Me: an outgoing introvert who loves people, but pencils into her calendar more evenings spent alone than conversing with fellow humans. Tuesday plans? Dinner with me. Wednesday? The same, but with an odd cockroach sighting. Thursday? Me again. Friday? Oh no, out with friends. *Mentally prepares.*
I haven’t always been this way. Way back when, the days of play-dates were truly exhilarating. Sleepovers at friends’ places were a true cultural experience: foreign people, foreign food (fairy bread!), foreign games, foreign pets. Ah, and then was the time when Kayla’s mum found out I’d lost their pet hamster under the house; I was never invited back. Sleepovers aren’t the same anymore. You wake up in someone’s weird smelling room with their uncomfortable pillows, apathetically conversing in the morning-after small talk until you’re sober enough to drive your hungover ass home. Or at least, that’s how it is for me.
It’s happened many a time where I’ll try and con myself into going out. I’ll get ready hours before I need to so my inner voice would subsequently whisper, ‘You don’t want all this effort to be for nothing, do you?’ But no one likes wearing jeans for longer than required. I’ll slip into my pyjama pants just until it’s time to go. Before you know it, I’m curled up on my bean bag with a warm bowl of cereal and movies at the ready. Bliss. I’m quite flaky like that. Too often I’d rather stay at home in my comfort zone, as shameful as that is to acknowledge.
If it’s not the act of going out itself that I’m reluctant to do, it’s the dreaded fear of awkward silences. Often I’ll avoid leaving my cocoon if I think there’s even chance of winding up in that situation. I’m not good at talking about myself when I don’t know someone well, hence in the early stages of a relationship I rely heavily on listening. But on the other hand, sit me down with Mum and I could babble for hours on end about myself, feeling guilty afterwards for chewing her ear off. I once went out with a guy I really liked and it was possibly the most silent day I’ve ever lived. I do more talking to myself at home than I did with him. Our day was productive nonetheless – he wrote his number on a napkin and left it on the windscreen wipers of a random beach babe’s car. Potential boyfriend material ✓
I’m often silent when out with friends, but that doesn’t mean I’m not present. I generally have a lot to say but feel more comfortable in my own thoughts. I have this subconscious tick that puts me on edge whenever in the spotlight. I’ll feel a need to impress people or be accepted, analysing my persona while I talk and how others appear to perceive me. I feel most comfortable around extroverts. They chin wag, I listen. Whenever somebody bails on a plan, I give a little sigh of relief for time to myself. If I were to be friends with someone like me, we’d rarely get our sh*t together – ‘See you in a year?’
The best part about being on my lonesome? Observing. Working next to a fish’n’chip shop where I rest my bottom for 3-4 hours a day makes people-watching a regular pastime. I’ve learned that old people like to stare and the words ‘do not feed the birds’ stapled around the place are seemingly invisible. That is, until, food is left unattended and the grand ol’ bin chickens come to feast. I’m always left feeling more productive when I’ve spent a day pondering in my own thoughts. That said, the happiest days are always those spent with good folk. ♦