Introverts Are Misunderstood

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably gathered two things: (1) I’m obsessed with naps and (2) I’m an introvert.

Lately, I can’t stop thinking about the paradox between blogging and introverts. On the one hand, introverts get energized by spending time alone. On the other, introverts like me find fulfillment by communing with strangers online.

Weird, huh?

To complicate matters, I’m an introvert who’s selective. It’s not that I don’t like talking with everyone I meet. It’s just that I don’t talk unless I have something to say. Small talk and large crowds drain me.

My desire for quiet introspection helps me survive most social situations. Maybe to a fault. Maybe that’s why I’m often misunderstood. Misjudged. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been labeled as “rude” or “stuck-up.”

Guess my resting face is pretty bad.

The flip side to being an introvert is that I’m a good listener. I’d rather listen to someone else speak than have center stage. I think that’s why my husband and I have lasted this long. He’s Mr. Charisma and I’m Mrs. Retreat in the Background so No One Sees Me.

I feel this way about blogging from time to time. I know that in theory you’re supposed to write for yourself. Write to be heard. But the truth is, we also write for an audience. We write to build community. We write to share life together.

Still, I don’t always feel like writing about me.

A part of me wants to sit back and make blogging a spectator sport. Does that sound terrible? Hope not because I’ve come up with a temporary fix that involves MORE OF YOU and less of me.

The idea is akin to King Arthur’s Round Table. As the name suggests, the table has no head. Everyone has an equal part in bloggy relationship building. Hence, the name, Bloggers at the Round Table. This series will help us get to know each other better. Let’s get started!

If you had to choose an actor to portray your life story, who would it be? And why?

I would pick Keira Knightley to portray the twenty year old me. I admire her focus and intensity. I became a fan when I saw her in Love Actually. As for the thirty year old me, I’d pick Julia Roberts. The Julia Roberts I remember from Pretty Woman. I love her laugh!

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93 thoughts on “Introverts Are Misunderstood

    1. Aw, thanks Colleen! I just love her smile and laugh. But you’re not exactly off the hook. You forgot to mention who you would pick to portray your life story. I’ll be waiting . . .

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      1. Oh yeah….well…

        Sandra Bullock for certain parts. I think. I love her humor. I think she is beautiful. If she played the 40 year old me she woudl have to cut her hair short and make it spiky. πŸ™‚

        I also like the girl who played Natalie on the facts of life.

        Hmmmm….it depends on what mood they have to portray! πŸ™‚

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      2. Another pick for Sandra Bullock! I love her humor, too. She’s a breath of fresh air. But, I gotta say Natalie from the Facts of Life would give her some competition. I adored her when I was a little girl!

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  1. Hi Anka – ok…the extrovert that I am, I’m gonna go for it πŸ™‚ I thought about your question, particularly the “why” would I choose “so and so” to play me. And of course it would be based on some of the roles they have played. I would choose Meryl Streep to play the “mature me” from 35 upwards. She is bit my senior but looks amazing and she would be at home playing me both in my career and private life. I met her once years ago and fell in love with her “normalcy” and there are numerous roles she’s played in the last 20 years that I just LOVE (like “Out of Africa” that I liked so much that I visited the house where it was filmed). The role of the younger me would probably go to Sandra Bullock…she’s played a goofy girl in so many comedies that I love…some of which could fit my story πŸ™‚

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    1. Oh, I could so see Meryl Streep playing the mature you, especially her role in Out of Africa. You’re such an adventurer. As for the younger you, Sandra Bullock is a fine choice. She is one of my favorite actresses. I LOVE her versatility as well!

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      1. The “Out of Africa” site visit was memorable, a little bit like transported back in time. I’ll try to find the pics I took there and maybe I can share a story…nice you liked my picks πŸ™‚

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  2. I love this. I am not as much of a classic romantic as a Harry Met Sally one! Mine would always be Meg Ryan. I loved her character when she was talking about “spying a family” and she had that AHA moment realizing that she was not going to ever have it with the guy she was with. I loved how when she finally loved Harry she knew it. And even the way she second guessed herself and played hard to get. Even the scene in the restaurant… where she played the part of “faking it”: when he didn’t believe that he would fall for it…. And in the end when she held out and made him chase her! Yep pretty much me. Introvert? Hardly…Basket case? Perhaps! lol.

