If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you probably already know a fair few things about my personal life. You’ll know that three years ago, I quit my job, sold everything that wouldn’t fit in a suitcase, and set out on my hero’s journey toward a life of greater meaning and purpose.
You’ll know that since then, I’ve visited 12 countries on 5 continents. I’ve lived in Mexico, Australia, and Canada, and spent a good chunk of time in the U.S.A, Thailand and Colombia.
If life is a destination, I’m taking the scenic route. Good thing it’s just one long winding journey with sunsets, heartbreak, and cows that offer up blank stares as you whizz by.
It has been a true odyssey, made up of equal parts sunshine and shadows. Tears, too. Sometimes I felt like the uncertainty would swallow me whole. Miraculously, I made it back home. And by ‘home’, I don’t mean a physical space.
With the boons of greater wisdom and purpose in hand, I returned to myself. Not the Michaela that everyone said I should be, or could be if I’d stop mucking about. Not the Michaela who always felt like too much, and never enough at the same time. No, not her.
You see, in the space between being and achieving, I’d forgotten that I am enough. My scenic, winding, manure scented journey brought me back to the truth of who I am. And I realized that the real me is not the frightening, horrible person I thought she was. There was no need to hide her away like a dirty secret for so long.
As a member of my innie tribe, you, dearest, have been part of this whole mess of discovery and creation. Thank you.
Now, enough with the sentimental stuff. Let’s move on to the reason why you came here.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about yours truly:
1. I’m a mermaid. Growing up, my favorite movie was The Little Mermaid. Just like Ariel, I’m always wondering what’s beyond the edges of my world. I’ve crossed many oceans to find out.
2. I’m INFP to a T. INFPs are known for being hopeless romantics, who are mainly interested in the realm of emotions. We are dreamy idealists who are generally easy going, but fiery and fierce when our core values are violated. Yep, that’s me!
3. I love zombies. Did you know that the best zombie slaying weapon is a sword? The worst is a pickaxe. If we were talking in person, I would go into detail about why exactly this is. Zombies are a great conversation starter, by the way, especially when chatting with the elderly or children under the age of two.
4. My world is wrong when I don’t write. For me, writing is like an itch that I need to scratch. Sometimes it’s painful to do so, but it’s always a relief. Simply put, I’m happiest on days when I write.
5. I’m not a real person. I don’t have any of the credentials for it. I own nothing that won’t fit in a suitcase. I live in furnished apartments, and move every 3-4 months. I mostly avoid anything that involves commitment (except when it comes to my innie community, which shows how much I <3 you).
6. I’m single because …
I’m still deciding if my single status is because:
a) I have daddy issues.
b) I have commitment issues.
c) I haven’t found the ideal zombie apocalypse partner.
It is most likely all of the above.
7. I can’t parallel park. Yet another reason I do not qualify as a real person.
8. My biggest regret is …
In college I had an English teacher who used to teach in an inner city school. She told us a story about how one of her students stood on the table, stomped his foot, and yelled, “no more homework,” after she’d given an assignment. She said that sometimes she wished a student would stand up on the table and yell at her like that again. I wanted to do it, but the moment passed. I wish I had. We all would have had a good laugh.
9. I’m a dog person. Despite my musings about introverts and cats, I am actually a dog lover. My dream is to one day have my own little dog. Of course, I will have to wait until I am a real person – one who doesn’t move and travel so often. This could take a while.
10. Onesies are #1. I have a thing for onesie pajamas. They make it feel like Christmas morning all year round!
What about you, innie friend? What are some things people would be surprised to know about you? Feel free to share in the comments below.
– “My world is wrong when I don’t write.” –
Michaela, thanks for sharing this! –
and my world is wrong when I don’t draw (or paint). The last two weeks I realized this, because I hadn’t enough time to draw. I had to deal with “hard reality”. My about 17 years “old-old-old” car breaks down. I’m living in the countryside – I need a car – and now I was looking for an “old-new-old” (and cheap) car. I found one, but this was way to much “reality” for me! –
So I felt really depressed and didn’t understand why?! –
This weekend I again found more time to draw and it felt like rebirthing. – I don’t know why but I only can deal with a little dose of so called “normal reality”. –
I really need to “paint” my OWN little world like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pippi_Longstocking – (“Villa Villekulla”) otherwise I would freak out.. 🙂
I’m also INFP, a so called “creative dreamer”?
When I cannot dream creative for several days, I feel ill at once!
