I'm an extrovert.
I really need time to be around people, I enjoy meeting new faces, hearing life stories, and dancing the night away bustin out crazy moves. (I'm no gifted dancer, so don't make any assumptions that those moves are actually worth anything good.)
I have an introverted side to Hannah that needs love and attention as well. That particular care comes in the form of utilizing healthy alone time. If I don't carve out time to decompress and recharge, I'm a mess. I run away from large groups because of stress, I can't function around others, I slowly deteriorate, and that legendary smile droops until it fades completely. It's truly a disaster.
I'm learning that it's perfectly okay to be somewhat of an introverted-extrovert. It's okay to be slightly overwhelmed in large groups of people; unsure of who to connect with because so many people catch my attention, and I want to invest and go deep and hear about people's lives. I just don't know where to start. So, in a room of new faces, I can actually tend to shy away if there's more than about three or four, and lack initiative and motivation to engage in conversation. Which isn't "unlike" me, it's just a different side of me that comes out less often than the bubbly one. Nonetheless, it exists!
I'm learning that spending three hours by myself in a coffee shop, doing what I love (reading and learning and growing in my faith!) is wonderfully refreshing. My smile creeps back around the corners of my mouth, and I can't help but beam with joy with a cup of (weak) warm, black coffee in hand and journal close by.
I'm learning that doing laundry and chugging vanilla cream soda and stuffing my food hole with cheese puffs while writing an article in my basement until 3am is actually a great way to disconnect from my extroverted self and enjoy some alone time.
I'm learning that watching a movie on a lonely Friday afternoon is not weird, but instead, it may be just what I need to feel satisfied and to do something with me, myself and I.
I'm learning that sitting outside with my gorgeous, small-framed Martin guitar, and learning a new chord progression that compliments my voice is deeply thrilling on so many levels.
I'm learning that taking my Mexican blanket out on my backyard lawn and gawking up at a miraculously immaculate starlit velvety sky is heart-warming and makes me feel small in an amazing way.
I'm learning that I don't have to be everything for everyone and instantly available to give advice or listen, and that saying "no" to people and crafting out space for me in my day isn't self-ish, but self-care. I can't be there for others if I'm too drained to function as Hannah. I'm no hero.
It's okay to be alone, fellow extrovert. It's okay to be exhausted from others and "not-people" for a while. Heck, it's even healthy for you! A lot healthier and more fruitful than squeezing out every last drop of smile and speech and selflessness. That will go quick, and then you're just left empty and feeling helpless.
Take a moment, an hour, an entire day! Decompress, rest, enjoy time being alone and simply recharge. People will more appreciate a rejuvenated version of you - I promise. And, guess what? You will as well!