Meet The Family: Joel, The Antisocial Tigger
I have often described my oldest-younger brother as “an odd duck”, and it’s pretty true, albeit vague. To put it more specifically: Joel has the most extreme sanguineness paired with the most extreme introversion that I’ve ever seen paired together. I didn’t realize this until the last few years, as he’s really started growing into his own. And so now I get to blog about him! 😀
Joel turned 18 years old this month, (yikes!) and he was the first of us that was born in Illinois. From our childhood until now, Joel has been:
1. The hammiest and loudest of all of us kids (at least the boys)
2. An enthusiastic initiator of games, sports and other activities
3. One of Elizabeth’s favorite siblings to shop with
4. A boisterous debater who can rant about both hates and loves with equal fervor
We all loved being video recorded as children, but Joel was perhaps one of the hammiest of us. Someday we’re going to turn all of our VHS’s into DVDs, and then I can show you the awesome clip of Joel enthusiastically singing “Santa Fe” from Newsies and acting it out just like Christian Bale did. (Would any of his drama team be surprised?)
When we were younger, Joel was always willing to be in skits, family plays or anything that involved being front and center stage (even if it meant playing the damsel in distress because his sister Elizabeth wanted to be the main character superhero). My sisters and I loved to play “games” where we made up characters and lived through their life, and Joel’s favorite way to participate was to play the moody stranger who showed up suddenly on the family’s doorstep and was silent and secretive. It annoyed us at the time, but it made for great memories.
Now, Joel still carries on his love for drama by being a part of Alive Drama Team, our church’s play-writing and skit-performing ministry team. He also loves to do lip-syncing, and he sings and dances with abandon, no matter where he is or who’s paying attention.
However, on the flip-side of Joel’s love for attention, he also is an extreme introvert. You wouldn’t know it to see him interact at church, but he definitely loses energy the more he is with people. He doesn’t spend much time alone in his room to recuperate (that I’ve noticed) but he often escapes to music, movies or gaming in order to get some energy back. There’s a story from when he was in middle school, and after a full afternoon of hanging out with people, he went and hid under the tables to avoid conversation. I don’t think he does that anymore, 😉 but too much stress or socialization makes him feel that he needs to withdraw in order to gain some more strength to continue. Which is not surprising, due to all the energy he expels every time he’s around his friends!
Joel currently works at McDonald’s, but he eventually wants to be a lawyer, which fits him well since he loves debating. Get him in an argument, and you can’t get him to shut up! Whether he’s fighting hardcore for something he believes in, or playing devil’s advocate in order to give you something to argue against, he can debate as enthusiastically as all get-out. (I dare you to ask him what he thinks about Gaius from the TV show Merlin!) However, despite his strong-willed obstinacy, he has a heart that is willing to learn and change, and when it comes to serious topics, his emotional connection to everything he says is equally as evident. He has a quick and creative mind that he utilizes in fun, such as during improv games, or important discussions about things he cares about.
Joel loves movies and TV shows, heavy rock music or any song he can sing along to, playing board games, organizing events, video games, being a team with his younger brothers, partaking in conversations, showing off, lip-syncing, sports, ballroom dancing and competition. He has a generous heart and is passionate about God and ministry. He wants people to think deeply, and at church he has oftentimes stepped up to speak or help lead Bible studies. He likes adventures, from dressing all fancy and visiting restaurants, to traveling across the world on missions trips. He is chivalrous, energetic, courageous and strong-willed.
While he’s not the most conventional guy you could meet, he’s an extremely loveable dork; so don’t take him seriously when he either brags on himself or bashes himself nonstop. He mostly just wants to make people laugh, and he does a good job of it. Seeing my oldest-younger brother grow up is so much fun to watch; I’m extremely proud of him, and I know that God has created a wonderful man who will be a wonderful husband, father and leader someday.
HOW WE ARE ALIKE:
1. We both love singing loudly and dancing crazily
2. We’ve both worked at McDonald’s
3. We both had issues with fear when we were kids
4. We’re both adventurous, though in very different ways
HOW WE ARE DIFFERENT:
1. His default is to be loud, while mine is to be quiet
2. He’s a front and center person, while I prefer being the audience or behind the scenes
3. I love reading, but he’s bored by it if he already knows the story
4.He’s a very competitive person, and I’d rather lose if that means everyone is happy