200//365 — Introverted

I used to think I was an extrovert type because I love people so much, but I didn’t understand what extroversion and introversion meant. I thought it was just a fancy way of saying you were more confident or shy.

I love people. No matter what I have ever said in the past out of frustration or disappointment, I truly do love people. I love the way people inspire me. I love who I am when I am with people. I love watching the way people socialize among themselves. People, for better or worse, are the most exciting beings in this universe, and the only life forms who know what it’s like to be a human, alive, and aware like me.

But there is something that happens when humans get together. We use each other up. We don’t mean to, but we can’t help it. We swap out what is inside of us for what is inside of others, trading emotions, and ideas. We give away what we want to get rid of and take what we wish we had. Some people are energized by this. Others, like me, are drained.

People wear down my defenses. They get in under my skin and into my head. Their emotions get mixed up with my emotions, and their actions pull me along to places I’m never sure I want to go. After a while begin to panic. I feel I have to get away or else I’ll be lost. I feel convinced they’ll take everything in me and—knowing from past experience—that what they give back I won’t have the first clue what to do with.

I want to be alone to find myself again.

Still, I love them, and I keep going back.

Sigh.

***

I’m doing something new here. In addition to my regular blog post, I’m adding these journal entries. The goal is to post one every day hence the title of each will be the current day number out of 365. I was inspired to try this by Thord D. Hedengren.

Oh, and, as always, thank you for reading. If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for inspiring reads + existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering. Or help support what I do by sharing a virtual cup of coffee.

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Shhhhhh….

Good morning everyone. It’s a rainy Monday here and while I am enjoying a break from the sweltering heat I can’t help wishing I was still in bed, warm, and cozy, and sleeping. But the bills need paying and this girl needs retail therapy so off to work I must go, and I am guessing off to work you must go to. I’m sorry.

This week, to help me get through, I am going to find, and enjoy, some silence.

“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

I am not usually a fan of silence. I’m one of those people who gets uncomfortable without some kind of background noise or chatter. I don’t know why I’m like that, I guess I need something to drown out the loud thoughts in my head.

I want to learn to enjoy the quiet though. It’s part of my whole Zen thing, I want to learn to hear myself before other people and I want to learn to be okay with the other me inside my head. The one who thinks the thoughts that seem to come from nowhere.

This week I also want to unburden myself from the obligation of social interactions. I don’t know why but I’ve been a bit grouch lately and I’ve had a bad habit of taking it out on my friends and coworkers. I snap and them and I suck the fun out of all of their jokes.

I sound like a bitch but I really don’t mean to be like this. It isn’t them at all, it’s me. Usually I enjoy my time with them but now I need to take some time for myself. I need some silent time to feel however I want and not have to hide anything. Maybe afterwards I can come back and be my usual happy self again.

If you feel like me, maybe a little tired and emotionally drained, then maybe you need a little silence too. And if you, like me, find the silence to be a little unnerving, don’t, because you should enjoy the company of yourself just as much, if not more, than the company of others.

I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. A man thinking or working is always alone, let him be where he will.

― Henry David Thoreau