It’s been almost a year since I wrote my last life update Michaela Chung Uncensored : 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Creator Of Introvert Spring.
A lot has changed since then. So, I figured it’s time to get personal again. The first thing I want to share might sound a little corny. You might not even believe me, but it’s true …
I am honestly the happiest I’ve ever been in my life right now. Last year had some really rough patches. I had demons to face, and old, worn out patterns to slay. I’m so happy that I didn’t give up on myself and my vision for my best innie life. I did the work necessary to get to this sweet spot in my journey.
By “work”, I don’t mean the 9-5 kind. I’m talking about soul-shaking, heart-wrenching inner work. It is the kind of work I teach my students to do in my introvert courses (yes, I actually practice what I preach).
The biggest breakthrough for me in 2016 has been learning to truly and completely love myself. The art of self-love doesn’t always come easily to us introverts. We have years of guilt and shame about our introversion to contend with.
As I’ve learned to love myself in both action and thought, the world has reflected love back to me. Like the first flowers of spring, new relationships have blossomed seemingly out of nowhere. Best of all, I feel more at peace with myself than ever. Situations that used to make me hyperventilate don’t phase me because I’ve learned to trust myself.
We’ll get to the specifics of why life is so good in a moment, but first I want to let you know the #1 reason I’m in such a happy place right now.
The #1 Reason I’m So Damn Happy Right Now
I didn’t give up. Even if you’re a transformation addict like me, change is difficult. It requires a long hard look in the mirror when all you want to do is hide from yourself. Sometimes it hurts. Like, a lot. Usually, growth hurts the most right before a breakthrough. Many people grow so tired of the universe crapping on them that they give up too soon.
They think, “my familiar patch of grass isn’t ideal, but it’s not as painful as jumping the fence.” So they take a nap in the yellowing grass, not realizing that life can piss on you no matter where you are. But it can only shine when you choose to follow the sun. But I digress.
My point is that if life is really crappy for you right now it could just be growing pains. Good things are probably just around the corner. Don’t give up, dearest.
Okay, now enough of this sappy stuff – time for the personal updates!
10 Surprising Life Updates
1. I’m no longer a nomad. For several years, I travelled and lived abroad, and never spent more than a few months living in one place. Even when I returned to Canada a couple of years ago, I would sublet furnished apartments for 2-4 months and then move on. I have now been living in my current home for seven months. That might not sound like much, but it is the longest I have lived in the same home in years. I absolutely LOVE where I live right now. There is nowhere else I’d rather be. And I’ve been in a lot of places.
2. The travel bug has left the building. After years of crossing oceans in search of meaning and purpose, I actually found it. Now, I have no desire to be anywhere, but exactly where I am.
3. I wrote a book! I would like to say that it has always been a dream of mine to write a book and have it published, but it hasn’t. The truth is, I never believed in myself enough to dare set such a lofty goal. I figured I didn’t have the discipline to complete such a big project. That began to change after I started Introvert Spring. Six months after creating the site, I did a 30-day writing challenge.
I vowed to write a blog post everyday for a month. I actually did it, and it was bliss! I thought to myself, if I can write a blog post everyday, I can write a book. It can’t be much different (it is, but let’s not tell my past self that because we don’t want to discourage her). Anywho, long story short, I wrote a book. It was hard, but it was also really fun. I hope to write many more. The Irresistible Introvert is now available for your reading pleasure!
4. I still love zombies. That has not changed. Unfortunately, a good zombie movie only comes along every few years, so I haven’t had my fix in a while. I still believe that a sword is the best zombie slaying tool for slow-moving zombies. However, it has come to my attention that a machine gun would be ideal for the fast-moving kind. Thoughts?
5. I live in a very strange place. I’m not going to tell you exactly where I live because, you know, stalkers. But I will tell you that it is by far the strangest and most magical place I’ve ever been. The little community that I inhabit is rich with trees as high as towers, rocky beaches, and people who appreciate the simple things in life. There are also a lot of hippies. It is a place that is close to the ocean and to my heart.