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    1. “When Harry Met Sally” may not be considered classical romance, but it’s a classic for other reasons. The restaurant scene is legendary. I love how you describe the complexities of her character. Sounds like she’d be a perfect fit. Meg Ryan is adorable and so are you Diane!

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  3. Great idea for a series! One person came to my mind almost immediately. Angelina Jolie. Nah, I’m totally kidding. Seriously, I pick Tina Fey. We’re the same age, we both wear goofy glasses, we’ve had similar pasts, we both have two young kids. Every single thing she’s in is brilliant and funny. yeah, I pretty much just want to BE her, come to think of it.

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    1. When the WordPress community thinks of ‘female comedic genius,’ there’s one person that comes to mind. That’s you Darla! Now, we just need to think of a way to help you earn royalties for your material.

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  4. Thanks for giving me something to think about this morning! I read this quick before I had to head out and do grocery shopping. The whole time I was at the grocery store I thought about it! The closest thing I could come up with would be Janeane Garofalo. She’s a little nerdy, weird and quirky like me! I too am an introvert! My husband says I am 100% introvert. I would like to consider myself an 85% introvert. I really do try to be more open but shy and quiet are my natural characteristics. But like you, blogging is a great platform for communicating with people for me! I ALMOST feel like an extrovert here!!!

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    1. Janeane Garofalo is an excellent choice! I loved her in Reality Bites. She’s funny and cute like you Melissa! As for the introvert thing, I like how you’ve broken it down into a percentage. It’s funny because in my day to day life I operate as an introvert 100% of the time. But in the blogging world I have more extrovert tendencies. That’s why blogging is such a paradox for me!

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  5. I LOVE this idea. What an awesome way to get to know your readers! Two people who could easily play me, Rebel Wilson and Amy Poehler. Why, you ask me? Oh. just because I am so funny! LOL! Just kidding. I like the way their characters on screen are usually outcasts, awkward people trying to be normal in a normal world, like I feel most days. Also, do you want the readers to write a comment or a post in answer to your question? Just so I know what you expect for the next question πŸ™‚ Yaaay looking forward to the next one.

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    1. I think your choices are interesting, Amba. I can relate to the concept of “awkward people trying to be normal in a normal world.” But on an aesthetic level, I thought you’d pick someone different. You are GORGEOUS! I was thinking along the lines of an exotic actress, someone like Mila Kunis or Jessica Alba.

      As for your bloggy question, I think it’d be great to leave a comment here first. If you felt led, you could also write a post about it. Glad to hear you’re on board with this idea!

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      1. Anka! You are far too kind πŸ™‚ Mila Kunis, I nearly fell off my chair. LOL! But thank you for making my day, no actually my year. πŸ™‚ I think from the next question onwards, I’ll leave you a comment and then a pingback to a post if I’m inspired. πŸ™‚ Thanks Anka!

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  6. Oh! I don’t know which actress it would be! I’m thinking about it, but I don’t know! πŸ™‚ thanks for making me think about this, it’s fun! πŸ™‚ btw, loving this new series Anka!

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    1. I’ll be waiting, Ingrid . . . I’m sure you can up with someone. Just google a few actresses or genres of films you’re drawn to. It will click!

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      1. Hi Anka πŸ™‚ hope you are having a great day! I thought about it and I believe it would be “Isla Fisher”, not because we look alike but because in many of the characters she has portrayed; she reminds me a lot of me ; when she smiles, laughs and talks! πŸ™‚ I think she would be able to portrayed me very well! ha!ha! sorry it took me so long to answer back but our little one here has been sick with the flu since Saturday afternoon!

