i have always been comfortable alone. i have never had a big circle of friends, i have never been one to go out and seek companionship. but for a long time i felt like i was missing out. the parties, the popularity, always busy, always on the go, friends here, friends there, friends everywhere. i have been doing work on being better and living better and thought dipping my toes into the exciting life of hustle and bustle was just what i needed. i made new friends, i went out often, i socialized and put myself out there. it was hard work! making and keeping connections, always being available to help said friends, planning, going, doing. well it wasn’t what i needed and i actually dreaded going out and talking to people, i forced myself to be chatty and cheery. all that activity drained every bit of energy out of me…….every. last. drop.
i have found for me that i am not fulfilled being that person, the one who is socially active, who has to be on the go all the time, and being the center (or just off center) of attention. i actually hate being in a crowd, even a group. i don’t connect with people when there are bunches around. i prefer to connect on a more personal level. i am not interested in the latest fashion or show on TV, i don’t want to talk about the weather (ok i may talk about weather in a deeper sense but not ‘how do you like all this rain?’ type of chit chat).
i have found that i want deeper conversations, i want a smaller group of friends who will explore thoughts and ideas without being offended and that they too are interested in the things being said. i want a handful for friends who truly listen, not just wait for a turn to speak. it is so so hard to find these days, especially in real life. so many so busy with the mundane, the superficial. i do have a couple of friends i love spending time with, even if it is just occasionally. i even have friends online that i really enjoy discussions with, who i have a deeper friendship, ones that actually help fill my cup instead of drain it.
i recently read the book Quiet by Susan Cain and it really struck a cord with me. it helped explain so much about how i interact with the world and the discrepancies i saw between me and those outgoing, fun folk everyone flocked to. i found it sad that all my life i have grown up thinking that there was something wrong with being quiet, shy, intellectual (these are not generally used as positive terms. our culture sees social, talking, chatty, outgoing people as the ideal and that we all must find that person in us in order to be successful in any aspect of our lives).
well, i am embracing my quiet, shy, intellectual side. i don’t want to be the center of attention, i don’t want a huge group of friends, i don’t want to force chit-chat, or do things to get out there and meet people. i am so happy to have a small circle of friends in which i have cultivated a deep friendship with, i am happy to stay home and chat online with a far flung friend for hours about topics important to us both, and i am happy to be by myself. i am no longer going to try and fit in, or be friends with everyone i meet. i will continue to show gratitude for all that i am and have, i will be compassionate and kind to every person i meet, and i will continue to follow my heart, even when i am saying no to all the things that do not bring me joy. although society says that i should fit into this particular box, i just do not and i can not make myself.