6. I’ve become a real person! Just kidding, that will never happen. I enjoy living in fairyland way too much. ?
7. My priorities have shifted drastically. The nomad’s life is to a large extent a selfish one – at least it was for me. Even for someone who values solitude as much as I do, constant travel became unbearably lonely. I realized that I wanted to focus on friends, family, and building community around me. Completely switching gears in life doesn’t happen as quickly as it does with cars. As I said earlier, there were a lot of rough patches along the way. But I’m learning more and more about this love thing everyday – speaking of which …
8. My love life is … looking a lot more promising. Last year, the universe decided that instead of giving me the loving relationship I always wanted, it would give me a punch in the gut. Again, and again, and again. It seems that the beating has stopped. Fingers crossed.
9. I’m soooo happy! A few years ago I saw an interview in which Oprah asked three famous actresses the biggest life lessons they’ve learned to date. Julianne Moore said something like, “It’s easier to be happy in life”. I thought to myself, “duh”. But I now see that happiness is a choice. Sometimes, it is several choices that take a while to bear fruit. Life is, indeed, so much easier when you choose to be happy.
10. Onesies are no longer #1. I went through a phase where I loved wearing onesie pajamas. Just as winter clothes must be put away in spring, onesies must be set aside when warm weather hits. Also, stripping down every time you have to go to the bathroom is inconvenient. It’s hard to find fashionable onesies with butt flaps nowadays (I like to sleep in style).
Over to you
Now that you’ve heard some exciting and strange tidbits from my personal life, I’d love to hear something surprising about you! What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you. Please do share in the comments below. 🙂
Lots of love,
Amazing article Michaela! 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful personal examples of true happyness! 🙂
Regarding myself, this year has brought me already so much! I can’t be happier than I am right now! So much has changed in the past year of my life, and I still can’t believe what I managed to accomplish…
Number one reason of my happyness is that I am doing what I love the most. This is something I was searching my entire life, so what I managed to do in the last 12 months, is still, well, I still can’t stop to wonder how did I do it… 🙂
My most significant life updates are certainly:
– Doing something I love, and enjoying in every moment of it! 🙂
– Finding myself on all fronts, finally knowing what I want, and when I want to do it
– Discovering new, beautiful friends, who I consider one of my biggest support in life 🙂
– 2015 was the year of planning, this year is action time! I am amazed of how things worked out… In my wildest dreams I never thought I would be doing what I am doing now… But I am so happy my road lead me to where I am now! 🙂
– Complete satisfaction of my current state, but also, knowing what to do next.
– Realization of myself… 🙂 On all fronts… 🙂
– All of my professional plans are coming true, I am still under impressions…
– On the love field, well… Let’s just say that there are some minor improvements, but it will come. As in all fields, I am not giving up! 🙂
Finally, in the past year, I found that ever-elusive victory within… 🙂 I now go confidently in the direction of my dreams, believing in myself more than ever before, following my road, and cherishing all those moments and people who are present in my life! 🙂
P.S Regarding zombies, hmm, M134 Minigun is the perfect choice, and katana is the best melee weapon, don’t you think? 😀
Very inspiring, Marko! Glad you had the courage to make a plan AND have the courage to take the leap! Here’s to an exciting year ahead. 😉 xo
Biggest life lesson? (I’m 57 today, so I feel I’ve got some experience now). People will judge you whatever you do or whatever you are, so do as you please and forget about them.
I couldn’t agree more! 🙂
I’m 50 and i know what you mean and i agree 100% with you!!
Biggest life changes for 2016? I am hiring Michaela to help me out on a book project that I have been procrastinating over for many years. It looks like I made the right choice!!!
Although a lot of people think I’m arrogant, aloof, etc (introvert things), I don’t mind btw 🙂 …
I love playing with little kids, specially little girl. Their innocence, their laugh..
They’re too cute, too adorable.
Have a bad day? Look at their smile. 🙂
That’s great advice Surya! Thinking of my little nieces and nephews always makes me smile. 🙂
1) Glad to hear that you’re happy.
