The Extroverted Introvert

IMG_2801Growing up, I was always the extrovert, while my sister was the shy one. I loved people, social events, and generally dominating the room. I was bossy, full of ideas, and determined to ensure that everyone was on my wavelength. I made friends easily, and despite my social dominance, people tended to like me.

After a confidence-blowing high school experience (and thus a foray into introversion), I resumed my outgoing ways in college and beyond. I was so busy. I kept up with school, jobs, extracurriculars, family responsibilities, and still had time to party like a rockstar. I was hardly ever alone, and enjoyed the company of anywhere between 1 and 3 roommates.

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But these days, I feel a bit like a hermit. Once I’m out, I have a good time and I enjoy the company I’m with, but I have a hard time motivating myself to get out in the first place. And really the only reason I go out at all is because I have serious FOMO (that means “fear of missing out,” for those of us getting old.) While I used to be fairly energized by the presence of people, I increasingly prefer the company of my cats… even though I am married and not quite 40 years old just yet 🙂

IMG_2806Seriously, I actually miss my furballs when I’m out or away. I fret about them being lonely. I wonder what they are up to (sleeping, Chuck always says.)

It’s still fun to be around people for a bit, but it can also be exhausting. I like to show up, enjoy, then come back home. I like unwinding in my own space. Sleeping in my own bed. Eating my own snacks. Wearing my big glasses (and not wearing a bra!)

IMG_0075I think these things are okay, so long as I don’t allow myself to become completely socially lazy. This weekend, Chuck was away and I had every opportunity to hang around and not see a soul… and that’s almost what I did. But I socialized three times! I shoved aside quiet time – blogging time and job application time and yoga time and kitty time – to nurture some budding friendships. I even went to the local Women’s March, where we stumbled across this fitting demonstrator:

IMG_4789In all seriousness – I am not a true introvert. More like an extroverted introvert. I still enjoy socializing, but in smaller doses, and I’m happier and more content with my own company – rather than pining about loneliness.

In Okinawa, I was so anxious to make friends, and quickly. Here in Cali, I’m taking it slow (and making some great progress!) But it’s amazing how priorities (and personalities?) change, isn’t it?!