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  7. I love this idea! I tried it once with a square table, but I kept getting stuck on the corner and getting poked. Round is way better. As for portrayal choices for my life story? Yeeks. Well, my wife says I remind her a lot of Robert Downy Jr., (and for the record, I had the beard first β€” just sayin’). My other choice is George Clooney. Not that I resemble him. Well, maybe his nostrils (we both have them β€” eery, I know). He’s on my list of “celebrities I could sit down and have a beer with.” As for the younger, 30s me? Uh… has anyone heard from Paul Reubens lately?

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    1. Ned, your wife is right about Robert Downy Jr. I could see him portraying your life story. You both have the beard thing going on. George Clooney is an excellent back-up choice.
      About Paul Reubens, you couldn’t possibly be referring to the man who played “Pee Wee Herman?” That brings back some strange memories for me . . .

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    1. I couldn’t agree more with you, Barbara. How come introverts get such a bad wrap? Hopefully, we’ll be able to undo some of these stereotypes. By the way, you didn’t mention who you would select to portray your life story. Any thoughts?

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      1. hmmm probably Mila Jovovich or Uma Thurman just because I love how they kick ass!!! (which I aspire to!)

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    1. Hello, Melanie! You’re absolutely right about the blogging community. It’s a surprisingly soft place to fall. I was a skeptic at first, but now I’m a firm believer in building online community.

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  8. What a nice post, and fun…the actors! It’s really interesting for me, as part of my novel concerns a little discussion on King Arthur & Lancelot, but the discussion is based on a movie (First Knight) and not the book.

    For what it’s worth, I’m an admirer of Julia Ormand and Juliette Binoche, perhaps because they do “understated” so well…introverted?

    As for me, well, my youngest daughter once told me that I’d look like Brad Pitt if I had more hair. But then she was about 12 at the time, and I think it was a few weeks before Xmas. If I had a choice, and being somewhat of an introvert, it would be Johnny Depp all the way.

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    1. Your novel sounds interesting, Lawrence. I am particularly drawn to period pieces such as First Knight. As for Julia Ormand and Juliette Binoche, I completely forgot about these two fine actresses. They are definitely understated yet powerful. I loved Juliette Binoche in Chocolat. And, as for your pick, I couldn’t think of better introvert-type of an actor than Johnny Depp. He is one of my personal favorites. Mostly because he is so quirky.

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      1. Thanks Anka. Chocolat is one of my favorite films . . . all that Mayan mystery. As for my novel, this discussion is a very minor part of it, but it touches on a pervasive theme. In the movie King Arthur makes a statement to the so-called fearless Lancelot, basically saying that a man who knows no fear cannot know love. But then he immediately states that he’s not sure of his own statement.

        My faves vary over time, but Johnny Depp is certainly way up there. Actually I think he first caught my attention with the delivery of that line about the rules being “more like guidelines”!

        Incidentally, one of my faves is Sir Laurence Olivier, ever since he played the butler in the movie, “Arthur” . . . the irony of it all! πŸ™‚

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      2. That scene is a good point of reference for your book. It is loaded with meaning and can be left open to interpretation. As for other male actors I’m particularly fond of, I’d have to say Daniel Day Lewis tops my list as well.

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  9. Wow Anka you’ve done it again, your honest introspective approach leads to another engaging creative blog roll. So, great post !! …and Great choice…I could totally see you in Julia Roberts, even ad-mist the anonymity of the blogging world. Lets see….My absolute favorite actress of all time is Ashley Judd. She is beautiful, very intelligent, concerningly human and is spokes women for many national women’s issues. I love that she graduated from Harvard only a few years ago, and despite all her true life oppositions, she has no trouble shinning off and on the screen within the entertainment world……. πŸ™‚

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    1. I LOVE Ashley Judd too! She is a complete woman with so much heart. And if there is anyone qualified to portray your life story, it would be Ashley Judd. She is intelligent and full of HEART just like you. Thanks again for playing along, Ellie. I always enjoy reading your opinions! πŸ™‚

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  10. I would pick Amy Adams because she strikes me as free-spirited and bubbly, which is how I picture the inner me. Also, because I want to be a ginger with every fiber of my being but don’t have the nerve to do more than highlights yet.

