Power of the introvert

Have you ever known a friend or colleague who’s always quiet, always hangs out alone and feels extremely uncomfortable in a social event? What’s the term again? Yes, introverts, a group of people that our society labelled stereotypically as the socially awkward, boring, and weird ones. They seem unnoticeable and often got outshined by their extroverted peers, be it in the workplace or other social settings. However, introverts might not express themselves often, but they do dream big and have their own way to work things out, just like anyone else.

To give you a deeper glimpse into the introvert’s world, we recently spoke to Geo, the founder of Baloo Jungle and an introvert. Read the full interview with the talented home grower as she chats about the inner voice of an introvert, how she started Baloo Jungle, and what fuels her passion.

During the lockdown period, a lot of people had a lot of time at home, including me. And we can’t go back to nature like how we used to. That’s when the plant hype came up, people start looking up for plants. And I’m one of them. There’s a friend that came over to our house, telling me that this place is good for plants. It gave me the confidence to start up Baloo Jungle, with some very simple plants at the beginning. 

The name comes from the bear in The Jungle Book, Baloo. And people think that I resonate with a bear-like character. And I actually enjoy the kind of philosophy/characteristic that we brought up. Hence, comes the name Baloo Jungle.

I realize that in society or in my friend circle, not many people have this experience or opportunity to have this part of nature in their own space. I actually want to bring that to myself and everyone around me as well, whether it’s in the home grower’s or small business’s point of view. My objective is to bring the joy and happiness of every plant that I’ve grown to other people.

It’s already known that having plants at home helps to calm and distress a person, or as simple as purifying your place. These are the most basic benefits that you could immediately have. But what I would want to share further is the experience of growing. That part is irreplaceable and it really depends on individuals. Every single plant is different, so I actually have to tend every single plant differently. Going through this process actually teaches me how to be detailed, how to pay attention to certain things. Or even if I failed, I’ll try until I succeed. If I’m to put it into a term, it would be character building. That’s how it would benefit myself and others for having some plants or lively items in the house.

And I realize that plants actually reflect a lot with a person. For example, if I’m being very messy in the head and I have a lot of things to handle during a certain period, I neglect myself and at the same time, I might have neglected my plants as well. That’s when I realize my plants aren’t doing too well, they may have died or a few leaves are gone. That’s when I would take a step back, reflect on myself, and put myself back into focus. So I would say that something that was reflected in the plants, might have reflected in my personal life. I would normally use my plants as a mirror to my current situation as well.

Bee hovering in Geo’s garden.

I’ve done a lot of creative projects hahaha, but I would say it’s Baloo Jungle, it’s really one of the most significant ones. It’s not the art & craft or standard way of being creative. But what’s creative about it is bringing the bits and pieces of nature around us and building it up in my own little space, and creating an environment for them to thrive. That uses a lot of creative juices, to decide where we place the plant and how we do the layering. I believe the home-growers out there would agree that this is one creative project.

I think I realize that when people start to know who I am? I guess. Because I rarely get upfront, I’m normally a backend person, the one who pushes and supports. But because of what I’m doing now, I’ve become the person in front and the voice most of the time. And the things that I’m able to share and relate to other people, mean something for another person. That’s when I realize that I’m good at what I’m doing. 

It’s a brand new day! To do what I want or need to do, basically to live the new day to the fullest, I think that’s the main drive. Let’s put it in plain fact, I do not enjoy everything that I do. Things in life might not be that smooth all the time, but it’s a brand new day where I can choose how I want to react and how I want it to be.

Memory wall at A Random Place.

I would say it’s bringing joy to people, making this place a better place for everyone, as simple as that. And another part of it is bringing the greens back to nature. Let’s say things happen one day, you know, the world is not in a good place, the forests are gone. Would some of the home-growers be willing enough to part their collections back to nature? For sure, I would be one of them. That’s part of the giving & abundance that I’ve been talking about. 

Yes, this question appears a lot in my head. If I don’t do it now, then when do I have the time, when am I ready & capable? I think this is one of the driving factors that motivate me to do things now, instead of waiting. There’s no perfect timing, but courage and boldness are the steps that I took to start something off.

I have very limited free time, my schedule is usually packed back-to-back. When I do have that little free time, watering plants would be the main part, that’s when I can distress. Then, playing with my cats does connect me back to my happiness. And also being with my loved & close ones. These are my main priorities. 

The greens complement well with the ballerina painting.

In general, an introvert would normally be quiet, someone that tends to hide. Not shining, as in there’s not shine in this person, antisocial. But for me, being an introvert for 30 years, I would say yes, quiet, yes, wanting to hide. In my perspective, what distinguishes introverts from extroverts is that introverts recharge themselves by being alone or doing what they like. While extroverts recharge themselves with a crowd or people, engage with people they love & they don’t know. As for myself, even though I’m quieter sometimes and tend to be away from the public, but actually I’m observing a lot of things around me while I recharge.

Not cool. *laughs*

In my head, I would try not to attend if possible. I don’t feel comfortable being in a  strange condition or public event. However, I’m willing to do so if I need to, like what I did during the plant bazaar. It was such a public event, and as the voice of Baloo Jungle and my plants, I definitely need to be there personally. That’s when I differentiate what I want & what I need to do. And I think it’s a part of introverts that people might not see or know. Even though I might not want to be seen, but I would still put myself up front because I know it could’ve benefited other people. 

“Be prepared for whatever that would be happening next.”

You’ll never know when you will need to do what you need to do, but if you get yourself ready to encounter things upfront, it’s much easier & smoother to handle the difficulties or obstacles.

This is one of the deeper questions. I wouldn’t say change, but to input more giving or the feeling of abundance. I think that’s very important. For example, people would come to my place for workshops or visits, and I would actually give them something in return, maybe like a small plant. The action of doing so would create a good feeling not only for myself but also for another person. And that might create a ripple effect on how people start their day or actually be generous in giving. I find that the abundance part is very important. If everyone were to give a bit more and be more generous, I believe society would be in a better place. 

There would be 2 things: 

1. Enjoy nature and appreciate what we have, be present at any point in life. That shouldn’t be taken for granted, cause things could get wiped out anytime.

2. Being an introvert would seem to be very minor or behind a lot of things. But I would like to share with anyone that’s reading this that it’s not the case. In fact, the introvert might be actually observing and thinking about how to deal with situations instead. Even though we might not be speaking or showcasing ourselves like how others expected us to, but a lot of times it’s about the details that we were to put in, to see, and to give as well. If you have any introverted friends, try using a different perspective to look at things, and maybe you’ll see something different.