Hi Bria! Please tell us a bit about you and Tendril Wild. From one introvert to another, I have to ask, have you always embraced being an introvert?
I have definitely NOT always embraced being introverted; in fact, I used to hate this about myself when I was younger. Back then, I didn’t know that I was an introvert—I just knew I felt different. This difference I felt manifested in different ways, from being bullied to not being able to make friends easily.
Elementary school was rough, and I was forced to learn a lot of hard lessons that a child just doesn’t really understand.
It actually wasn’t until a few years ago, when I left for college, that I started understanding what it means to be introverted, what it means to be shy (I was both), and how I could use this new knowledge to become more myself and break out of my shell.
Being a writer and blogger, why do you think it’s important for us to share our story and perspective with the world?
Because I am an introvert, I’ve spent a lot of time in my own head over the years. When you’re like that, you start to believe everything you tell yourself, both positive and negative things. You start to believe that your experiences and perspective are the only ones that exist.
You start to believe that your shortcomings and failures are unique to you.
Without hearing someone else’s story or sharing yours and finding camaraderie with those who can relate, your struggles, embarrassments, grief, and shame become an entity you can’t shake because you’re dealing with these feelings alone.
Telling our stories with others brings us all in closer and joins us together through our triumphs and our fears. Struggles become accomplishments. Grief becomes joy. Shame becomes a thing of the past.
We come out of this feeling a lot less alone and lot more understood. And that makes us kinder and more forgiving.
As women, I think there’s a lot of topics we’re afraid to talk about. What’s something that has been on your heart recently?
Loneliness is something I think about pretty often. Loneliness in friendships, loneliness in your own family, loneliness in a difficult season of life, and loneliness in marriage.
I believe, as women, we’re constantly striving for fulfillment in our relationships.
We want to have the strongest female friendships, where we gossip for hours with each other and understand and know our best friends better than we know ourselves.
Then we pursue our careers, seeking fulfillment in work, only to realize that trying to find balance in life between work and play can leave us feeling very alone.
Or maybe we’re in search of finding “mister right”, believing this to be the end all be all, believing that marriage will be the one thing to end our loneliness.
But it never is.
Instead, I’ve found that pursuing first our relationship with the One who made us and then finding contentment in the relationship we have with ourselves is a much better cure for that heartsick loneliness.
What’s the best life advice you’ve ever received from someone else?
Often, how people respond and interact with you has more to do with how they feel about themselves than anything you’ve done or said. The way we see ourselves influences the way we behave with the world and others. When we have a negative view of ourselves, we have a negative view of the people around us, and sometimes we allow that negativity to come out in very negative ways.
When someone comes at us with that negativity, we can either let it bring us down with it, or stop and recognize that the other person is battling with something that has nothing to do with us and just shake it off like a bad haircut and move on with our lives.
Can you share your own nugget of wisdom with our readers?
Over the last couple of years, I’ve begun to realize that often, we approach our relationships in ways that feel comfortable for us, but not necessarily comfortable for the other person. I understand my own personality better than I ever have before, but I’m also slowly beginning to understand how other personalities operate, too, and how those differences can affect our relationships.
It’s so important to know yourself for who you truly are, away from your social media personality, away from what your friends or parents want for you, away from even the person you thought you were or wanted to be. Not only that, but when you enter into a relationship with someone else, friendly or romantic, it’s important that you take the time to understand how that person ticks and how they approach life.
Knowing how all our unique temperaments shape our interactions can help turn misunderstanding and miscommunications into opportunities for learning and appreciating the things that make us unique and can help strengthen the relationships we form with others.
What’s next for you in your journey? How can we support you, and where can we find you online?
I feel like I’ve only begun to touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding what it means to be an introvert in a loud world. I’m excited to explore what this means further and share and support other introverts in their journeys, too.
This process will no doubt be shared on the blog, but I’d also like to look into different avenues of expression for this topic, from poetry to design. When I started Tendril Wild, I never dreamed I’d be conquering a lot of the fears I’ve had (for example, public speaking), so I’m excited to see where this story continues to take me.
If you’d like to follow on this journey and watch me potentially embarrass myself along the way, you can find me on Instagram or Twitter or catch up on the blog.
Thanks so much for letting me interview you, Bria. One last question before we leave, what does being a wholehearted woman mean to you?
In a society that so often tries to take what it means to be a woman and shape us into molds and boxes that fit whatever narrative is trendy at the moment, I believe being a wholehearted woman means coming back to being a woman in her full essence and not discarding the parts of ourselves that society deems unfit.
Women are helpmates, creators, warriors, comforters. We’re pillars of strength and we’re allowed to cry. We’re passionate makers while at the same time, we’re wary of pushing past our comfort zones.
And nothing about these extremes is shameful or unworthy.
As a woman, I was created to fill the world with what only I can give and experience the world with my whole heart, just as I am.
Rapid fire q’s
A woman who inspires me:
My grandmother. She means more to me than she’ll ever know, and has been my inspiration since I was a little girl. Her quiet strength and dignity is only matched by her powerful sense of who she is and Who she belongs to. She is the true definition of having weathered storms only to come back stronger.
And I still want to be like her when I grow up.
Favorite place to hang out online:
Reddit. What can I say? I’m a nerd at heart.
Best book I ever read:
When I was younger, I would put away books like potato chips. In other words, I inhaled about 7 books a week—I could never stop at just one. So it’s hard to believe that I don’t have a favorite, but it’s impossible for me to choose just one book that influenced me. But there is one particular series that I keep coming back to over and over again every few years: Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery. You know those books you read when you were a tween that forever shaped who you became as a teenager and young adult? Those books that seemed to swallow you whole because they were so much you? This series became that for me. If you’re a fan of Anne of Green Gables, give Emily of New Moon a try for something a little quirkier and darker.
My core values:
In this digital age where everyone is talking over everyone else and no one is being fully heard, silence has become even more of a virtue. It’s my favorite one. Silence isn’t a noun to me, it’s place I retreat to when I can’t hang in the world any longer. It’s my safe space, and I like to think I can give that safety away to others when they need a listening ear. But no place can be truly safe without the presence of kindness, understanding, and forgiveness. I want nothing more than for others to show me the kindness I extend to them. I want nothing more than for forgiveness to allow me to leave my past behind me. And I want nothing more than to be understood and for me to connect and understand someone else.