    I would say I’m less of an introvert than I was in high school; I over-analyzed everything ad nauseum. As I have gotten older, I’ve gotten better about letting people in but still am very much an introvert. I don’t know about you all, but I often feel like I can’t express myself as well speaking as I do writing, translating into me feeling much freer and open on my blog than in real life, sometimes to my mother’s chagrin. πŸ˜‰

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    1. Amy Adams is a great choice! She strikes me as a free spirit too, and I’m quite sure that’s how the inner you really is, Sarah. I think you bring up a good point about being able to express yourself more clearly in writing versus speaking publicly. It’s funny because my husband is SO opposite. He is the most gregarious outgoing guy I’ve met. He’s just made for an audience. Funniest guy I know! Maybe opposites really do attract?

      As for your mom being taken aback about your openness on the blog, I’m sure if you’re the firstborn child, she’s gathered that you need an outlet by now! πŸ™‚

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  11. Oh I love this. I’m much more of an introvert myself. As far as who would play me… hmm, that’s a tough one. Some of my peers would say Kelli Martin; however, I think I would say I’m more of a Jennifer Garner. She can be tough, funny, and nurturing which are qualities that I see in myself.

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    1. I could definitely see Jennifer Garner starring in your life story. She seems like an exemplary mom and wife. As far as I remember, she had the tough part covered in her role in Alias. Somewhat of a super hero in her own right!

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  12. This is great!!! I also tend to be an introvert and find it difficult to write about myself for audience and the internal angst is AWFUL!
    As for your questions…for me it would be Jennifer Garner. My sister has told me that we have a similar look and she seems like a real person. We’re around the same age and she’s also a mom. So I pick her.

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    1. Yay! Another fellow introvert who tries to find refuge in blogging. Thanks for sharing the actor of your choice. It helps me get a clearer picture of you in my head. Your gravatar is adorable. Babies feet are so yummy, but there is no way I could guess you had a big smile and dimples like Jennifer Garner! πŸ™‚

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  13. Love this! I would have to have Megan Mullally (aka Karen Walker on Will & Grace) play me in a movie. Sometimes I whine, lots of times I can be found with wine in my hand and I call people honey and sweetie more than I probably should! πŸ™‚

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    1. Of course, I remember Megan Mullally! She was a riot. And I could definitely relate on the wine and whining part of her character. Our poor husbands probably prefer the former version of wine than the latter!

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    1. I know it’s hard to believe by the looks of things here! But, the reality is that I’m only comfortable because I’m sitting behind a computer screen. Let’s just put it this way, if there was ever play that needed to be produced or directed, I would prefer to work behind the scenes! πŸ™‚

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    1. Scarlet Johansson is a perfect choice, Amy! She has just the right amount of edge to suit your personality. Plus, I hear she’s has an excellent singing voice. You don’t like to sing by any chance do you?

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    1. Charron, I could definitely see Angelina Jolie playing the wild version of you. I’m guessing you always had a strong independent streak in you. I admire that kind of deep conviction to oneself! πŸ™‚

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  14. Tina Fey! Not that I am that funny but she could make my life look funny!! And I just love her sense of humor OR Zooey Deschanel because I have a girl crush on her! Love her sense of humor too. I want to be able to look back at my life and laugh obviously. Because its better to laugh than to cry!

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    1. Another vote for Tina Fey! She could absolutely make anyone’s life look funny. And I hear you on the Zooey Deschanel girl crush, she’s a cutie. But the thing I could relate to the most was when you said, “it’s better to laugh than to cry.” There’s no truer statement, Meredith!

