Introverts, in contrast, may have strong social skills and enjoy parties and business meetings, but after a while wish they were home in their pajamas. They prefer to devote their social energies to close friends, colleagues, and family. They listen more than they talk, think before they speak, and often feel as if they express themselves better in writing than in conversation. They tend to dislike conflict. Many have a horror of small talk, but enjoy deep discussions. ~Susan Cain in Quiet
Many of you, who like me, are starting college this week.
Confession: I hate the first two weeks of the semester. I mean that. Hate. Them. My anxiety always gets the best of me and all I can focus on is the overwhelming amount of work to get done by December in order to keep my GPA in tact and hold on to some semblance of my sanity at the same time. (In one of my classes this morning I opened the syllabus and thought "Oh Dear Lord..." And I was sincerely praying that mind you!) Usually the sanity part looses, which is why I'm grateful for Christmas break.
So this is Jr. year.
I've reached the half-way mark... and rather quickly in my opinion. That's when you know you've joined the terrible world of adults... time goes by faster than it did when you were 10. The other day I was sorta thinking about what important things I've learned since college began. There's a lot. None of which I gained from the classroom either. I don't have time to get into all of them now, but one of the important things I've learned about myself is that I'm an introvert. (My mother calls me a turtle since I carry a "mental tortoise shell" with me wherever I go.)
You'd think I would have known that sooner, but nope, I didn't. Because like so many I thought introverts were recluses. I am not a recluse. I like being around people... but I don't necessarily get my energy from being around them. Sorta... some people I'm around I get loads of energy from... but that's only a handful. For the most part being around people (even more so huge crowds of them) drains me. And that's perfectly alright. I expect it. The only problem is when I don't get that refill of energy and am running on low. And you'll know when I'm running on low because I'm one of the following...
- A Basket case
- Staring at the time every few seconds... counting down the time until I can high-tail out of a place and go home.
- Have an uncontrollable need to write down every single little detail on my to-do list. Normally things I wouldn't put on there... like getting out of bed (check), walking to the kitchen to pour a cup of coffee (check), put toothpaste on toothbrush (check)... and so on.
- Turn into a basket case if I just so happen to misplace my to-do list.
- I overload some weeks, and then others I'm too free. Some weeks I think I'm on the brink of a mental breakdown, and then others I'm bored out of my mind and lazy. I need to find a good balance or rhythm of work, play, and rest (i.e. time management that's productive but not to the point where I wish I could get sick so I could have a rain check)
- I need to learn what it means to rest or sabbath well.
- I want to re-evaluate how I use social media and how much time I'm spending online because I think it's been too much. I want to get back to some of my old hobbies... that don't involve screens and remote controls.
- I want more coffee meet-ups, outings, and long conversations face-to-face or via phone calls. I don't want to be the e-mail/text/message/chat friend who gives attention in 140 characters or less for my many (irrelevant) excuses. It's just lame after a while.
- I need to figure out how being an introvert plays into all of this since I seem to need more "down" or alone time than my extrovert friends.
And sometimes this quote summarizes my life way too well...
I am something of a recluse by nature. I am that cordless screwdriver that has to charge for twenty hours to earn ten minutes use. I need that much downtime. ~Donald Miller