I’m an introvert. I love spending time with other people. I really do. I love hearing people’s life stories, understanding where they came from, where they are now, why they do the things they do. I love having long conversations, digging through that crunchy outer shell and finding the real shit. Because people are really fucking cool. I believe that despite all the differences between people, everyone has intrinsic human qualities that allow them to connect and understand each other. And I love that.
But I’m an introvert. I also love spending time with myself. All that stuff that I love exploring about other people, I also love doing for myself. And if I go too long without me time, I always feel a little lost, a little confused about who I am, how I’m doing. It’s not as if I sit alone in the dark analyzing my entire life, but I give my brain a little time off from focusing so much on other people and naturally, it starts to relax and take a little more of me into account. And if I don’t get enough me time? I essentially start acting like a non-functioning human being, and half of the sounds that come out of my mouth end up just being incomprehensible gibberish.
So what is this trip like for the introvert in me? I’m not really sure. On the one hand, I’ve almost never been alone. Its kind of hard when nine people are living in two rooms in the middle of a city. But this trip is meant to get me out of my comfort zone. While its been difficult, I’ve gotten to know people really well in the week and a half that I’ve been here, I haven’t imploded yet, and I’m generally happier than I have been in the past year.
In a way, I am completely alone. Coming here, I left behind everything that has ever been a consistent part of my life and had the opportunity to have a fresh start. Being in a completely new country for a limited period of time has allowed me to stop thinking about the past and the future so much and just concentrate on the today, the now. It’s weird because if I had had this mindset in the U.S., things would’ve been much easier. But for some reason, I just have trouble focusing on the present when I’m surrounded by so much stuff.
I keep thinking that when I return to school in February, its back to real life, back to stress and worries and everyday anxiety, but I know it doesn’t have to be that way. I can choose to just let go. We’ll see how that works out.