I Am Introvert, Hear Me —

Caveman with an Empty Thought Cloud

So I tend to be a deep thinker, which can be good unless there’s been a recent bush party, and my brain’s bottom is lined with beer bottles and objects that should be touched only while double-gloved. That’s a long way of saying, pity my family unless I’ve had time to myself to process “stuff”.  I lose touch with all the laughter and gratitude and many personal attributes that make me such a catch as mother and spouse. 

I dwell.

The worst thing about being this way is I forget the simplicity and elegance of the solution.*

Fortunately, this weekend I was on the ball. I looked the ToolMaster straight in the eye and said, “Tool, I need a few days away, ” to which his response was a casual, “Sure.”

Meanwhile, his hands trembled with eagerness as he slipped me a roll of cash and the kids slipped upstairs to pack my duffel bag. 

I kid, people! Plastic is way easier to use as a method of payment. Also, the kids wore shoes. For a while there, as they ran across the hardwood floor, I thought I’d stumbled into a clogging convention.

What did I with my time away, you ask? Did I treat myself to a movie and special dinner? Drive to my beloved Jasper? Meet a secret lover for a romp? Nope, the truth is far more sordid and…true.

I wrote in coffee shops.

And here’s the ironic part of this post:  they were the exact same ones I frequent when I’m escaping the house to write. (Except on those occasions, they become the coffee shops in which I think about writing, read about writing, but don’t write; whereas, this weekend I got a crapload of work done.)

Do you follow me? Same work, same environment, but because I went there by choice and had a solitary place to retreat to, it became a completely different experience.

See, I think time away for an introvert is just like the rests in music. You can be humming along, tapping your toes, quite into the piece; then some genius of a composer inserts a blank space. It’s not much. In fact, technically it’s nothing. But it allows you to exhale.

After, when the orchestra begins anew, you come to the piece fresh. 

Anyway, enough about me and my introverty self. Are you anything like me? 😉 Do your batteries recharge in the spaces of life? Or do you thrive in the midst of a crowd?

*Men aren’t the only creatures who need their cave time, y’know. Unless I’m secretly transgendered and haven’t acknowledged it to myself; in which case I have bigger issues than I— Smilie by GreenSmilies.com Doh! There I go again.

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16 thoughts on “I Am Introvert, Hear Me —

  1. YES. Thankfully, being unemployed means I have whole days to sit in my apartment cave by myself, and then I relish time to go out and see other humans. But if I have a busy weekend, come Monday I am thankfully shutting myself away.

    And having been in an orchestra for years, the rests aren’t nothing. You still have to pay attention and keep your counting or you’ll miss your entrance!! 🙂

  2. I have to agree with Jess that the rests in a piece of music are too brief. It gives you just enough time to pause and look ahead for the next note that comes along. I need more “rest” if you know what I mean. LOL

    I don’t get a lot of “Me” time these days but when I do I also resort to a little cave time as well. I crave it! When all three kids make it to their father’s for a weekend (it’s rare) I start planning my seclusion. I don’t plan wild parties, or hot dates (although I wouldn’t be against the idea) or all nighters inventing the newest dinking game.

    Instead, I browse my to-be-read pile and then plan a trip to the bookstore. I close my shades and lock my doors and make sure I have enough Diet Coke, popcorn and wine to make it through the weekend and pull out my latest writing project. I love this time and by the time the kids get home their “cave mom” is rejuvenated and ready to get back out there…..I unlock the doors and go outside. 😀

  3. Usually, in dreary March, I fantasize about escaping to an oceanside beach cottage–not tropical, I don’t like it that hot–but somewhere away from the world.

    But this year I keep having flashes of escaping to a castle, with grand staircases and hidden nooks and a library with books up to the ceiling…and pretty much no one else around, except for the invisible staff who supply meals and disappear when I go into the kitchen to make non-calorie brownies. (Fantasy, right?) Oh, and there’s a really fast wireless Internet connection.

    So, yes, getting away from people helps me recharge. Since castles are rare in the Midwest, I head to the library. And there’s my daily walk, which I’m stretching to 70 minutes now. Incredibly valuable time.

    On the other hand, I’ve been incredibly productive at the drop-in writing sessions a local studio offers–spending a couple hours with a handful of other writers working away, too. Introverts loving company? It can happen!

  4. Jess, point taken! I was referring to what it’s like as a listener who can take a break during a rest, though.

    Ooh, Jody, we could probably hang out in the same house on our cave weekends, we have such similar ideas of relaxation.

    MJ, I love the castle idea! Hee. As for your workshop, that sounds really neat. The only comparable thing we have here, that I know of, are NaNo write-ins.

  5. Absolutely. This is introversion in the Jungian (and Meyers-Briggsian) sense if I have that right — introverts need alone time to recharge and often find being around people to be draining.

    I need both alone time and people time but definitely fall on the introversion side of things.

  6. Otherlisa, do you fatigue with shopping too? I think it was Myers-Briggs where I read that’s another trait of the introvert.

    Kirsten, thank you for the kind words. I seem to be into metaphors a great deal lately. 🙂

  7. Hope, I hadn’t realized how much of an introvert I was until now….LOL I absolutely cannot stand going to the mall!!! If I must go I always have a plan, I know what I’m there to buy and I try to get in and out as quickly as humanly possible. I always get the comment (mostly from men who prefer girlie-girls) “You are not a normal woman.” Good thing for me I think being “normal” is overrated. 😀

  8. Love this post! Oh yes, am definitely an introvert. Even just having to mix all day with people at work leaves me exhausted. I do like occasionally hanging out with people, but can only take so much before I start losing it. 😉

    I like the music example. I tend to think of people/social situations as spicy salsa – a little goes a long way and can be wonderful every now and then. But I don’t want it every day.

  9. Ahhh, another meeting of “Introverts Anonymous”. I feel right at home!

    Last summer I was staying with some friends, and it was too noisy/chaotic to try to write at their house. So I would go to the local coffee shop — and even though it was noisy/chaotic and had music playing, it worked, I think because I didn’t know those people, so I couldn’t get sucked into their situations.

    I was glad to discover the Meyers-Briggs definition of introvert — i.e., needing alone time to recharge the energy cells, as opposed to extroverts who ARE recharged by being around people. I used to have a keychain for work that said, “Do I LOOK like a freakin’ people person?” LOL I guess that’s the Introvert’s official motto, right?

  10. Jody, since I’ve never had the occasion to be called “normal”, I wouldn’t know about the overrated part. Hee. You actually don’t come across as an introvert. You fake it well, dahlink.

    Tracey, hee, I like the spicy salsa analogy. 🙂

    Donna, yes, it’s a Introvert Convention. 😉 And we sell those keychains at the door, along with the book to record contact information, lol.


  11. Oh, Jess, now I have to remember what I am…*digs through file drawer*…Here it is! INTP. Married to an ENTJ. Which explains why we have a business together, but have separate clients and separate work spaces.

    Thanks for hosting the bash, Jan!

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