Since I was a little kid, I’ve always thought myself to be extremely introverted. I never really liked initiating conversations and awkward silences always came my way when talking with others.
So, in my adventures in journalism, it has been a challenge to talk to people and get a complete story. I am currently interning for two companies, both of which have given me opportunities to write stories and go to different sites. One of them is for a non-profit. It’s not very structured and I have complete freedom to initiate something amazing. I’ve had a couple of ideas – one to do a series of interviews for the volunteers at the non-profit. But I haven’t started because whenever I’m on site, it never seems like a great time to interview people. I’m too nervous to say, “Hey, I’m making this video, would you consider being interviewed right now?” So far, people do not normally react well to having a camera shoved in their face.
In this case, I feel as though my part is out of place. My thoughts are these when I’m onsite: I don’t really belong. My job is to blend in and document the good times that others are having. My presence cannot interrupt that good time. So I can’t interrupt and ask questions.
If I am feeling this way, should I keep considering this career? I have enjoyed writing and taking pictures and everything – it’s been great… except for the one snag. I don’t enjoy the feeling of being out of place, but I love going to the events and learning new things. There must be a way to rework this snag.
Last week as I was thinking about getting up my courage to ask people questions and do interviews, I saw this chart on Tumblr and rated myself. I’m more of an introvert, with some extrovert mixed in. I’ve always thought that as I grew up, I would become more extroverted. The reality is that I can’t change who I am. The chart won’t define me indefinitely, but it helps me understand how I think and how others think. It helps me see why I feel stuck in this silent rut.
I keep thinking that I just need to do it. Just go up to people, introduce myself, ask for an interview, and just do it. I imagine it and envision it for hours before, and then it all just crashes down.
For now, I’m learning. I’m learning what to ask people and learning how I work with myself. I don’t have to be perfect, but just be honest with those I am working with and keep coming up with ideas. Then, I just need to do it.