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      1. Tina Fey is loved by so many! I’m actually surprised more women didn’t select her. And no matter what, no two comments are alike. Your input is still original, especially since you included the “it’s better to laugh than cry” quote! πŸ™‚

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  15. I would pick Audrey Hepburn, the funny way she was in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but given a 21st Century Ontario girl’s mannerisms. Because she is my favourite person to watch, and I think she could portray the things I do that don’t even make sense than me

    Lily

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    1. Lily, I dig your choice! Who could forget such a legendary actress? An actress that truly transcends time. Brilliant choice! And, of course, we’d definitely need to tweak her accent to capture all your nuances just right!

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      1. She’s my favourite πŸ™‚ Of course, I could always just adopt her accent and mannerisms, and then she’d be perfect just as captured in her movies!

        Lily

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  16. What a great idea my lovely friend. I don’t think I can single out one, I would probably say Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids (as I used to really be attracted to the macho type/bad/unavailable/a bit of punk kinda guy in my previous before N. life) & cause I share her awkward totally out of place feeling when surrounded by the snobbish upper class crowd. Other than that I can relate to Monica Potter’s Kristina in Parenthood as she is the REAL mom and would do ANYTHING for her kids. xxx

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    1. Thanks for playing along, Tatu! I love the reasoning behind the actress you picked. Kristen Wiig is fabulous. She is a crack up. And yes, unfortunately her character is always attracted to the bad boy types. So, I gotta know . . . did you actually end up marrying a bad boy?

      Also, I don’t know if you got my comment on your ‘About’ page or not, but I’ve been trying to get your email. You can just drop me a line at keepingitrealmoms@yahoo.com. Talk soon my dear!

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      1. I married the good guy too. I think we saved ourselves a lot of heartache by selecting this route. Thanks for the email. It probably did end up in my spam folder. I’ll contact you shortly! πŸ™‚

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  17. I would choose Emma Stone to play me. She is equal parts goofy and serious, much like myself. She can also pull off curly hair as well straight which is important if you’re going to portray me! It’s the little things ya know? πŸ˜‰ Fun post! Looking forward to the next in the series!

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    1. Emma Stone is a perfect choice! My husband and I are HUGE fans of her acting chops. And knowing you, and how detail oriented you are, you definitely gotta find a girl who can rock BOTH curly and straight hair. Otherwise it wouldn’t be true Little Miss Wordy form and fashion. Have a great weekend my friend! πŸ™‚

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  18. Hey, babe, great idea. Ellen Page for the young and teenage me, and Juliette Binoche for the adult me. And Dame Judy Dench for the aging matriarch me, cause she’s just too awesome and that’s the kind of kick-ass old lady I want to be.

    To speak to your opening point on introversion, here’s my take on it: I think most if not all writers have to have a strong streak of introversion. While an audience is a critical–the critical part–when it comes to sharing your writing, and the world obviously inspires/shapes what you write, the act of creation is intensely private and lonely. Extroverts don’t do well locked in a room alone for hours and hours; introverts do, and sometimes, 24 hours alone bent over the keyboard is the only thing that will bring a writing project to completion. My thought…

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    1. Hey Jane, so good to hear from you! I love your choices, especially Dame Judy Dench. She would definitely embody the kick ass spirit you possess. I’d probably pick Helen Mirren or Sophia Loren for the aging matriarch me.

      I appreciate the commentary you wrote regarding introverts. It was spot on! I meditated on this line for quite some time, “The act of creation is intensely private and lonely.” I concluded that it’s absolutely true, and perhaps, isn’t such a bad thing. Like you said, it’s the only way to see a project through till the end. The idea of being locked in a room for 24 hours sounds dreamy. I often fantasize about what it would be like to have a cabin to retreat to ALONE so I could really enter into a season of writing.

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  19. I have to say a combination of Uma Thurman and Sandra Bullock because I’ve often been compared to both of them, although more often to Uma. I cut my hair right before Pulp Fiction came out and the entire football team at my University called me Thurman from that point on.

    I LOVE this idea. Your blog is such an amazing place to visit.

