I talk a lot about quiet, and serenity, and how I’m an introvert. While that’s all well and good, there needs to be a balance.
In the past few (6?) years, I’ve continually become more reserved. While I’ve never really been one to just put myself out there when I’m in a room full of people I don’t know, and “just make friends!”, it has become a pretty big challenge for me to function well at all in situations like that. I hide. I actually make myself more alone.
What is prompting this is that I was in that situation this past weekend. I was at the reunion for a retreat I attended a few years ago, with many that went before and after me. And even though I knew that of any group I could be in, they were minimally intimidating, I found myself almost shutting down.
I arrived earlier than I’d intended, so the people that I knew, and events I was there for weren’t yet. I milled around, looking at banners, made a trip back to my car (and took the attached picture…❤❤❤), helped a lady with directions, watched the crowd, hid behind my phone, and, big surprise, only (briefly) spoke with three people. And wrote a blog post…all while I should be spending time in community.
Eventually my people arrived, and then I was thrilled to be there. But it is a horrible feeling to experience, to be anxious, on-edge, and barely functional in an environment where you know you should be able to feel safe. I get frustrated at myself for it.
I did it Sunday, too. I fully knew that a good part of it was an hormonal response that happens at a particular time of the month, but it is not fun. I don’t want to get too specific, but we were spending time with friends and I wasn’t physically able to do something, so I stayed back, and was left to dwell on all of the things. I got caught in quite the circular thought pattern, and it was not pleasant. Tom came later and helped me out of it, but not before a lot of tears, some sniffling, and a little hyperventilating (also not fun).
So that’s the long version of why balance between quiet (over thinking) and contact with people is probably a good thing for me. I apologize if this is rambling; it’s taken me four days to write it and get even this far, and…I’d had enough if it.