October 19, 2006

ON and off

During my college years I lost touch with all my friends from high school. Most of us did, right? I bet most of you at least called them during your Christmas break? Not me. I would throw myself into the social whirl during the college semester. (Yes, Dad, I also learned a few things in my classes) I visited friends. Listened. Discussed literature, the meaning of art, why there are so few GOOD Christian artists, etc.

I couldn't afford to go home for the short breaks. I spent them touring the east coast: October Break in a cottage on Cape Cod; Thanksgiving in DC with family friends; Spring Break I persuaded my Grandpa in Florida to fly me down to visit him. Each year was a variation on that theme. I thrived on activity and profound friendships. When I came home for Christmas? I collapsed. I hunkered in my room reading books. I called no one. I barely left the house. My version of extroversion is either ON or off. Usually on, but when it turns off, it's all the way. I know I've mentioned my need for 'days of nothingness' before. I think those are mini versions of my three-week Christmas-break shut-down.

One advantage of a husband who works long, unpredictable hours is that I end up having a lot of time alone in our house. Waiting. But in the waiting: reading, cleaning and/or playing with the dog. When he goes out of town, I pack the schedule and end up tired and drained by the end of it. I think some of his introversion has rubbed off on me over the years since I've gained a much greater capacity for silence than I ever had in college.

Why is this relevant? Its happened these last two weeks. Sure, in part I was busy constructing bookcases with the ridiculous tools IKEA thinks sufficient to assemble their behemoths, but I was also avoiding life. I poured myself into lots of relationships in Baltimore and needed time to shrink my world. To not have to focus on others. To breathe in the quiet. To organize, sort, and cleanse. Now that the apartment is 95 percent finished, I'm emerging from the cocoon. I'm ready to start to live here. Not just to have a new address, but to start to connect. To push in some roots.

I'm ready to rejoin the blogging world. I might even start to call people again. Sorry if any of you have felt neglected!

3 comments:

Inkling said...

You know, that's actually admirable and good. It takes strength to hole up in a cocoon and take care of yourself and your home, rather than keep everyone else in your life happy. I'm wishing I'd done that months ago. Our little place still has a few remaining boxes, and it's largely in part to my inability to say no to people who want to fill my social calendar. We all need times of being a hermit. Thanks for sharing about yours, and reminding us how good it is. Wanna help me unpack? =)

bg's Little Sis said...

Otr...good for you on all fronts, knowing when you need alone and downtime especially...sometimes these moments just come on and overwhelm me, the need to be alone with just my kids, and turn off everyone else....glad you had the sense to do it and are ready to face the new life out West! Glad you're back too, I missed ya!

weigook saram said...

I'm glad you're settling in.

I need alone time too. In fact, I kicked my husband out of the house today so I could be alone. :)