best. Playing World of Warcraft, and being the top damage dealer, or the best healer, or the best tank really pushed me to want to be the best at everything I did. I shit you not, within the first couple months of being over there, I was stocking faster than anyone on the crew, and they were constantly sending me to other departments to help them out. I formed one of my first teenage social bonds at this point with my Department Manager, who valued me as a human being, and to this day, thanks to his mentor-ship, I developed the knack for growing a business. I was so nervous to talk to my team members, my manager, my store manager – I would literally feel sick thinking about it. Something about my department manager, his warming demeanor, and his personality really helped ease him into being a mentor to me.
Through this mentor-ship I learned how to speak to others, socially, as a person to person transaction. It’s funny, to this day, he probably had one of the biggest impacts on my life, and he’ll never know about it, I don’t even remember his name. I had my first baby during his mentor-ship, and as with all things in time, there is change.
I had to move. So I did move. We moved to South Carolina to be with my son’s grandparents. It was a big shift in reality. I got ripped out of this normality, and thrown into another awkward situation. I was leaving my Father and Mother behind. Both of which I had cut ties with. I transferred to a new Walmart there, and that’s where I truly started to come into what I have mastered now.
Tomorrow I will cover my journey through Walmart, and how it turned me into a manager. Will also talk about my shift into another company, a major life change, and taking on myself.