Categories
self discovery

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.

Categories
self discovery

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.

Categories
conscious living empowerment

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. 💜

Categories
self discovery

Patience and Timing

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“Patience and timing- it’s all you’ll ever need,” a wise friend told me back in college.

Aside from the people, the thing I miss the most about NYC is being able to get anything you want, any time of day, any day of the week. There is always something open and there’s always a way to get there.

The New Yorkers I miss can always visit me in Boston, and I can always Amtrak back down to the city- but what is one to do when it’s Christmas Day, you’re alone, and the Stop and Shop around the corner is closed?

This Christmas I began to miss New York… despite often being very alone in the city that never sleeps.

Two years ago I spent Christmas on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, my old neighborhood in the high 90’s. While I know the joke is that Jewish people go to movies and eat Chinese on Christmas, my Jewish friends actually do this- so I did, too. Only it was fried rice and crab ragoon over Netflix.

It’s easy to be alone when you have so many distractions- in a city of millions, it’s also easy to see little pieces of magic even on your loneliest day.

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Lately I have been wondering what else I am missing about New York. Is it the comfort of the hustle and bustle? Is it the familiarity with the neighborhoods, the train lines, the bodega owners, the skyline and the crowds?

Finding your footing in a new city is never easy, and I have yet to find the simple joys that give me comfort in Boston. I used to run every time I felt unchallenged, lonely, overstimulated, stressed or fearful… but I refuse to act this way today.

Now, I choose to enjoy each moment, look for the magic and live one day at a time.

Just believe- something wonderful is about to happen.

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Categories
self discovery

It’s okay to be alone

“If misery loves company, misery has company enough.” -Henry David Thoreau

I grew up an only child, spending my days reading, writing, and using my own imagination to entertain myself. As I grew up, I quickly began to understand that what seemed so normal to me was quite unordinary.

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One of my favorite pastimes- swinging in my grandparent’s backyard.

I never surrounded myself with groups of people, joined teams or relied on siblings or neighbor friends- I relied on myself. I was happy in my own company, my own solitude. As a shy little girl I was quickly misunderstood, which only got worse as I became a teenager. Kids are mean… especially girls.

Sadly, this doesn’t change as an adult. I spent the better part of this fall taking a break from reality, working on myself and learning new skills, all while being surrounded by dozens of different people and personalities. This was one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences of my life. I was in an environment where feelings were prevalent and people verbally worked through their problems, yet also tried to fix mine. I’ve never been a “touchy-feely” type of person, nor have I been codependent on others- this includes helping and being helped. I take the bull by the horns and try to do things alone.

I finally learned that it’s okay to ask for help- the right help.

Once again, I found myself being misunderstood. After a rollercoaster of a year, I began journaling daily, speaking to therapists and even asked a select few for advice. My month of introspection lead me to question myself, whether I was a good person or if I was doomed to be selfish my entire life. Only child syndrome, anxiety, and a touch of OCD didn’t help matters, but upon researching personality types and environmental factors, I gained a piece of mind (and even a little bit of sanity).

I’m still misunderstood and have been called every name in the book- but these days I don’t listen to the noise. Those who critique others are simply deflecting and avoiding their own shortcomings- and today I can accept that.

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Instead of trying to surround myself with groups of people and masking my anxiety with alcohol and a seemingly “together” facade, I’m growing comfortable with being brutally honest, putting my thoughts on paper and spending time with the person I am most at home with- me.

Whether I’m by the water, nestled in my room or enjoying a coffee with friends, I choose to live my life in the moment, love who I am and enjoy the simple things, one day at a time.