I identify as an extrovert. I’m not a very strong extrovert, but I’m definately more extroverted than not. Still … there are times when I don’t feel very extroverted. For years I thought that maybe I was really an intervert who was good at playing an extrovert. And then I realized that I’m not really, I just get tired of being “on” all the time.
Having spent many days back to back in meetings, or working on fires for work, I need some time “alone.” But here’s the difference between my alone time and that of my introverted friends. My “alone” can include other people ….. in fact, I don’t enjoy spending days of time completely by myself. I need that connection to other people.
“Alone” really means that I’m in a situation where I can be myself, do what I want, and choose on if to engage or not. In these situations, I don’t want to feel as if I need to take care of someone, or respond in a certain way, or engage in conversation – but it’s still nice to see the world passing around me. Going out to the library to read, or sitting in a park, or walking through a street market can help me recharge and re-connect.
Time when I am truely alone, with no one nearby, is still useful and does allow me time to get things done that I want to do. But that not-quite-alone time is also very helpful for me to recharge. Walking through the city of Paris, or Seoul, or Frankfurt, or San Francisco … just myself, my thoughts, and a lot of strangers helps me to re-connect, to center, to be me.
There are lots of different ways to connect, to center. This is just my way.