Why is that the moment I come home from work, socializing, a date etc. that I feel relief? I come in, greet my family (yes, still living with the folks) and change into yoga pants and an over-size college t-shirt. Watch a few episodes of Breaking Bad. Catch up with my siblings. Read. Go to bed.
It’s not like this all makes me happier than when I’m out, actually quite the opposite. When I’m inside, I am consumed with anxiety and a desire to “go out.” That everlasting thought of: Is everyone having fun without me? As of late, this has led to a series of bad dates, lack luster hang outs, and resorting to alcohol when things get awkward. On the other hand, when I’m home, I’m comfortable. I can do “me things”: overuse sarcasm, rant about politics, giggle insistently, blurt out my thoughts with the idea that there are – and never will be – any repercussions, wear my glasses with my hair in a sorry excuse for a bun… you get the idea.
I have had the luxury of meeting people with whom I can do “me things” with. A few romantic relationships and a handful of platonic ones. Lately? I’m not sure. Instead, I feel that as I’m getting ready to head out, I also have to prepare my own mentality. A series of questions as follows:
- Do I even want to get dressed?
- Do I even want to see this person/ these people?
- Wait, what if they don’t really want to see me?
- Is it weird if I show up alone?
- Was I too eager?
- What’s my excuse to leave if things get weird?
And so on. The life of an introvert. Groups freak me out, but I’m also worried I may freak someone out by expressing that I just want to hang out one on one. Too much, too soon. Why is that I live in a world where extroverts are praised and introverts are socially awkward? Why am I so damn self-conscious?
There are a few stereotypes of introverts – that we’re shy, socially inept, want to be alone, and sad. For me (and I speak for myself on this one), I’m the opposite. Pretty outgoing when the timings right, but would just prefer to be with people in smaller groups. Crave and live for conversation, but with people who make me feel safe and respected. Desire to be with someone, but if the company isn’t meaningful to me I’d rather be alone. And my observing quiet nature is mistaken for unhappiness much of the time.
My social life has become exhausting as of late, but I don’t want to be alone. Finding a balance, an in between is tough. I’m no longer cradled with the comfort of college. Instead, trying to ration my time with long lost high school faces and new co-workers. Can I just finish this with a huge UGH????