Ambiverting

I often find myself wondering if I’m too independent. Too opinionated. Too… much. Not enough like everyone else. I think all those things go together. I find myself debating with my own inner dialogue, but sometimes with those I care about as well. When other people weigh in, it usually goes along the lines of them telling me I have stronger opinions on somethings that I probably shouldn’t even really care about, but I should still just go with it. You be you kind of thing. Internally, it depends on the day.

There’s moments I truly think I have split personalities. Not in the legit I have a medical problem, just depending on the day. There’s the ‘I want to be social and go hang out with everyone I know and I can’t sit still and just want to do all the things’ days and then there’s the ‘I don’t want anything to do with people and binge watching Netflix or reading a book in my hammock for 8 hours sounds like the highlight of life and even answering a text seems too social for me’ kind of days. So on my more introverted days, I tend to think maybe I need to conform to what most of society deems “normal.” But on extroverted days… HA! Society can go… well, this is a family friendly blog. So choose your own adventure to fill in that blank.

It’s a conundrum, nevertheless. It’s not easy to be an extrovert AND an introvert. It’s especially difficult when you think you’re feeling extroverted and you meet up with humans and BAM! You really just want to be by yourself. I know I’m not the only one that struggles with this! So do you frantically look for excuses to leave? What if they came to your house?! Now you’re stuck! The horrors. This is a real thing, people. Nightmarish.

Anyway. This timeshare has been calling me for the past 2 weeks and never leaves a message. And it’s not that I don’t want to talk to them – talking usually results in some decent perks – I just am never around my phone when they call. But on the rare occasions I am, I might be in that introverted, dealing with humans is way too overwhelming mode, even via phone calls. In case you were wondering, I finally touched based with them and have a new vacation to plan in the next year or so! Vacation planning is difficult for me, though. My schedule with work is in such a constant flux that it’s difficult to plan more than a few weeks in advance for many things. Which can be great for last minute deals. But flights pretty much never have such discounts and availability can become an issue too. And my people who have more normal scheduled jobs find it difficult to get time off with that short of a notice.

In most instances, that just means I’ll go by myself. Adventuring alone is a pretty sweet gig. I do what I want, only what I want, and don’t have to worry about someone else not getting their way. It sounds pretty selfish and it is. But it’s awesome in it’s own right to have that freedom to literally seize the day I any which way you see fit. Sharing those experiences is great too. You get a different perspective and all that goes along with spending quality time with someone else. And this is where I find myself getting in my own head.

Would I rather go through life having that freedom or those shared moments? Am I too independent to truly share my adventures with someone else all the time? I’m not speaking just to romantically inclined relationships, either. Ski trips with my fencing team from high school or dive trips with my college friends fall into this question too (ok, diving is a bad example since I wouldn’t go diving alone, but it conveys the point that platonic relationships count as well). And I don’t know if I have an answer to that yet. So I go back and forth with the pros and cons of such. And maybe it doesn’t need an answer. Trips I’ve ventured on solo or with people have been epic. Would they have been enhanced if I wasn’t by myself or had I gone on my own? Probably in some aspects. It can be lonely dining alone. But it can also be refreshing. First world problems, I’m telling you. The struggle is real!

At any rate, you gotta do what makes you happy! Hakuna Matata!

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The Grid

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with the whole human interaction thing.  I love people – they keep things exciting and fresh and awesome.  But I hate them.  I hate crowds and noise and social norms.  I’m not good at them really.  We’ve already established I’m a nerd.  I don’t think this is a bad thing and I’m not the socially awkward, can’t talk to people at all stereotype you might think of.  But maybe I am.  Most people I meet are shocked that I studied engineering or designed satellites and rocket structure.  So I think that means I’m not socially inept in that aspect.  I think I’m pretty good at picking up on what people are thinking or feeling too.  I can be perceptive.  But I like doing my own thing.  I am an introvert.  But I’m extroverted too.

There is zero fiber of my being that wants to go out on a Saturday night to party.  Crowds.  Noise.  Drunks.  Insanity.  No thank you!  But I still want to be invited!  The struggle is real!  It starts off with new people inviting you and the idea is so repulsive you automatically shun the concept.  Of course, you politely decline.  Sorry, I have other plans (with my bed and Netflix!!!!); maybe next time.  But we all know there will never be a time that this will seem like a good idea.  So you stop getting invited.  Because the well meaning party knows what the answer will be.  But then this extends to daytime activities that don’t necessarily involve drunks (but probably does) or as many people or noise.  Which you might have said yes to.

Let me be clear.  I’m not whining because I wasn’t invited to something.  Internally, lately, though, I’ve been frustrated with myself for not wanting to do what the single (well, honestly, the married ones do it too) people my age do.  And it’s irritating.  Is there something wrong with me?  Absolutely not!  I’m a pretty awesome person.  But there’s still something that doesn’t seem to add up.  Am I missing crucial, life changing events by choosing to spend time with me, myself, and I?  I like to think I’m enjoying my life.  Would I like someone to share it with?  Sometimes.  But in those moments, I also realize I would get annoyed by being around someone too.  I’m OK with being me and by myself.  Solitude doesn’t equate to loneliness.

Last week I ended up having to go on a business trip last minute.  Last minute as in I found out the morning I was leaving that I would be gone for an indefinite period of time.  Sweet! Let’s go.  I don’t have to worry about pets or humans to take care of or miss.  Well, I miss my dogs.  But they don’t live with me.  So there’s that.  But those lack of attachments give me that freedom.  Maybe that seems like I have commitment issues.  Maybe I do.  Maybe my job is what I’ve actually committed to, though.

So I’m trying to be patient with myself.  I’m trying to understand why I can’t decided if I want to be around people or I would rather be by myself and why when I am with people, I simply want to be alone and vice versa.  I’d like to say I’m getting better at this patience thing, but I can’t really confirm this.  At any rate, if you find yourself reaching out to me and I don’t respond, don’t take offense.  It’s not a personal thing, sometimes I just like to go off the grid.  Other days, I want to talk to everyone I’ve ever known.  I can’t be the only one!

Hakuna Matata!