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    1. Uma Thurman is a perfect choice for you! And the timing of cutting your hair, back in college, couldn’t have been better. She was so sexy in Pulp Fiction. I also hear she has Danish roots. Another European beauty!

      Hope you catch up on sleep this weekend, Anita. I’m glad you stopped by. You know I always love seeing your face!

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  20. What a great idea!! I share your sentiment about getting to know the others in this blogging community; so many of us seem to have bonded so quickly! It’s awesome!

    As for me, Jennifer Lawrence. Our voices are similar, and I may be crazy like her a la The Silver Linings Playbook, minus the promiscuity. πŸ˜‰

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    1. You know me, I enjoy turning the floor over to other bloggers. In fact, some days I wish I had a fill-in. πŸ˜‰ In any case, I hope this will open the dialogue so we can get to know each other even better. As for your choice, I’m so glad to hear you chose Jennifer Lawrence. She is HUGELY popular right now. And, super gorgeous! I can’t wait to see The Silver Linings Playbook. It got great reviews!

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  21. What an interesting post, Anka! But i’ll have to pass on this one – don’t know many movies and actors. Sorry! But I do love your post and the wonderful idea to know the others in the blogging world.

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  22. Ooh, can I play too? πŸ˜‰

    I think for me it’d have to be Natalie Portman (or Keira Knightley, actually). I look a bit like both, and they seem to have similar characters, joy of life and sense of drama as I do. And both sometimes seem a little bit unhinged, as well as loving the mysterious and unexplained, which is part of my soul too.

    Ps. I’m an extrovert but recently wrote a bit about introverts too; this is such an interesting topic!

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    1. Pixie Girl, I’m so glad you picked Natalie Portman! It was a toss up for me too, as both actresses are indeed very similar. And by the way, if you resemble either one of these girls, you are definitely a beauty! Glad you could play along. The second installment should be coming up shortly.

      Sorry for the delayed response. I recently discovered I was having a baby and have been battling severe morning sickness. Ugh!

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  23. Well, not to copy you, but it would have to be Keira Knightly for me too. Or Sarah Michelle Geller. Keira because I think she is amazing, talented and lovely. All the things I am not. So she could make me look so much better and lets face it, a film about me would be pretty dull otherwise. Sarah – because I love Buffy and in my head that’s who I am – a kick arse vampire slayer. πŸ™‚

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    1. What an interesting dichotomy. On one hand, you have Keira Knightley, who is an intensely passionate young woman. On the other, you have Sarah, who is a tough girl. Either one would capture the nuances of your personality just beautifully.

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  24. You sure don’t sound like an introvert in your posts! You sound so outgoing and full of energy all the time! And great choice – I think you do have that warm glowy smile that Julia has! πŸ˜‰

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    1. Rynna, I know it’s hard to believe. But, trust me, I’m definitely a shy bird when it comes to real life. What about you my dear? You didn’t say which actress would portray your life story?

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    1. Great choice, Jill! I could see the resemblance. Though I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never seen any Twilight films so I can’t attest to Kendrick’s acting chops. I’ll have to take your word for it.

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      1. Oh yeah, I forgot she starred in Pitch Perfect. I’ve been wanting to see that film for a while now. My hubby and I will have to rent it soon.

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  25. Sorry I’m reading this a bit late πŸ™‚ … I’m also an introvert. You know when suddenly in life everything comes in groups, usually people think I’m shy (or I guess they do) but lately people that I just recently met suddenly become worried that I’m not having a good time because “I’m not talking a lot”.
    I think if I were to pick an actress it would be Catherine Zeta Jones, I can’t think of a specific movie, but I usually find that her roles are as a strong (and sometimes a tad evil) woman, and people wouldn’t care if the character is introvert or not.

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    1. Sofia, I’m glad you stopped by! I experience the same problem in social settings. People often mistaken me as arrogant or awkward. Neither assumption is true, of course. It’s just that I’m selective when it comes to opening my heart. My mind.

      As for Catherine Zeta Jones, that sounds like a logical choice. I see the resemblance–you’re both beautiful!

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