The benefits of dating yourself

Weird title, I know.

By two o’clock today, I had gone to church, worked out, and finished all my weekend homework.  All my friends were busy, and I was left with an entire afternoon with nothing to do.  I’m an introvert, but too much time alone in my room makes me lonely.  It’s like my heart feels heavy and empty and no amount of Netflix can make it better.  Knowing I had hours ahead of me in my own company, I didn’t want to waste the day moping around.

So I took action by taking myself on a date.

It was a wonderful afternoon.  I sang to the radio during the hour drive to and from Alexandria.  I talked to my mom on the phone.  I went to see Cinderella a second time and loved it just as much as the first.  (Be sure to check out my post about it!)  I went out to eat and spent dinner with my favorite John Green novel.  (Which, in case you were wondering, is Paper Towns.)   I meandered through Target, sighing over pretty clothes and household decorations.  I purchased a new purse and the final Hobbit movie.  (Be sure to check out my post about that one too!).

On the drive home, I spent a great deal of time meditating on the nostalgia that comes with the end of a season in life.  With only a handful of weeks left of college, there are so many aspects of life here that I’ve taken for granted.  As I approached Morris, instead of heading to campus, I drove to the overlook just outside of town.  Perched on a rock, I watched the sun set over the tiny town I’ve called home these past few years.  It was such a beautiful, peaceful moment– one that I know I’ll hold in my heart for a long time.

Afternoons like this one remind me that incredible joy can be found in little things.  It felt so good to forget the stresses of college, to drive away, and do things just for the sake of doing them.  I think that it’s important to learn to date yourself.  You can have a lot of fun and learn a great deal in your own company.

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Driving home to Morris in the sunset.

 

From one Introvert to everyone else

A friend recently tagged me in a post on Facebook linking to a Huffington Post article titled “An Open Letter From Introverts to Everyone Else“.  Although parts of the article were a bit blunt for my taste, I found the list extremely accurate.  I definitely encourage you to check out the original, but here is the list with my own comments.

1. Weekdays are Me Days

Unless I have a club meeting (which happens for an hour or so nearly night of the week), you can find me curled up in the apartment wearing my pajamas doing one of the following: pleasure reading, Netflix, pointless Internet browsing, or video games.  Gone are the days of hanging out in the evening just for fun.  If I don’t have somewhere to be, I’m staying in.

2. If you Call me, Have a Reason

This is less of an issue than it used to be.  I used to be afraid of the telephone.  I still loathe calling up strangers, be it to arrange a meeting, tell them they’ve been leaving messages for the wrong number on my phone, or solving technology issues.  Talking on the phone with people I don’t know is awful.  But it’s gotten better.

3. People We Know Better Be There

THIS.  Oh my goodness, THIS.  There are few things worse than making plans to do something with a friend and, the day of, finding out that a bunch of other people that we don’t know well are going to be there.  Unless they’re people I’m super close or comfortable with, I don’t like big groups.  Especially when I don’t know them.  I’m awkward with small talk, so hanging out with people that I can’t be real with is absolutely terrible.

4. We Are Okay Without a Bajilion Friends

Friends are great.  But I don’t like crowds or large groups of people.  I would much rather have a few close friends than many shallow ones.

5. We’re Intense

Yes.  We Introverts spend a LOT of time in our heads.  As a result, when we come out of our own little worlds, we can be a bit much.  There are times when I see people who are bubbly, happy-go-lucky, and constantly surrounded by wonderful looking people and wish I was like that.  And then I realize I’m WAY too serious.  I can be goofy, but generally don’t mess around.  I sometimes have trouble connecting with people because I am a fairly deep, intense person.  I focus and think about my schoolwork more than the average person I know and I have the Hermione Granger-esque habit of talking through essays point-by-point just because I take pleasure in it.

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6. We Don’t Reach Out Well

Look in the middle of the previous paragraph.  See the sentence about having trouble connecting with people?  Yeah.  I’m a senior and have been involved in campus ministry all four years of school.  It’s grown a lot and I now no longer know the majority of the people.  There are times when I feel like I should go up to people, introduce myself, meet them, and reach out… I mean, I’ve done it in the past and it’s been great!  But now?  No.  Too much work.  Too much small talk, too much social interaction.

7. We Like You

Just because I spend a lot of time alone does not mean I don’t like people.  I love people.  I care very deeply about them.  To my extroverted roommate (who might be reading this), it’s not that I don’t love you.  I do.  Very much!  But in the evenings after a busy day, what I need to stay sane is to curl up by myself.  I need to enter my own head and rest, unperturbed by the rest of the world.

So there you go!  My thoughts on the article, and on being an introvert in general.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve had an extremely busy day and need to go have a Me Party…