I am an extreme introvert. And I am in a long distance relationship. This means that both by choice and circumstance, I am alone often and need to be alone often. My most common phrase as a child was "I just want to be alone." Sometimes it feels really hard being a 20 something. As a 20 something, I feel like I have to constantly seize every moment, every experience and "live life to the fullest". I feel like I need to live up to the social norm that 20 somethings are fun, lively, busy, energetic and always up for adventure. I feel constant pressure to always be active in everyone elses' lives. And I always feel burdened by this social expectation that, as a 20 something, I am supposed to want to participate in everything, I am supposed to want to hangout with my friends every second, I am supposed to want to be eager to go go go. I do love adventure, I do love new experiences. But I don't feel completely fulfilled when I am seeking to always be active with other people. Most of the time, I don't get energy from others. I get energy from being alone, being quiet and contemplative. I get energy from doing things on my own, by myself or maybe with one other person.
Most of my girlfriends are extroverts. And I constantly feel like I am letting them down. I feel like they must think that I don't care about them enough to want to hangout really often. I constantly feel torn with myself, wishing that I was more eager to participate in everyone elses' lives, but knowing that it completely drains me. I feel bad seeing my girls always excited to go out, to go to bars and parties, to hangout late into the night together, when most of the time, those ideas exhaust me. I feel left out so often, not because of who they are, but solely because of me and my personality type. I know I can't fully enjoy most buzzing situations that extroverts enjoy. And I know that some extroverts just don't understand why I would rather spend my time alone than out with friends.
I presume that friends must think I don't care about them enough. I assume that people look down on me or pity me for not being super excited to go out and hangout with people all the time. When I feel really quiet in a crowd, it is not because I feel shy. I just don't need to or feel inspired to chat away when other people are really engaged in each other. I see the looks, and I know what people are thinking when they see a quiet girl lost in her own world. But I don't need pity. And I am in no way trying to block anyone out. And I don't feel bad if I am not talking or am not the center of attention. This is just the introverted person that I am and I can only hope that some people can understand we are not all the same.
I know that some people presume that I am not fully living my life when they invite me out and, most often, I don't want to go. It is not because I don't want to invest in them or have a new experience, I just need so much time to contemplate and process each new thing that I can't constantly be engaging in the buzzing world outside. Some would call me overly analytical and say it is a bad thing. But why is it bad when my life feels complete and so very peaceful and full when I have a lot of time alone? I am happy in my quiet. I feel fulfilled when I have a good amount of time alone, away from others. I do love adventure and change and new experiences so very much. But I don't need it all the time. I can find adventure and new fulfilling experiences within the contemplative world of my imagination just as much as the active physical world around me. And when I participate in an event going on around me, the best way for me to take it all in is for me to be quiet and to observe. I am not anti-social. Who I am is not a negative thing. This is me. And I am an introvert.
There is so much joy to be found within the world of the self. It isn't selfish. It is just a constant and beautiful exploration of one's interior universe. I made the above digital art today to remind myself not to be mad at myself for finding goodness and beauty in being alone. I need to not scold myself for needing time alone. Everyone needs time alone, just some more than others. I encourage you today to take some time to yourself, be alone, and let yourself contemplate why the word alone is actually not bad. Alone doesn't mean lonely. It doesn't have to mean lonely. Just change the n to a v and it is actually quiet Lovely. Today, let yourself think about why and how your alone time is a lovely and beautiful thing. Feel free to download my digital art and put it somewhere special to remind you that being alone isn't a bad thing. It is just as fulfilling as the chaotic world buzzing all around you. Being alone in a crowd isn't sad. It simply means that you get to fully and quietly contemplate all that you are taking in around you. You are your own calm in the middle of a storm. That, to me, is beautiful and entirely fulfilling.
If you repost my image, please just post a link back my way. It is greatly appreciated.
And in my quiet contemplative way, I am very much appreciative of you too :)
Have a peaceful and lovely day my friends.