Introvert: 40/365

I am an introvert.

I don’t mean that in an extreme way: introvert vs. extrovert. I believe there exists a broad spectrum. At one end, introvert walking happily alone in the woods with her thoughts; at the other end, extrovert chatting gregariously amongst a large group of acquaintances at the third scheduled event of the day. There is a vastness between the two, and while I think we generally lean toward one end, our energy for people or desire for solitude fluctuates depending on mood, personality, social setting, geography, and where we are in our lives.

I’m an introvert who requires pockets of solitude and feels anxious when the calendar fills up. I love being with my friends. If you were to see me with a group of close friends, you’d find me talking and laughing, and might even mistake me for an extrovert. Being with my closest friends energizes me. Big parties, even events where I will know most of the guests, exhaust me, both the anticipation and the experience of the event.

Alcohol as social lubricant, I get that.

I’m terrible at small talk. I love conversation.

I prefer a peaceful walk on the beach to a walk through town.

I am less introverted during the summer.

I loved throwing parties in my twenties. Now I find it overwhelming. Except for small dinner parties and outdoor barbecues – just the thought makes me long for summer.

I am much less introverted at this stage of motherhood than during those first days, weeks, months.

I love small writing workshops and tend to warm up quickly, but I dread reading my work aloud.

I drown at Christmas time. This year I put together a Christmas folder with lists and timelines, a strategy to help with the overwhelm – or at least keep me organized.

I have finally gotten the knack for talking to other moms at the playground with ease.

In a culture that prizes extroversion, I often feel that my introverted nature means I do not fit very well into this world.

I was almost an extrovert when I lived in New York City.

I was an introvert when I lived in the Berkshires.

I was an extrovert when I lived in Santa Fe.

Upon meeting for the first time, I will let you reveal who you are before I share pieces of myself.

A day of solitude is bliss. A long stretch of solitude feels lonely. 

I can feel a person’s energy like a hot stove or cool water, an oppressive wind or warm sunshine. Bad energy can bring me down. But when it’s good, it’s the most potent elixir.