2) If you want to translate you book(s) or this blog to Bahasa Indonesia, I’m willing to help you. One article or two per day. Because you’re Michaela Chung, I’ll do it for free.
3) Btw, good luck with your book, Michaela.
I’m not usually someone who reads and makes comments, but this one really hit me, so I had to show some appreciation 🙂
I play competitive golf, and it has been a constant tug of war between desire and happiness over the last 6 years, until I realized that “success” isn’t necessarily the score at the end of the day.
I finished really well in a tournament earlier this year, yet the tournament itself was one of the most MISERABLE experiences of my life thanks to my ever so creative brain. I couldn’t get out of my head, and was constantly wishing to be somewhere else (anywhere else – despite the fact that I was lodging in a multi million dollar house, eating juicy steaks and seafood each night, sleeping 200 yards from the beach, and basically living the dream). Like how in the world could I feel so s****y in that environment????!!!
It took a few days of recovery, but I had a moment where it really punched me in the face…
Why live life chasing things in a way that makes you miserable?
It has been several months since, and every single day I have woken up and made the choice to be happy. Sure, there have been brief moments of struggle, but as a whole, I couldn’t agree with you more on this happiness topic.
Just like it takes practice to become a good golfer, it takes practice to be happy 🙂
Thanks for the nice post!
Thanks so much for sharing that, Zach. Your story reminded me so much of many times during my travels when I was in exotic places people dream of, and I was beyond miserable. So happy to hear that you’ve chosen happiness. 😉 xo
Nice article, very relatable! Fellow zombie lover here ?and that is actually something people are surprised to find out about me. They don’t expect that of me and I usually get judgmental reactions, to be honest. Whatevs. I agree with you about the sword; it would be my weapon of choice and I am so excited for the season finale of walking dead!!
The ‘sword’ of truth is the ONLY ‘weapon’ that effectively slays spiritual zombies!??
I applaud your growth, and will vouch for the courage it takes! I had to surrender a lot of what I thought was important to me in the the last 16 months. I surrendered my home to foreclosure, I surrendered to failed romantic fantasies. I’m still surrendering my antiquated survival strategies by a process of difficult, but honest self-disclosure, followed by acceptance and forgiveness, in the best outcome, or just awareness of my own intransigence in the worst. In either case, it is a step forward in my evolution and the consequence is recognizing I have more ability to apply compassion for myself which translates into love that extends inward and outward. That alone is worth more than all the accolades of my career pumped up by a fiercely trained will-power. That will-power never won me the love I was looking for. I had to experience a softening that came with hardship. The hardship was the blessing I was in need of. I’m happy to say, now I don’t have to experience so much difficulty (read: cracking the armor) in order to find my heart.
It’s always wonderful reading posts about happiness and self-discovery! 🙂 Thank you for sharing with the world Michaela! For me, I would have to say that choosing happiness, of course, feels great! I am going to continue to try and do that despite peoples doubts. I decided to go back to school, to move back to my home where my family and partner live and to give up some material things to (hopefully) get to know myself better (scary) and be happier.
Moving home means no internet at my fingertips (I will have to travel 30 minutes to the library (when its open) to use internet. Bad cell phone service too. But I am hoping this will give me the opportunity to focus more on me, finding what I love, to start doing yoga more regularily, to spend more time with my family (specifically my afi (grandpa) who I will move in with and help out so that he doesn’t have to move to a personal care home for the elderly).
Maybe this time away from internet and cell service will help me by getting rid of those material distractions – or maybe it will be awful.. but I guess I just have to go for it and see what happens! Wish me luck haha. 🙂
It is so wonderful to see someone such as yourself be so happy with everything in her life right now. You are such a wonderful role model! As for me, honestly, the biggest thing that has happened so far this year is that I found out I am an INFJ. And through that I found this website, and through that I made a wonderful new, amazing best friend, Marko. 🙂 I am so happy to be here and to finally feel understood. It truly has been amazing reading your posts, and sharing my experiences and thoughts with all the other innies in the forum.
