Being An Introvert Isn’t Isolating

Today I decided to debunk one of the biggest introvert misconceptions of all:

That introversion and isolation are the same thing.

I shared a status on Facebook from four years ago, when I lived in a doorman building on the Upper West Side.  Every time I walked in, and every time I went on the elevator to my 6th floor apartment, I had to make small talk.

Every.  Time.

Sure, it’s nice to be greeted or to have someone acknowledge you, but sometimes, believe it or not, you just want to walk in, go upstairs, and be left alone.  So, I would keep my sunglasses on, pretend I was talking on the phone, or keep walking straight to avoid the small talk.

After sharing my status from 2015, my best friend from my hometown commented:

“Thank you for this.  I cannot stand small talk, I would rather not say anything at all!”

She gets me.

Even though we live over 1,000 miles apart, those are the connections that mean so much to me- I would rather have quality friends who understand me than a large number of people who don’t.

Some people gain energy from other people, and others gain energy from being alone.  That’s the difference between an extrovert and an introvert.  In a city like New York or Boston you’re constantly surrounded by so many people, being stimulated left and right, that it’s easy for an introvert to get drained.

This is why I spend so much time in the park, outside, and journaling by myself.  Whether I’m reading by the river or hanging out at home with the cat, my recharge time is extremely sacred, and necessary, to maintain my sanity.

It’s completely different than isolating.

I’m positive that the world around me would rather have a recharged, calm Kristin than a snappy, reactive one- and that latter is what you’ll get if I don’t have ample alone time.

Dedicated to my fellow introverts and Rachel, who *always* gets me, no matter where in the world we are.

A Cat Girl in a Dog World

Sometimes it’s hard being a cat person in a world of dogs.

Oh, the energy and the constant need for attention!  I don’t know about you, but I get overwhelmed when anything runs up to me, kisses me without permission, or needs me to take it for walks.

Maybe that’s why I’ve been single for almost five years, too.

I grew up with cats and was an only child to a single parent- the perfect recipe for introversion.  I read books, I drew pictures, and I hung outside with the ducks.  Independent and mild mannered, I was a child who felt like an old lady compared to my peers.  Kids my age, puppies, and dogs in general overwhelmed me.  I wasn’t equipped to handle their energy.

As an adult, not much has changed.

This is what “dog people” don’t seem to understand.  I’m not lonely- I am just preserving my energy.

There’s a time and a place for social interaction, and it’s important to know the difference between being alone and being lonely.

I’m proud of my independence- and I’m grateful I am able to sit with self.  Not everyone understands the demeanor or the needs of a cat, and that’s okay- I’m on my own journey.

Solo in the Sunshine

…and there’s no place else I would rather be.

Yesterday was my phone-free day… and I must say, it was a success.  I have to admit that did have to be practical and carry it with me for directions, music, photos, and safety (hey, I was going to new territory), but not for browsing the web, texting, making calls, or killing time.

So, what did I do while I sat on the beach without my phone?

I enjoyed the beach.

Imagine that!

Rain was in the forecast so I headed down early- around 8:00AM- and arrived to an empty beach.  It was perfect, not to mention an easy ride on the Red Line.  I got on at Davis Square and off at JFK/UMass, which was just a short walk across a field, the street, and to the water.  😎

I had originally planned on M Street Beach, but this beach, Carson Beach, seemed like my cup of tea.  There was even a (recently updated) bathhouse and counter with snacks!

Whoever said city dwellers can’t enjoy the beach, or nature, are mistaken.  That is why I love Boston so much- I have the best of both worlds.

After taking a few photos, I put my phone on airplane mode, sprayed on some SPF 30, and sprawled out on my blanket.  Peace and quiet.

I looked down at groups of people playing volleyball, taking kids out on floaties, and playing catch with their dogs.

However, I was exactly where I wanted to be… with my favorite company in the world: myself. 💜