This year I’ve realised I’m probably quite the introvert. Sure I do consider myself social, I’m definitely not one to act shy, and I can have just as much fun at a party as anyone else. But the introverted side of me means I’m really easily exhausted by social interactions, rather than rejuvenated by them; and I don’t think this was always the case for me.
I can remember being a teenager, and even in my very early twenties; I definitely felt like an extrovert. After hanging out with friends, meeting new people, or any long social interactions; I’d feel excitable and ‘amped up’. It was almost like adrenaline to me. For the past few years though I’ve noticed myself changing, and I felt bad about it for the longest time.
I’ve noticed that even if I’m seeing people I LOVE, and doing something really fun; I am so desperate for that alone time the next day. I crave the quiet freedom of being by myself (or with Gary!) and not leaving the house. I’ve also noticed it doesn’t feel great for me if I have back to back plans scheduled, meaning I get no alone time to allow myself to ‘recharge’. It won’t completely stop me doing it, but it’s definitely not my preference.
Another of my introverted traits I’ve noticed, is that I have times where I go into total social hibernation. I have gone two or three weeks, even more at times, without seeing anyone but Gary or doing much at all. This is definitely when I’m in a real creative phase, and it even affects how often I speak to people online/on whatsapp/etc. By the end of it, I’m definitely prone to feeling lonely, and will make plans with friends immediately; but I have come to accept it’s part of who I am as a person and a creator.
When I’m especially brimming with inspiration and ideas; all I want to do is execute them immediately, and give it my all. Everything else takes a back seat, and successfully bringing my ideas to life takes up all my focus.
This is actually a pretty cliche view of the typical Artist I guess, but it’s only this year I realised that it truly fits me and my routine. It isn’t all sexy, productive and awesome though; it does have it’s downsides. As well as coming out of it feeling very, very lonely (through my own doing!), I also shut out friends for the most part too during this time. It can happen for a few weeks, a couple of times a year. I’ll barely reply to messages, and if I do they are probably distracted replies. I definitely don’t see people unless I have to, and I seem to forget the rest of the world exists while I’m in that creative mode.
I would like to change little things during this time; I want to be a better friend and check in with my friends constantly and make sure I’m keeping up with things. But I’m also hoping that all my friends understand that if we haven’t spoken in a few weeks, it’s definitely not because I don’t want to, or that anything is wrong. I’m probably just busy working away on a project! And they should always, definitely still feel free to give me an extra prod if I seem to be lost in my own little world and they need me. My social hibernation is never because I want to be away from people; it’s just that I get so focused on something, I forget everything else. Even looking after myself sometimes.
It’s strange to think that at aged 29 I’m still discovering new things about myself, and getting to know the real me deep down.
I’d love to know if anyone else can relate to these feelings, and if anyone else also goes through this social hibernation sometimes?! Let me know!
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