If you’ve ever taken a Meyer’s Briggs personality test and ended up with an “I” as the first letter of your result, you’ll understand the feeling. You’re in the middle of a crowded room with both friends and strangers and, suddenly, you just feel bone tired. Like a birthday balloon kept too long, you feel depleted of whatever energy you had. Or, in a meeting, you’re the one conscientiously taking notes, preferring to observe and ask questions later. You, my friend, are an introvert. Being an introvert isn’t about being shy. It’s about how social stimuli affect us. And while you may at times feel frustrated or unheard in a world that encourages extroverts and—many times—even outright aggression, you can still step up and get ahead without having to sacrifice who you are.
This weekend I’m hoping to work on some home projects that need tending before the baby arrives in a couple months. I always worry about my little one—who’ll be an only for just a couple months more—playing by on her own a lot. Then I remember that all the unstructured time I spent as a girl gave me the chance to dream and create. KJ Dell’Antonia of the NYT blog Motherlode talks about protecting kids’ play- and free time, curbing the tendency to over-schedule them (and ourselves).
Finding a routine
I perform much better when there is a timeline involved. In college, I appreciated professors that had a whole semester mapped out with dates for exams and design critiques. At work, when feeling overwhelmed by multiple projects, it always gave me a sense of calm to list deadlines for deliverables in order to get a sense of how I would plan each workday. Even with keeping the home I realized that only when I write down when I wanted each task accomplished would I get up and do them—be it cleaning out the refrigerator or organizing the children’s closets.
We kinda always knew we’d end up doing something like this together. What’s funny is just how long (and how far away we had to be from each other) it would take for us to finally decide to start.
We’re four years and personalities apart, but the things that inspire and excite us are eerily similar. We’re obsessed with design on all fronts: home, graphic, fashion … we love it all. Growing up around our dad’s family’s furniture business, and learned through osmosis the difference between a Queen Anne chair and a Chippendale one. Our mom was always stylish and fashion savvy, and knew how to put things together with panache—without breaking the bank. You could say we grew up on design. We loved it enough to spend four years in a place with sub-zero temperatures and tons of snow learning about it, and another decade or so practicing it.