Read an interesting blog post a few days ago about Introversion. The blogger wrote about her need for solitude after every socialisation. In her own words, “I need twenty-eight hours of solitude after one hour of socialization.” This made me smile and nod in affirmation.
How many of us fall in the same bracket? I do. I need my solitude every day. In fact, the name of this blog stems from this solitude-seeking trait. After every socialization, there is a need to crawl into my cocoon. In spite of the fact that I already enjoy lot of ‘Me Time’ given the nuclear status of family (It’s just A and me who make the house a home). And sometimes, just sometimes, A also feels like a crowd. This happens when there have been days of frenzied activity one after another.
Looking back, this craving seems a constant. I loved stealing some quietness by taking a day off from school even if that meant studying. I loved stealing some ‘me time’ by excusing myself from socialising, be it attending a birthday party or a wedding, and having the whole house to myself when everyone else was gone. I loved soaking in the silence of long summery afternoons amidst chirping of birds at home. I secretly felt jealous of mom for having the luxury to stay at home in silence. She would wind up her day’s work by 12 noon and secretly guard her private moments before the domesticity chaos hits again. Ah! Those peaceful few hours were bliss. Just reading a book, listening to some music or day dreaming.
I cherished the serenity that comes when you take an off from office on Monday. What a luxury it is to stay at home after the weekend and enjoy other people going about the hullabaloo. I guarded my space even while sharing a room with two others girls during my singleton days. It helped that I had night shifts and would have the whole room to myself in the mornings. Even when I plan a day’s outing with my friends, at the end of it, I want my solitariness.
Now as much of all what I have said above is true, there is another side to the story. Ironically, just like every socialization brings out the need for solitude, every solitude brings out the need for belongingness. The love for my space does not not stop me from connecting with people. It is cherished with the same intensity. I look forward to conversations with people I know and strangers alike. I love the process of forming a relationship.
Have made friends and acquaintances in the society I live during my evening walks simply by initiating a small ‘hi’. Forged some great friendships at work and at random. Shared great camaraderie during initial career days while travelling every morning for work in a bus and coming back in the evening.
The thing is, I consciously try to tread a fine balance between solitude and socialisation. Seeking solitude is an inherent nature. Socialisation is a part of daily living. Both have to co-opt for me.
We all have our varying degrees of acceptance levels. For some, every socialisation is a high, for others it is a headache. For some, it’s a task to be completed that they don’t mind performing in spite of their dislike, for others the dislike is strong enough to vehemently refuse even a small step towards socialisation. We all have blurring boundaries.
There is, however, a pattern I have noticed with regards to myself. I cringe socialising when it requires lot of efforts and formalities. What works for me is some real conversation. A heart to heart talk without judgement. While writing this I am deciphering that somehow I have never liked conversations in a crowd. I am more of a one-on-one conversation type. Where you share, not merely talk. Where there is love and warmth and some kindness to it. A certain depth no matter how shallow the talk is.
Coffee sessions with friends are such an endorphin-boosters, not for the coffee but the conversation. ‘Chai’ times are quintessentially talk-times revered with absolute delight not for the tea but for the opportunity they provide to interact. I would skip the formality of socialising just for the sake of it as long as it is decently possible. After all, it is not that every one would like to socialise with me, even if I do. There are few who see me and refuse to acknowledge my presence. Or avoid me until I initiate the conversation. It is better to give them a skip for their well-being and mine.
Solitude or Socialisation, whichever way defines you, let it nourish your soul. Find your rhythm in the abstract of this universe. And who knows, we may evolve tomorrow into an entirely different being. Let’s enjoy the journey and stay true to ourselves!
Happy ‘You’ for whatever you ‘Choose!’