Joining in. Or why it’s OK I gave up on T-ball

I’m not a “joiner.”

Picture five-year-old me: light brown hair up in a ponytail, oversized black t-shirt on, water bottle in hand. Crying. First t-ball game of the season and I’m supposed to walk in front of a group of people and hit a ball. And then they expect me to run around the bases. I didn’t even like practice! They changed my team’s coach three times! And when I take the first sip of my water, the cap springs off and I’m instantly drenched. It’s hot, I’m wet, I’m dirty and we’re going home.

My mom didn’t make me go back to T-ball. Honestly, I don’t think she could have. I wasn’t much for giving into peer pressure and if I felt a good awkward social situation coming on I could sit with my eyes fixed to the ground for hours. It wasn’t just that I didn’t like t-ball (although I didn’t then and don’t now…Is there really anything wrong with not liking to play sports?). It was that I didn’t like having to be a part of the group. I had to survive by other people’s rules.

I was an introvert. Still am. AND THAT’S OK. I’m a fully-functioning adult. I try new things. I have friends. Seriously, just check Facebook. I was even part of a literary club, once. I honestly believe that there is nothing wrong with my desire to not force myself into joining activities that I have no interest in. I don’t think I was ever going to like T-ball. But I do find it frustrating that my lack of “joiner” abilities has stopped me from joining in on things I want to do. School, be it K-12 or College, provided me with ample opportunities to join in on activities that interested me. But now that I’m an “adult,” it’s easier to stay with routine and avoid trying something new.

So in the spirit of 2014 and all things new, I’m taking my introverted self and sending her down the rabbit hole. It’s time to feel tiny in a big room and face the Queen of Hearts all in the name of intellectual and social growth.

So, I’ve joined a book club. That’s going well. Ironically, this month we’re reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

I’ve also talked myself into joining a couple’s small group through my boyfriend’s church.

This resolution may prove to be interesting. I’ll be sure to tell you when I’ve met the Cheshire cat.

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