Thank you for bringing us together and reminding us that we are special 🙂
I can only smile in pure happiness, and feel honored my dear friend 🙂 You know I feel the same way. 🙂
Hey there, Michaela. I’m really glad to hear you’re doing so well. I haven’t commented in quite some time, but since you’re sharing your discoveries so openly, I’m inspired to do the same.
First, the most surprising thing people tend to find out about me: beneath my coolheaded exterior, I’m impish as hell. I like to tease and prod folks. Especially those I like. I’m never a gadfly to people who are actually suffering, though. I mainly do it when I can tell someone isn’t being honest with me about their feelings and desires. It makes me want to probe deeper. Sometimes a bit too deep.
Most never find out that I actually cast a very long shadow, personality-wise.
I dated women without an ounce of naughtiness because I wanted to deny that part of myself and thought I wasn’t allowed to own or share it. It wasn’t fair to them or me to be something other than myself within relationships. And I wouldn’t admit for a long time I wanted a partner with similar impish, mischievous tendencies I could share those things openly with.
Funny enough, shortly after I did come clean about what I actually wanted, I found exactly that kind of partner. A naughty, geeky, mischievous little devil of a woman stumbled her way into my life and blew the dust off the bookshelf containing my darker personality traits. She wants to indulge in the shade of who I am as much as bask in the sun. It’s a new and scary experience for me to neither hide anything nor feel the need to conceal.
My major lesson last year: hiding who I really am, even if I think I’m protecting others, really has no benefit at all. Not for me or for them. Even the surface benefits of that duality eventually give way to deeper consequences. So I’ve stopped doing that.
Another major lesson I’m learning this year: my tendency to drift along different paths is not a symptom of feeling lost in life. It’s a warning that I’m actually trying to control too much around me and moving out of alignment with myself in the process. If I’m busy thinking: “I’m here now, but I should be there,” then I’m lost because I’m not at an established destination. Regardless of whether I actually need or want to be there. It’s just somewhere to be.
Realizing that led to a paradoxical insight. The more I seem to drift from the outside, the more grounded I actually feel inside. And if I appear grounded from the outside, the more I’m likely drifting from what I actually feel inside.
At the moment, I appear more lost than ever. Inside, I’ve accepted that this is where I am and where I actually need to be right now. At home. Rebuilding the connection with myself and loved ones that I eroded while listening to everyone else.
I’m 26 now. I spent my late teens and early 20s discovering how I didn’t want to live my life. I imagine many my age did exactly that even though some were lucky enough to get it right the first time around. In my early 20s, I went about my life as if it were a game of chess and I had to think several moves ahead. And every wrong move led me closer to failure. I lived that way until I got fed up with the chessboard.
You’re damn right, Michaela: that inner work on ourselves doesn’t come easily. It’s brutal and will stretch your limits. And the answer you get may not even be the one you expected to find. Even now, I feel like I’m still at the beginning of the process. Maybe that’s how we’re meant to feel when we actually change.
Viewing life as chess with rules and an opponent kept my world small. Now I think of all this as a treasure chest packed with Legos.
There’s no opponent. There’s no wrong way to build with Legos. You can break apart and reassemble, you can experiment, and you have fun discovering all the countless combinations that can be created from the available materials.
And part of the fun is seeing what others have built. How they saw the parts differently and created something that escaped your notice. And using that greater knowledge of how the parts fit together to build an even better whole.
If my early 20s were about making the right moves on the chessboard, then my late 20s and beyond will be about playing with Legos. It’s not the way I expected to live, but I can’t think of a way of life that would fit me any better.
I apologize again for testing the limits of your comment section, Michaela. ;P
Very inspirational you are. You are very insightful and good at helping others as well as being a living example of your own advise. I was thinking about the zombie thing and was wondering if they have a weakness like superheroes or vampires? Make weapons based on their weaknesses. I would definitely wear armor so they can’t eat me. lol.
