As an introvert, I sometimes struggle to make time for people.
When I get busy, the first thing I toss out the window is socializing. I need my Saturday’s all to myself so I can recharge, I tell myself.
But after one of the most draining weekends of my life (working at a two-day English Festival doing the world’s worst craft with about 4,000 kids), I discovered something strange: It was the interactions with people that revived me.
(That and the bananas I snacked on–turns out bananas are amazing at restoring energy! Much more effective than candy bars or grape juice..)
I felt like a factory worker at times.
Punching out shapes, folding, taping, stamping, and clearing seats with robotic efficiency. By Sunday afternoon, I almost felt bad for the kids, because I made slipping twisty ties through minuscule holes look like the easiest thing in the world and then left them to struggle with it on their own as I moved on to the next kid.
The only break I took after lunch on Sunday was a two-minute run to the bathroom to wash and bandage a bleeding finger.
But it was the moments I made eye contact with my fellow workers, saw kids shyly smile at me, laughed with people, and heard my (suddenly beloved) students shout my name that kept me going. And after the festival was finally over, it was the conversations I had with friends that brought me rejuvenation. (After waking from collapsing onto my bed like a zombie.)
The past few months, I’ve taken to hiding in my bedroom whenever possible.
I’ve been pretty busy, and I’ve been stuck on the idea that people drain me.
But Monday, though I was so achy and exhausted I didn’t think I could get out of bed, I started turning toward people. I Facetimed my mom for Mother’s Day, texted friends I hadn’t gotten to see over the weekend, made small talk with my coworkers and engaged my students in conversation during breaks.
And at the end of the day, I realized those little interactions were what got me through.
This is my deep thought for the week: Even introverts need relationships. We all do. That’s just how we were made. Introverts, do yourself a favor and choose to relate! You weren’t meant to be alone. At least not all the time. Life is much more enjoyable done together.