Happy Birthday, Introvert


Happy Birthday

Today is my birthday, and only a week ago I was back home with my friends and family! Some of you may wonder why I didn’t just wait an extra week before going off travelling. I definitely thought about it.

I realised that there were plenty of excuses I could make, if I wait two extra weeks I could go to that party, if I wait three extra weeks I could go to that gig… ad infinitum. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and family and will miss doing life with them during the times I am away, but I would regret not having travelled like this by the time I am 30 – I did however stay back for the Wimbledon final, watching it with my father has become a bit of a tradition!

Anyway, last week was a close enough date to go out for dinner and for it to still feel like a birthday meal (although, the waiters/waitresses didn’t sing to me #takeNote, and I just realised whilst writing this that I didn’t get cake either #takeNoteAgain! #expectsCakeOnReturn).

I have been away from home for Christmas and by myself for New Year before. Whilst it wasn’t the best thing, the world didn’t end, and besides, there are plenty of people who are alone for both, year in, year out. If anything, it has made me more understanding and grateful for the times I do get to spend with friends and family; as well as preparing me for the inevitable solitary times during travelling (I realise it is something I can cope with just fine).

I am an introvert. An introvert? Travelling? Having to constantly meet new people? Surely that can’t be right… But it is true. Being an introvert doesn’t mean being anti-social, which is what others, and even introverts themselves can misinterpret it to mean. Instead,

“The major trait of a true introvert, as opposed to someone who is withdrawn, is how they gain their energy”

If an introvert gets moody around you, don’t take it personally, there is probably just nothing left in the tank. I, however, maintain that I am quite an ‘extroverted introvert’, I love being around and meeting new people (and get some energy from it), but I still need my own space to recharge. I used to think that introversion was a weakness, but now completely disagree with that mindset: Check out this great Ted Talk on the power of introverts by Susan Cain!

Incidentally, despite being slightly anxious about it last week, I do have people to spend time with today (meal with new flatmates). Besides, even if I was by myself, it would be fine, I could have a great introvert birthday reflecting and recharging. Win win situation. Happy introvert birthday me!