Wherever you go...
That used to scare me. I've always wanted to travel. Behind the wheel of a car with road spinning out behind me is one of my favorite places. When you're in a new place where nobody knows you, you can be anybody you want to be. At least, that's the hope. The fear is that you'll still be the loser of your worst nightmares, and that everything you dislike about your life in the place you don't like is simply what you have earned and deserved. I feel really blessed. That part didn't come true.
I'm learning though just how much of an introvert I am, and these lessons are helping me to both appreciate myself more and take better care of myself. The other night, my daughter came up, and we were talking about all the faces we wear in our lives. She expressed it so well, and I admire her for realizing this at 21. I learned it much later in life, but I did learn it, and that's what matters.
With my sister, I'm funny, full of laughter, helpful, listening and occasionally providing her with an insight or idea her very different mind set would never have provided. With my oldest friend, I'm quieter but a little wittier. With her, I can indulge tastes my family doesn't share. At work, where I'm the only woman in the office, I'm organized, a good listener, open but humble with my suggestions and very receptive to being taught new things. I'm appreciated and respected for my work and my intelligence. Working in a drama free environment is wonderful and a whole other story. These are just some of the faces I'm wearing now. They're all genuinely me.
What I've found out from having a better social and work life though is that loving being with people, even though it's enriching my life and nurturing a long neglected part of my spirit, still takes energy. There are times when I love what I'm doing and who I'm with, and I still find myself emotionally exhausted. I have to return to my nest and spend time with myself. I could veg out on the couch. I could sit on my patio, listen to the bird song, drink tea, smoke and read. I could sit down with my journal and try to regain my writing chops. I could work my tail off cleaning and organizing or make my laughable attempts at learning yoga. In short, I could use my physical energy or rest. It doesn't matter, as long as I'm alone, and I let myself recharge.
Being alone is a good thing as long as it's not my only choice. It was only when solitude was the system default setting for my life that I was lonely. Having choice is empowering. It helps you accept and embrace who you are. My introversion has always felt a bit like a weakness. It was one of those things I'd hoped I could leave behind all those times I wished I could hit the road and start anew. My introversion came with me to Franklin, and I'm glad it did. I want to be who I am wherever I am. It took being comfortable in a place that feels more like home than anywhere I've ever lived to learn that.