A Conversation with an Introvert Princess - Alisha
I immediately picture Cinderella. A ball gown and tiara, grace and poise. That fairytale “bibbity bobbity boo” moment when her tattered clothes are transformed with a magical swish and flick.
Belle, but with a deep desire to be Ariel.
I was constantly reading and daydreaming, never once considering I wouldn’t live somewhere bigger than the few small Midwest towns I bounced around growing up.
I’ve also always had a deep connection with my dad and feel like I would have done the same as she did in that instance (taken his place to save his life).
First of all, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for the people I love.
If you come at my kids or my husband, I swear to you, I will unleash Mama Bear fury without missing a beat. I love knowing that I’m capable of such fierceness.
Also, I’m a great gift giver and I love to be generous. I consider it a measure of how much I love or care for a person, as in, if I love you and know you well, I should be able to curate a unique and meaningful gift. I would absolutely feel shame if I were to buy my husband a gift card for his birthday (even if that’s all he asked for). If I know you well, I should be able to give you something more personal that says, “Hey, I’m thoughtful. I’m thinking about you, YOU, as an individual. Not you as an obligation.”
I initially wrote about how I can empathize well with a mix of people and personalities, but in retrospect, I think being empathetic is a bigger help to other people than it is to me. In fact, I probably use empathy as a deflection away from my own issues under the guise of helping someone else.
My real answer would be that I’m a hell of a lot tougher than I give myself credit for. Every woman is. One day we wake up bleeding from our vaginas and just accept it as a fact of life. At least twice a week, I shout at God that He got it all wrong, I definitely can’t do this. I’m not brave enough, I’m not strong enough, but you know what? I can do it. And I keep doing it. And I’m brave enough to ask for help and I’m strong enough to get up the next day and do it all over again.
I was taught to always be polite. Always. I was never taught how to be polite in context, which means I struggle to defend myself when I’m being taken advantage of.
You are enough. You have value, you have worth, and there is no person in this world who can give or take that from you.
Chase your daydreams, little one. You are wonderfully imaginative, creative, brilliant and one day you will have a beautiful daughter who needs to see you love deeply, dream bravely, and live a life of generosity.
I actually see her as a blend of real life royalty (i.e. Princess Diana), Disney idealism, and a hint of Mia Thermopolis.
- She would be compassionate and genuine in her humanitarian pursuits, using her position to elevate others.
- She would use her resources to care for herself, not just others. Self-care that looks like eating well, but also indulging in cheat meals. Traveling for pleasure, not just obligation. Exploring her creativity through writing, painting, trying Pinterest crafts and sharing her Nailed It outcomes. She’d be fun, real, vulnerable.
- Taking a cue from some of the Disney princesses, she would question tradition for the sake of tradition. Like Jasmine, refusing to be part of the Sultan’s arranged marriage plans, and Merida’s refusal to conform.
I don’t intend to come off as rude or distracted, although I’ve been accused of both more than once.
I’m an internal processor, as well as an introvert, so my silence rarely has to do with you and everything to do with me, so know that I am listening to every word you say. And, to be totally honest, I’m happy for you to keep talking. I’m learning and absorbing, but more importantly, I’m relieved to not have to carry the conversation.
This is a really confronting question, mostly because I struggle to view introvertedness as a strength.
I’d say my greatest contribution is making other people feel valued and heard. That’s my goal, anyways. It’s a daily choice that I definitely don’t always make. I want to create meaningful connection, crafting intentional relationships, that leave people better than they were when I met them.
And ultimately, I want that to be a legacy I leave for my kids.
“She’ll listen her way straight into your heart.”
Alisha Starke - Introvert Princess
Alisha Starke is a lifestyle photographer, writer, lover of coffee, travel, and all things story. She lives in Denver with her South African-born Australian husband and two uncomfortably extroverted kids.
You can find and love her work on Instagram @starkephotography