I grew up with dogs, they’re my best friends. Today I live with two cats. I really would like to travel one day (Italy, California, Route 66 etc.) and as a fellow I would like a little dog! – Travelling like John Steinbecks “Travels With Charley” … that would be wonderful. It’s just a dream at the moment… but who knows…???? 🙂
PS: Yes I’m a so called “adult”, my mind seems to be ok so far, but – believe me or not, until today “Pippi Longstocking” is still my “for all time hero”…. I prefer to draw my own little world (“habitat”) where I can survive …hahahahaha…
Yes, seems that we are both INFP creative dreamers. It’s not so bad once you realize that creation is a need, not just a hobby. Your car fiasco reminds me of why I don’t have a car, and don’t want one. 😉 xo
I also would prefer to live without a car, if I would live in a city or when I wouldn’t be forced to leave my home for sidejobs regulary. –
I rather would stay at home all the time…
I’m never bored. 🙂
I hope that day will come and I’m able to do most of my work at home (without the need of sidejobs).
What drives me crazy the most, is the fact that so many people are freaking out because of cars! – For me it’s just a vehicle to get comfortable from A to B and back. It’s no status symbol for me!
i noticed the reference to infj, but learned in your personal info that you are infp. Are you borderline or have you changed personality types over the last three years?
BTW, excellent writing and really love your witty descriptive use of symbolisms!!!
Hi Skitty, I am an INFP, I just write about other personality types occasionally. 🙂
It’s not easy for us infps (even enfps ) to navigate in the “modern ” world . Oh, the feels !
Since my car broke down a year ago I have enjoyed more time at home, however I like to get away from Auckland. Once I pass the Bombay Hill I seem to breathe freer. All the space, greenness and the sparse population. I somehow feel more myself. I’ve only now realised why I unconsciously chose to live in a small country town in the past! It was due to their being less people, less expectations from others and less demands on my time. I loved the fact I could walk along the beach with my whippets and not see a soul; I could read all day in my cottage (when not working). I also lived alone and had no flatmate to work around or please. I had all the space to do my “own thing” in total freedom. My only sadness is not being able to accept and love myself. Had I learnt about my temperament and embraced my true authentic Introverted self I would have made great inroads to self-acceptance. If you don’t feel good about yourself or lack confidence you are definitely on the back pedal in life. I wouldn’t have wasted all the negative futile energy, I wouldn’t have felt “guilty” for being me. But I’m here today and thank you Michaela for INtrovertSpring it’s helping so many Introverts and many more who find their way here.
I just stumbled across your website through a cbc.ca radio talk! Being an introvert I have a habit of daydreaming a lot and I mean a lot…I love to imagine or dream about doing the impossible. For me that’s when I feel most alive with purpose and passion. However, this also comes many disappointments and setbacks, since I am always hoping and trying to do the impossible. And most of the time people who are the closest do not understand and so don’t offer the emotional support that I value. What are your thoughts on how to know when continue to persist on pursuing a dream and when to have the wisdom to let it go? Hopefully I am making sense here?
Thank you in advance!
Hi Kamin, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you found me! And yes, I know exactly what you mean. I have always been a big dreamer myself. My view is that if something is right, you will get some sort of positive feedback fairly early on. By “positive feedback”, I mean that you’ll feel happy and like you’re on the right track, and/or things will start ‘clicking’, as if the stars were aligning so that you can attain your goal. 🙂
What you described as “positive feedback” does make sense since that’s what helped me make “a road less travelled” kind of decision to live in Mexico for 6 months many years back. It felt like the right thing to do which was for me to go there and volunteer at an orphanage despite not knowing how to speak Spanish at the time and not knowing anyone in Mexico. Things worked out better than I could have ever imagined and it was one of the most magical experiences that I ever had where everything seemed to align together. However, since I came back to Canada it’s been quite challenging if not difficult to experience something similar or magical. I am not necessarily talking about getting a spiritual high like I was in Mexico, but rather about being or getting to a place in my heart where I know that I am living and doing the what I am meant to do at this point in time. I find that my internal navigational system has been misaligned and not functioning properly. How do I reconfigure properly my internal navigational system? Am I making sense here? 🙂 Thanks again for reading this Michaela! Sincerely, Kamin
I think you’re amazing. And your onesies are hot 🙂
I wish I was as brave as you, travelling the world. Sometimes I feel so desperately alone.
