Recently I have been much more in touch with my introverted side. People always say that I can’t possibly be an introvert because I’m loud and chatty and don’t come across as shy. Well you don’t have to be shy to be an introvert. Introversion is defined as ‘the preference for situations that are not overly stimulating. Introverts value their space and they don’t let just anyone in.’ (So if I confide in you, feel honoured!)
I love my friends and I love spending time with them, I literally wouldn’t be without them. But I prefer to socialise in small groups and find big and busy social gatherings a huge challenge. I also hate, really hate, being the centre of attention which is why I find birthdays so tricky (more about that another time) and talking to groups of adults. Strangely though, I have no problem with groups of children – pretty lucky in job eh!
I also need and crave solitude. I love my busy life with teaching and brownies and rainbows but I spend all of my days surrounded by people who need me to interact with them. I love this, I love the strange and random conversations I have with children. I love their frankness and openness. I love catching up with my friends in the staffroom at lunchtime. I love chatting to my best friends on the phone or meeting for coffee.
However, I also love my alone time. I love to come home to my house, to kick off my shoes and chill on my bed watching whatever I want. I love long bubbly baths. I love to escape with a good book. I love to go for a walk and catch some pokemon or take my camera and practise my photography.
And what’s more I don’t just love my solitude, I need it. One thing I have learnt about myself is that in order to function and keep my mental health at its best I need to have time alone to reset. I actively now plan in days to do this as I need it so much. And I no longer feel bad about doing so and prioritising my own needs. Sometimes we have to put ourselves first. And that’s ok. It’s taken me a while to realise that but it’s ok. It really is.