Sometimes, I need a nap, how I discovered I was an introvert
Realising that there’s a name for how you’re feeling and there’s a label for being the you that you’ve fought your whole life against is somewhat refreshing. Yet, totally terrifying all at once.
You see, I like people. And I love being social. And … I love sharing ideas and learning and being a part of a tribe. But the thing is, sometimes I need a nap.
I met a very special friend for lunch the other day. I’ve known her since we were 13. We spent our teen years together and have now lived in the same city again for nearly 4 years. We’ve bumped into each other frequently, but never got around to catching up properly, life got in the way. I’m grateful we got to spend some time together this week.
It was like time stood still, just for a moment. Yet, there was something new. Something more about each of us that was beautiful.
Over the years I’ve given up alcohol to the point that I’d be lucky if I had one a month. As I hit my 30’s, then 40’s, one or two drinks would be more than enough to make me giddy and I didn’t like the feeling of not having complete control over my mind. I love a single beer on a super hot day and my kids get a kick out of seeing me sparkle after a solitary pint, but even one drink now gives me a headache akin to a hard night out as a student.
But you see, back as a teen, I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I didn’t feel like I fitted in, I felt uncomfortable in my own skin, and, I would drink, perhaps, to fit in.
We talked over lunch and laughed, and cried. We had both seen aspects of life that were hard. Shit gets tough and real. She was the same girl I knew. Yet, better. But when she shared with me that she suffered from poor self confidence as a teen, I was floored. This bright, beautiful life of the party was in serious self doubt of herself, where all I saw was a smart, bubbly girl who could face any situation.
Realising as an adult that there was in fact nothing wrong with me was a massive relief.
How sad to look back and not really know yourself.
To have the world tell you what and who you were supposed to be, but never be told you’re OK just the way you were. That it’s OK to not have to be the life of the party, that being the quiet one was also a strength, that your own brand of quirky was legitimate, that leaving early was acceptable and that you didn’t have to be anything but you.
My friend had insecurities and, I was an introvert and it took us decades to unfold these truths.
I wonder if things would have been different if we had known back then that we were enough. Just the way we were.
Photo by Irina Iriser on Unsplash
20 thoughts on “Sometimes, I need a nap, how I discovered I was an introvert”
This is a great story and by telling it, you’re enabling others to self-reflect and maybe come to their conclusions earlier in life 💚
I can completely relate with this, often even I feel I need a nap or a break from the world outside and stay in my shell for sometime. Its a lovely read
I can’t tell you how much I relate to this…especially the nap part. Figuring out how introverted/extroverted I am has been essential in my mental and social health…Wishing you the best 🙂
Thanks Melanie! … it really is quite the revelation isn’t it!
Thanks for sharing your experience, it is a topic I liked to read about. It is interesting and thoughtful. I think that we all have some insecurities to be honest. – Paolo
Your post left me reflecting deeply on what it is to understand that who we are, and who we choose to be, is completely valid. I wish a sense of comfort and stability in self for you, your friend, and anyone reading your post.
Thank you Nkem
I’m what I like to call an extroverted introvert. I can be social for short periods of time and I can make myself look like an extrovert but in reality it is so incredibly draining to me. It takes so much energy being around people. But like you, I didn’t understand this as a kid and why after I got off work or out of school I always felt so exhausted that I could hardly function. I don’t know if it would have made things any different back then but it would have been nice to have an explanation.
YES! or getting to 10pm at a party and wanting to go home!
I didn’t know I was an introvert as well until long into my twenties, I guess the journey of self discovery never really ends
Funny isn’t it!
I read the title of this and said out loud “Same”. I need a nap. This post hit me hard. I always thought I was an extrovert, but as I get older i realize I am an introvert. I was only loud and obnoxious because of the alcohol and that is what my friends expected from me. I do love people and socializing on my own terms. I am older now and don’t drink as much (hardly ever) and realized my friends are not my friends. They were just my drinking buddies. We don’t have anything in common besides that. So I am home and alone a lot.
I love this so much! I am definitely an introvert but good at pretending to be social so a lot of people don’t realize it.
Same same! … people are often really surprised to hear I’m a massive introvert.
I embrace my introvert qualities a lot more the last few years so now people know I’m an introvert.
I love the title of this blog! Yes, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being an introvert… I think we are more deep thinkers than others. Thanks for sharing.
We are that’s for sure! And… yes! I do love to sneak away for a nap!
Good for you! As a fellow introvert, I did have to learn how to gage what I do so that I remain balanced.
Knowing you’re not crazy or boring is such a relief!