I’m sinking deeper into myself. My introvert has finally caught up with my ‘extrovert’.
10 years ago, if I wrote that sentence above, my friends would have laughed. I would have laughed. My world then was full of friends, laughter, events, parties, discussions, frenzy and possibility. I was, by all accounts, an extrovert, what one would describe as “outgoing”, “loud”, and “brash”.
I wasn’t really. It was a mask I put on because it felt like the right thing to do. I was in an exciting and fast-paced world of public relations and marketing, where my days were filled with people and talking and allthethings. I was in the thick of the action, and I was in my 20’s. I wanted to soak it all in. I wanted to be liked and loved and thought about.
The mask was so familiar, I nearly thought it was a part of me. Until I met my husband-to-be, who, on the surface, was my complete opposite.
Turns out, we are more alike than we are not.
My inward turning was as natural as breathing. As the years went by and I thrived in my new role as girlfriend, fiancee, then wife, I realized that my inner introvert had emerged. The quiet me, finally breaking to the surface for air.
Motherhood completed the circle. In giving so much of myself (some days, all of me), I found comfort in solitude, in writing, talking less, and listening more.
Lately however, I find my introvert self burrowing a deeper hole, so much so that I fear I am falling into an unfamiliar abyss of something dark. A cloud threatening to storm my way.
I’ve been unable to pinpoint any particular reason for this. My life is good. I have a loving husband who understands me, who gets my need for aloneness and occasional quiet. I have two beautiful children, who bring me much joy. We live a comfortable life, with an abundant future ahead. I have my blog, my writing, my business – all of which are going well.
And yet. Some days, I feel numb. I feel heavy. I feel joyless. I feel like crap for feeling like crap. I feel worse than crap for feeling ungrateful for the wonderful lot that is my life. So I turn inward. I sink deeper into myself and my thoughts.
In my former extrovert days, I could have easily picked up the phone and called someone, just to talk. Over the past few years however, many, if not all of my close friends have moved oceans away. We are lucky to have exchanged emails more than a couple of times a year.
I miss my friends. I even miss the old extrovert a little.
I don’t know how to get back to the comfortable level of introversion I was at. I’m afraid that if I turn inward even more, I’ll forever lose myself.
Or, I should just take Susan Cain’s advice in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (which I’m reading):
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?