I used to do kung-fu, and entered into four sparring competitions. The first one was so nerve-wrecking, I had tunnel vision and couldn’t move. They had to stop the fight, lol. I eventually did win one fight, which I am very proud of 🙂
Can’t think of anything else people would be surprised to know about me. I’ve been told my hugs are magic.
Thanks for creating this site!
Thank you Nick! haha, hot onesies – that’s a first. Kung fu and magic hugs are wonderful assets to have! 🙂
I am relatively new here and have really appreciated your emails! You may have covered this previously, but can introversion become problematic? I spend most of my time alone since my divorce in November. I feel very lonely and want to make new friends but just seem exhausted most of the time. I have been trying new activities but just don’t seem to connect to anyone. 🙁 I relate to everything that you say about introversion because it is totally me and I have worked through the divorce by attending an intensive 13 week course called Divorce Care to help you get through it in a healthy way. What I guess I am asking is how do you know, if in addition to being an introvert, if you don’t also have depression or a personality disorder called Avoidant Personality Disorder, or you could be a high functioning person on the autism spectrum? I don’t know if I have any of those things but am just really struggling to make new friends and am lonely and sad about it. I do love a lot of alone time but when does it become unhealthy? I hope that this post doesn’t make anyone uncomfortable or that I am being a negative Nellie but I am just wondering….
Hi, what you speak of is something that many introverts struggle with – finding the balance between much needed alone time and loneliness. I have written about this extensively and also ran a course about it. Here is the link to my free ebook, on this topic, which you might find helpful:
Haha, funny story about parallel parking..
When I was first learning how to drive, I had this natural ability to parallel park and could do it in just about any type of vehicle – I think it helped that I learned to drive in a van.
A day or so before my driving exam, my instructor decided to give me some “tips” about how to parallel park the correct way, and since then I completely screw it up all of the time. Despite my efforts to un-learn what I was taught, I think my parallel parking days are over – doesn’t matter much now anyways, because I’d rather invest in a good pair of walking shoes 🙂
Hmm, something people don’t know about me? I have a strange habit of playing a new song I like over and over again, in one sitting, until I’m tired of it. It used to be really annoying years ago when I had to rewind the cassette every time I wanted to hear the song again – not a problem now of course 🙂
Phillip, I loved your comment about the parallel parking! I was a driving instructor many years ago, and had a really simple set of steps for this process. My pupils always excelled at it. I have even taught it to older, long-time drivers who couldn’t get it right, and one told me it changed her life! My one claim to fame!
INTP here, so my introversion is different to yours, but still very much innie. I had a heart pang when I read ‘I am not a real person’ because I often feel that way. I’m happy that you meant it in a more positive way than I do. Cats and dogs, hm. I always thought of myself as a cat person – I’m living with a 20 year-old cat right now – until I met and fell in love with a hundred pound Greater Swiss Mountain dog who was the sweetest, most lovable non-cat I ever lived with. I never tried onesies; maybe I ought to make some. It’s hard to share personal stuff, but I’m making the effort. Thanks for being the standard bearer!
Singleness….. I’ve thought about that lately. I wonder if there’s a market for dating for people like us*? I could manage a relationship with someone who lives in their own place, and wants to get together, say, once day a week?
* I don’t consider myself an “introvert,” I consider myself normal.
Great read. I really admire your free spiritedness and your courage to do so much traveling, I don’t think I’d be brave enough to be away from home for longer than a week! I can relate somewhat to your reasons for being single, but in my opinion an attractive woman like you can get any guy she wants any day of the week 😉 I’m an INTJ,but one thing nobody knows about me is that I secretly want to be an actor! I’d be happy to do some voice acting too, I hope someday I’ll be able to pursue this.
Thanks, Lu! I used to want to secretly be an actor, too. 😉
I’m an ENFJ. I stumbled across this blog by accident, and even though it isn’t necessarily aimed at my personality type, the Universe knows it speaks to me (in tongues lol – That’s how good it is).
I just wanted to say thank you for being such an inspiration and doing so just being yourself. Without even realising it, you’re helping to change the world.
Have a lovely day and I wish you all the best on your journey.
Peace and love,
Thank you so much for the kind message, Sophia! I’m glad you found me. 😉
Sell everything and travel, that would be the dream…….. I applaud your bravery to leaving everything behind. Also I too am I INFP and a writer 🙂
Thank you Tawni! 🙂
firstly u r beautiful…hi michaela ….i m a fan of your blog from india…i hve been a passionate reader of your blog from last 1 year..nd i cud nt put in words how much dis has helped me ..in those times when i feel confused nd even depressed abt my own behaviour..my feelings…U r just awesome…be like dis always….
