So, most of y’all know I’m an introvert. I wrote a big article about succeeding in life + biz as an introvert actually.
I thought I’d share what I’m discovering the moment about my introvert self. Just a small thing. A small note as the sun sets and I’m collecting my thoughts and waking up.
I napped today – twice – for a total of 5.5 hours. Wake up at buttfuck o’clock for a call, finish the call and head back to bed, Chris and the kids wake me so we can run errands. Run errands, come home, and I head back to bed. Because there’s nothing else I can do but nap. I’m exhausted at the moment for many reasons, not least of which my 2 year old is going through a bonkers sleep regression of some kind.
And I’ve been thinking of why I’m so exhausted. (And no – I’m not pregnant. I’m joyously neutered!)
And here’s what I’ve realised:
So – for many years – I was remote. I lived in far flung places around Australia where there wasn’t much happening with events, concerts, conferences or things to do “out in the world.” I also didn’t have many local friends… I’d left all my bosom buddy tribe back in Canberra, and it takes years to build up deep, strong connections… not just one… but a tribe of them.
So, in a way, my lifestyle and location dictated that I actually didn’t do much socially. There wasn’t really business events I could attend. I spent almost all of my time at home, with my lil family. When we did go out, it was just our lil fam, heading to small country towns or the beach. Occasionally I’d hang out with a new friend, and I felt so starved of human interaction I would be all over them like an excitable labrador puppy.
And now… NOW! We moved back to the city, back to where 99% of my friends live, back into that tiny corner of Australia where civilisation resides. And we’re oversaturated with possibility and things to do and places to go to and friends to visit. And I’m not saying this to be: WOE! WOE IS ME! WOE THIS ABUNDANCE OF LOVE AND OPPORTUNITY!
What I’m saying is: I’m finding that where I live is no longer the natural protection barrier for my introvert nature. I never got burnt out from seeing people or doing stuff or going out because I couldn’t. Now I am the one who has to be the natural protection barrier for my introvert self. And frankly, I feel pretty shithouse at it. This is a muscle I haven’t had to use before.
I’ve been feeling frantic and exhausted and like a completely shithouse friend because I just can’t see everyone that I want to see – and when I do see them, it feels so far and few between that it doesn’t feel enough.And then when I do book everything in and go to stuff and go see friends I inevitably overschedule and use up all my “people-ing” resource well and bottom the fuck out. And there’s events happening and sometimes I get to them and then feel burnt out afterwards, and then sometimes I don’t go to them and I have FOMO.
So I’ve had to learn what is enough and what is too much. How to say YES and how to say NO. I’m still learning it. And it’s hard.
My introvert self NEEDS space and quiet and ample home time in order to not want to crawl up in bed with a blanket over my head. I need a lot of padding around things in order for me to process them. I get so stimulated and excited by the smallest things… the world is an endlessly fascinating, miraculous place… and people’s stories are so thrilling to listen to… and the colours… oh the colours!
So I go out – and I need to go out – I need to connect and see new things and experience – it fuels me up in ways I can’t explain. But then I need to go home, and I need to sit quietly, and I need to journal, and I need to write it all out until it makes sense to me, and I need to make art. And if I don’t have the time to gestate it all before I go out again, I feel oversaturated and overwhelmed and like I can’t digest the beauty and the pain of my life anymore.
It’s a constant dance… trying to find the spot where I am out enough to feel connected and inspired and alive… and then be home enough, inward enough… for all those birds to come home to rest inside my heart again. To hear the rhythm of my own heart and my own gentle heart once more.
That’s all I wanted to share.
Just this one little finding in my learning of How To Be Leonie In The World.
I was talking to Hiro last week, complaining about how all I insatiably crave right now is being at home. And she said “Is that a problem? If you crave it, can’t you just have that? You don’t need to be anything but what you are.”
I hope wherever you are, whoever you are… you’re finding (and being okay with) the lessons of what it means to be you in the world… and what it takes for you to thrive.
Love bright like Grandmother Moon,
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