Have you guessed that I’m an introvert?
Close your mouth, please. It’s not that astonishing.
I know, I know. You’re asking yourself, “How can an ex-radio announcer be an introvert?” and “How can a guy that jokes and smiles and cuts up with people so much be an introvert?”
You’re also asking, “Aren’t introverts shy and quiet?”
The answer is yes. Introverts usually are shy and quiet. But not always.
I loved the twenty off-and-on years that I spent in radio. And, let me tell you, there’s a big difference between sitting alone in a broadcast studio speaking into a microphone, and standing on a stage in front of an auditorium full of people speaking into a microphone.
While I have done both, only one makes my stomach feel funny, and that’s the part where people can see me. I was very young when I appeared in front of people, and had to focus on a seat in an auditorium or some other inanimate object, just so I could get the words out that I had to say.
In radio, I hid inside a studio, behind a microphone that I could turn on and off. I felt comfortable, and the experience was an intimate one. If I got hit with the nervous stomach cramps, I just drew a picture of a stick figure, and pretended that the stick figure was the person I was talking to.
Or, I just played music.
The last few years of my radio career, I avoided “live” broadcasts from the community, because I didn’t want anyone associating the voice with the face. That way, I could still retain my anonymity.
Yes, I crack a lot of jokes when you see me in person, and I talk to you like you’re the most special person in the world.
But, you frighten me. I feel like you’re judging me based on my appearance. I use jokes to keep you at arm’s length, so you won’t see how shy and vulnerable I really am. I try not to go out into crowds, because crowds terrify me. Christmas shopping online is such a blessing to me, because I don’t have to go out. I don’t like to shake hands, and I’ll avoid it when I can. If I can’t, and you see that it makes me nervous, please don’t offer, and don’t be offended.
That’s one of the reasons that I enjoy writing so much. I can tell you stories, with the hope of entertaining you. With those stories, you can learn a little bit about me, because every single one has a piece of my personality…a piece of my soul, perhaps…inside it somewhere, for you to judge.
But, I don’t have to see you judge.
And, to an introvert like me, that makes all the difference in the world.
There you have it…something that only a handful of people know about me.
So, while you ponder all of that, let me remind you to…
Michael (T. M. Bilderback)