Hi Monika, thank you for sharing that. I’m so happy that my writing has helped you in some way. xo
Ha! The “I’m not a real person” thing is cracking me up. I know exactly what you mean. I’m also an INFP who can’t parallel park. 😉
Love the site, esp the 100 quotes! Thank you : )
INTX is me, 5 degrees and married to a PhD at the mo. BTW, zombies are real; people who do not think or reflect and will tear you apart and eat your heart if it came to it… Brains…
haha thanks Adrian!
I am brand new to your blog. I was listening to your interview on the Beastly Gentleman podcast while on my way to an afternoon group hike and I did something I rarely do. I pulled over, whipped out my phone and Googled your site on the spot. Plus I wrote an Evernote reminder to look you up later after the hike.
Because everything you said made total sense and hit me like a huge rolling wave. I never even knew I was an introvert because I’m pretty social and can “hang” with just about any crowd. But I do treasure my alone time and get energized by it.
Granted, I also enjoy hanging out with people so I may only be a partial introvert. In any case, I look forward to getting into your blog posts and wanted to commend you on the fantastic Beastly Man interview. It was a doozie!
Thanks a lot James! Glad you found me. I had a lot of fun doing the interview with Beastly Gentleman. 🙂
I am thrilled by the discovery of your web site! Until that I always though that something was wrong with me, and that I was alone in this. It appears that I not the only one.
Great job Michaela! Thank you so much!
Hi Michaela. I discovered you yesterday and have been reading and reading and reading your stuff ever since.
I’ve always known I was different. I’ve mostly just thought I’m invisible…with my family…at work…at church. I’m INFJ.
I like to think before I speak. I don’t do well in confrontations as I’m not quick to respond. I’ve always felt it’s better to be silent than to say something that can’t be unsaid.
I can express myself best in writing which is why I like Facebook so much. I also like to text. I am definitely not a phone talker. My mom always tells me how often my siblings call her. I tend to call her once a week or every other week. I’ve tried calling everyday but found that there’s nothing to talk about and end up saying hi and bye quickly. However I text with her most days. I’ve felt guilty about that for so long. Now I know it’s normal for me. Whew!
I am looking forward to exploring this new look at myself. I read your church article and was like “Holy smokes! That is so me!” Lol.
Thanks for shining the light for others to see themselves more clearly. God bless!
You’re welcome Charlene! Glad you found me. Welcome to the innie tribe. 🙂 xo
Do you think the main character in eat,pray,love was an innie? Watched that last night and saw some similarities. Infj here and new to the group.
I’m a cat-enthusiast, INFJ, nicknamed Pocahontas (at school because of my very long hair) with major daddy issues.
I’ve never lived anywhere other than my home county till I met my real life John Smith and moved across the Pond.
Here in Canada Land, where small-talk is a must, I realized that I am an introvert. And that makes me feel like an alien (at home I was just ‘the lovable weirdo’). Lucky for me my husband is equally weird and introverted.
I have spent the last (almost) five years trying to find myself in my new life. I love every minute of this journey. Now I’ve found your blog, and finally I feel understood. Keep on writing!
Wishing you the best,
a grateful heart
I’m new in this realm and I love your blog. I have very recently learned I have an INFJ personality.
As most people of this kind, not many believe I’m actually an introvert. Especially when they know I spent years acting in musicals and leading a rock band! I guess that’s one of the things the people I meet are most surprised about. Now you know!
Thanks for carrying on writing.
I am not of this world. I too write, paint, zentangle, photograph and hand drum my soul out.
I hate living here in the suburbs, but I’m the only one of mother’s off spring who will care for her. My plan if I live beyond my mother in time, is to sell this house , get a camper my dogs and I’ll go all over America. I hope.
Since I can’t travel too far right now, I have learned to find amusement in local places. I walk nearly everywhere I have to go in this town. Only using the car for distances. Collecting odd shaped rocks, feathers, tiny strips of paper….on my walks. I eavesdrop a lot when in public.
I spend hours in our local State Park with my dogs. Listening to the wild echoing in my heart. Meditating on waters renewing energies.
I am Pagan/Christian/Buddhist yet I explore all sorts of spiritual rituals and ceremonies. I attend tiny out door concerts, art fairs…I love poetry readings, poetry is another religion to me.
I work from home as a ghost writer and researcher for other authors.
I rescued the two kittens I found in our trash can, but I am not much of a cat person.
