Thursday, March 08, 2012

Wherever you go...

There you are.  For years I wanted to go anywhere but where I was, whether it was the suburb of my youth or the tiny town of my married life where I felt like some oddball loner.  Now that I'm actually living in a place that I like near friends and family with whom my social life is rewarding, I've found that cliche' really is true.

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.

7 Comments:

Blogger Lisa :-] said...

One of the problems I had with owning the restaurant was I was constantly OD'd on people. I was forced to be around them all the time, and my alone time consisted of falling into bed exhausted. Now, my life is leaning the other way--toward aloneness being the "default", as you put it so well. THAT doesn't feel right, either. Really wishing I could find the happy medium, here...

March 08, 2012 9:33 AM  
Blogger Nelle said...

I am so happy for you. It seems like you are thriving in your new home and town environment.
I have always been the extrovert. Now that I am too sick to work I spent a lot of time home alone. I get lonely for my coworkers and I miss all the excitment an office has. Since most of my neighbors and friends work I need something to fill that time. I read and blog but I still miss the companionship.

March 08, 2012 10:40 AM  
Anonymous Terri Hayes Rogers said...

Your cozy new home sounds like a wonderful place to recharge!

March 08, 2012 7:27 PM  
Blogger Virginia said...

Congratulations on making the moves you have to enrich your life. You deserve this. And its a good thing to embrace your introverted part - that simply is the part of you that "recharges your batteries" with quiet time. I strongly value my quiet time.

Virginia

March 11, 2012 8:16 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Hi, I am an introvert as well. I love people but need my time alone to recharge and regroup. I have recently added this book to books I'd like to read and think you'd like it as well: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.
Stacy

March 22, 2012 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Coupon Trunk said...

Sounds like we have a lot in common. When I first moved out on my own I had no roommates, and at first I reveled in having so much time to myself. But after a while I felt like I was going crazy.

April 29, 2012 8:36 PM  
Anonymous Home Tuition said...

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July 09, 2012 10:23 AM  

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