On alone time

Through my 20’s I loved to be around people. I craved interaction and hated to be alone. However, my 30’s brought with it a tremendous shift. I started to crave alone time. I can’t quite pinpoint when this happened. However, I remember the moment I recognized it. I was living in Boise and was invited to go to a dinner party with some colleagues afterwards. Their invitation brought with it a feeling of dread. I ended up declining the invitation and spent a glorious night watching the West Wing and eating Chinese take out. I hypothesize the shift of wanting alone was due to a better sense of self and appreciation of my own company.

As I am now in the last year of my 30’s, I find that I am what would be considered an ambivert. I am both an extravert and an introvert. I can definitely turn on my extroverted side, be social and interact (I do this daily as a professor and a therapist). As an extrovert, when I’m “on” I’m on. I can be the most charming, funny chatty person in the world. However, there comes a point when I need to recharge my batteries and I need to isolate for a bit (the introvert). If I had to scale it, I would say that I am 65% extraverted and 35% introverted. Although less pronounced in my personality, when the introvert side needs nurturing, it is hyper introversion wanting almost zero human contact.

I am lucky that my husband is introverted and we can set for hours without saying a word while he works on his computer stuff and I knit. He is always up for a good conversation, but allows it to happen naturally. I have a lot of acquaintances, but only a few friends. I find that being more selective of who I spend time with helps me to maximize both my introvert and extravert sides.

I am still working on the “Easy goes it” shawl. It should be finished next week.


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