My dogs are my children. My husband is life.
I sit out by my small fire pit with flames raging a bit too much according to neighbors. I drum on a Native American Hand Drum given to me by an Apache medicine man at a Sundance Ceremony. I pray with it. The neighbors hate me for this.
I refused to marry years ago in my twenties and do not regret it.
I enjoy visiting pets more than my host’s children when visiting friends and family.
I dine out alone which sometimes worries the locals. But it’s all for the sake of being fully aware of my own experience so I may study people and write about experience of this plateau.
make me proud to be an INFP
You are adding value to the world… and especially to the INFP world… thanks.
A Katana would be perfect in a Zombie-proof onesie as my dog Frankenweenie and I, trape
through the forest like furry Ninja’s, merrily dispatching Zombies. The name of my Katana? Thank You for asking, it’s called #YORITSAN
Hi Michaela! My boss (now ex-boss) was definitely an introvert and I think I am a little of both (can it be?) depending on the situations. What situations you may ask? Well sometime I found myself wanted to be alone to think, to rewind, to re-assess, to beat that darn high score on Candy Crush or Candy Sodas and so on… But then other times, I found myself in the middle of the attention like when I am delivering a lecture to a crowd of 700 – 750 professional in the forum at a convention or teaching an I.T. class with 48 knowledge-hungry students and many other speeches throughout the U.S. Anyway, my boss and I got along very well as she knew that she could trust me on any project without being a micro-manager. My question to you is, can an introvert changes to or becomes an extrovert overtime (evolution or natural selection perhaps?) Or once you’re labeled as an introvert, you’re always going to be an introvert no matter what? Thank you and may God continue to bless you throughout your journey.
Same here, I am also infp-t person. I came to this site after being impressed by one of your quote I read “we wear chaos on the inside where no one can see it”
i am a inhibited introvert, but i have cognitive disability. I personally don’t like any kind of noise. i like eating alone and i’m afraid of birds and going outside. my parents have given up on me getting married or having a social life. I feel like could be happy but i still live with my parents. I also have been home schooled through out my life from my Stepfather. He is the most caring and has a lot of patience for me. So far i like being in solitude/ single. i work alone as a janitor for the government.
Hi, I am an INFJ. Is there something wrong with me if I can parallel park? That’s learned, though, but I thought it would be cool to learn it and it has made my life easier. I also like to write, but somehow it’s the last thing I get to do… Being a dreamer since my childhood (I think I’ve grown out of it – or forced myself to), time management has never been great and I struggle to get through the day’s tasks before twelve. So sleep deprivation isn’t good for making friends either, but I found reading this blog so satisfying – like seeing that there are other people in the world who also have to walk on the coloured floor tile with both feet, otherwise it feels funny…
Hey Michaela! – just found your blog, great work, I’m 68 now I’ve known I was “different” as long as I can remember going back to early elementary school.
For a long time I tried to fit in and belong somewhere until I understood that I can’t I never will gave it up and that was a very liberating thing for me to do. I quit practicing law because the constant interaction with so many people who are so “noisy inside” was just too exhausting, became a truck driver so now I work alone most of the time, lots of window time for thinking, listening, books on CD, learning more music on my learn list.
Being an INTP introvert with lots of solitude has given me the time to write dozens of songs and hundreds of other poems, in 2023 I will retire and come out as a cowboy jazz singer songwriter poet like nobody else.
If you ever want to learn to parallel park I can help! I can parallel park a 70 foot semi!
Dating? What for? Yes, I get very lonely sometimes, but I cannot think of a single woman I have ever known that I wish I was with now, not because they’re bad in any way, most have been wonderful people, just because they’re too “noisy inside” for me. That’s what I call it, most non-introverts are. I’d rather be alone and lonely than stuck in a relationship with Ms. Wrong. Maybe when I come out doing music I’ll meet someone right. At least I’ll have too much fun.
I think us introverts can’t look to relationships, if it happens, good, if it doesn’t, accept it, but we can always look to our own abilities, our own inner creativity, whatever it is. The spirits have given us the curse of loneliness, and the gift of not being stuck in the social whirlwind that consumes most peoples’ lives.
Michaela, I started reading your book “The Irresistible Introvert” and finally feel like I am not alone! Thank you for reminding me that I am enough 🙂 It sure can be hard to feel visible and acceptable in a world full of louder type A personalities. Thank you for shedding light on us introverts ❤️
Thanks for reading my book, Jane! I’m glad that it has helped you to accept your innie self. 🙂