With the “Holiday Hangover” finally subsiding, it is exciting to feel free for at least a month. To look at my calendar and know that I don’t have any dinner parties, work parties, or any other form of human beings coming together in celebration of the warm-fuzzy Holiday season, is true bliss.
Growing up, I was always referred to as the outspoken and outgoing child (compared to my older sister, who preferred reading and letting me speak for the both of us in new social situations.). Through out High School and my families many moves, I lived up to those expectations and always felt as though I was socially driven to be around people and to devote most of my spare time to being with said people.
I took until shortly before I was married that I realized just how uncomfortable and exhausting it was to entertain and be entertained all. the. time. I awakened my long lost love of novels, loved my bedtime of 9pm, and truly recoiled at the thought of “enjoying” the liberation of turning 21 and the social connotations that go along with that.
These realizations of who I really was vs. who I had (directly and indirectly) always been told I was really created a rift for myself. I can only assume this also was difficult for my friend base. All of a sudden, I “disappeared” from where/who I would normally spend my time. I began to harbor a sense of resentment towards the expectations these people in my life had of me. Which, as I can see now, was unfair in all aspects because that was who I always presented myself to be.
I don’t believe I am entirely introverted or extraverted, but I do believe that the more I truly know myself, the more I enjoy what many people understand as “introverted” activities. Large groups of people or any form of “marathon social events” leave me exhausted and depleted, whereas extraverted personality types often gain energy and thrive in such settings.
Okay, so let me also add here that it is ludicrous to lump all extroverts and introverts into two categories. For example, not all introverts love to be alone and read, and don’t assume all extroverts are always at the center of a giant friend base (if you want to read the basic definition of the two, you can check it out by clicking here).
One of the reasons I am madly in love with my husband, and why we are married, is because we truly enjoy spending our Saturday nights together. Often times, this means we enjoy an ice cold beer as we play Yahtzee, cook dinner together and start a movie (which I usually end up falling asleep to about 45 minutes into it…I really do love my bedtime.). We enjoy our own personal free-time together as well, where I mentally engage with a Jody Picoult novel, while he is deep in Call of Duty.
The time I spend with my closest friends is usually spent in small groups, at each others houses, or to simply grab appetizers and drinks one-on-one.
The beautiful thing about being a twenty-something is discovering who you really are, as opposed to younger years where you are constantly fighting to be the cookie-cutter of perfection. There is so much freedom in being who you are, because you decide. You live outside of the home you grew up in and you begin to create your own habits and traditions. You DECIDE who your friends are, and you get to be picky.
Another beautiful thing, that is often misunderstood, is change. People are really afraid of change, especially people who are attached to who you were. In fact, I sort of freaked out when I realized I was changing (or becoming who I always was…I’m not sure which it was.). “Breaking up,” with people in order to be who you want to be is extremely difficult. It is also extremely necessary.
The person I am becoming is constantly evolving. I do know that I love nights in. I love to read. I love getting to bed at a decent time. I love to be surrounded by a few people that I love a whole lot. I love alone time. I love going to the dog park with my family. I love quiet.
That is not who I thought I was or who I thought I would be three years ago. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s liberating and amazing.
Do you feel like you are breaking out of the definitions and roles you were assigned while growing up? Have you realized you weren’t who everyone told you you were, or assumed you were? Are you “breaking up” with a familiar lifestyle or friend base?