I’ve written twice before (#2 and #16) about being what I call a social introvert. I am definitely more on the introvert side of the scale, I need alone time and I get tired when I’m out and about with people too much, but I also have a lot of acquaintances and friends and a significant social life. It’s a hard balance to strike sometimes.
When I wrote #2 in May, I was facing significant upcoming changes in my life of the scope that might make my social life different from the one I knew. Looking back a few months later, there definitely have been some changes. In May, relocating geographically was a possibility, but since this did not happen, the changes have not been as drastic as I thought they might be. But there have been changes that have left me with less time to spend socializing. By now, though, I am settled into enough of a routine that I have been able to start being a little more social again.
I recently had a significant amount of time off work; this was a result of working at a school with a nontraditional calendar, not from being sick or playing hooky. In the days leading up to this, I kept thinking that my time off would be my time to be social again. I could go hang out with people, I could have people over, I could do adventurous things that I am too stressed to do during school. But that didn’t really happen. It happened a little bit: I went dancing a few more times than usual, I went to a concert, I hung out with a few friends, and I attended an event for a new hobby that might become a bigger part of my life pretty soon. But I expected I would be doing a lot more socially. Instead, I spent a lot of time doing housework, reading, running, and riding my bike. You know, introvert things, to do alone.
I’ve often felt like any opportunity to socialize is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and if I can’t or don’t participate for whatever reason, I feel like I’ve missed out on something I’ll never get back. I think part of that mentality comes from my younger days when I had no social life, and such opportunities were so rare. And to some extent, I still believe that… every day is full of opportunity, and life will never be the same once the day is gone. However, it isn’t humanly possible for me to do everything. There isn’t enough of me to go around. And there is nothing wrong with choosing to spend my time off doing a lot of introverted alone things instead of social activities. I enjoyed being alone, and I really shouldn’t feel that way. There have been times before when I’ve felt a need to apologize to my friends for wanting and/or needing to be less social for a while, and for the most part my friends are completely understanding. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to be invited and included; I just might not be able to accept all those invitations. I appreciate all of you who accept this about me. And I will see you soon.