I admire your blogs and articles and Deeply appreciate them.
Anyway I like music especially pop and folk rock. I love european culture, especially Scandinavian and I would love to travel all over Europe when I’m older. I’m a bookworm and a former nerd, but I guess I still am just a little bit. I LOVE my guitar and I do finger style covers, but I still need alot of practice. Last but not least is my love of The Walking Dead, Greg Nikatero just keeps raising the stakes each season!
I heard your radio interview on the CBC with Candy Palmater yesterday and that is when I was first introduced to your world. Loved it when Candy stated how amazed she was when she heard a person leading a conference say how we should not be introverts… yes, I needed my rewind button to make sure I heard that one correctly lol. You both kept me quite enthralled throughout the conversation. Good job 🙂
Link below for those who want to take a listen:
I don’t want to ask any questions yet because:
1. I am an INFP and need to make sure my questions are well prepared (spelling, grammatically and structurally) and that takes time.
2. You may have already answered them in your existing material which I have yet to go through.
3. I don’t want to overwhelm you with the flurry of thoughts I currently have.
However, after hearing the interview and reading some of your thoughts, I wanted to get certain points across without delay:
1. Thank you Michaela. Good things have happened and bad things didn’t happen specifically because of you. Your butterfly effect is spreading across the world and forever into the future.
2. You are living proof that an introvert can quietly lead. By definition, it takes extra effort for introverts to speak up and change the status quo. Your fuel for keeping up this effort is your passion to enrich other people’s lives. You are a hero.
Thanks for the lovely message Sam! I’m glad you found me! 🙂
Thank you for this site, what a beautiful affirmation of how wonderful and weird it is to be an innie ? I knew I was introverted, but today my hubby and I discovered we were both infj and finally the way I interact with the world makes sense.
The best thing to happen so far in 2016 is we have reworked our client list (we live on an island off Australia and clean holiday rentals). Now we only work for people we feel are not total berks and as always, if you trust your intuition and God, things work out better than you could imagine.
Running your own business is awesome for an infj, I get bookings by email or text and we rarely have to deal with the public (we had both worked in health for decades before so this is innie bliss).
Thanks again Micheala, I have found my tribe at last ??
Thank you . I am waiting for the next email. I hope I can built a confidence after follow your advice. As am very quiet person. I try to be extrovert but I just can’t. I feeling awkward and not comfortable.
In office along with all the team mate, I just like far behind from them. I always feel that they all underestimated me because of my introvert. I not talkative like them and so friendly .
As I found your blog , I hope I can be real me and proud to be myself.
Thanks again .?
Zombie kills: sword kills have the aesthetic and the satisfying swoosh, but if there are too many a sword becomes inefficient to get you out of a crowd. That is where you need the repeating rifles.
I have gotten inspiration from this post and a friend, just last night, told me that i am a confident man. I said thank you to that compliment, which is a huge thing for me. Typically, i will deny any compliment.
That’s great, Brett! I’m a firm believer in accepting compliments. Makes both you and the giver feel good. 😉
Hello Michaela, I just discovered recently that I was an Introvert and I’m making my way. Most people don’t know but I go to Yoga Classes. We are only 3 men in a class of 27 women, it’s not easy to go there because of some social anxiety but I do it anyway because I feel great. If possible, in one of your future posts, I would love to hear how not to fill guilty when sometimes you have such a wonderful weather outside and you prefer to stay at home. I live in Lisbon, Portugal.
That’s a great suggestion, Ricardo! I struggle with guilt for staying in on sunny days, too! 🙂
Hi Michaela, I can see in your eyes the same look that few people have. Same as mine. Sometimes we smile, but we don’t want to, and our eyes speaks always the true. I hope you could be happy.
Pasquale from Italy
Enjoyed reading your points. Where you live sounds nice to be after your time abroad, is it Canada (I know 1 person there) or USA you reside? 🙂 I know some friends in Washing State, and Seattle, an old neighbour too from San Diego. ^_^*