Friday, August 21, 2015

Take Me Away

I just got back from Portland earlier this week, so I've been catching up and getting my bearings together.  I'll post some photos from my trip next week!  It was such a great trip.  Spending quality time with close friends, getting inspired and feeling so loved and known.  Plus Portland is packed with artsy places to eat delicious food.  There is a high value placed on quality and sustainability, so many of the restaurants and food trucks offer creative dishes utilizing fresh, seasonal and local ingredients.  A city after my own heart, I am such a foodie.  I didn't have one bad meal there, and we were exploring the city for 5 days!  

Since I was in Portland as a bridesmaid, 5 days straight of wedding festivities and constant group situations really took its toll on me.  Many of my close friends are extroverts.  My friends are the best, and I love that about them!  I am definitely a social butterfly.  But while I love being an introvert at the same time (<-- found this gem on Buzzfeed, you're welcome), I can't handle the level of stimulation, lack of sleep, and nonexistent alone time that many of my extroverted friends can thrive in.  When I talk about extroverts and introverts, I'm talking about how you recharge.  I am able to recover and regain energy from spending time alone and in my thoughts, with no outside stimulation or interference.  If I don't get that time alone too many days in a row then I get so drained, exhausted and irritated and I'm just not myself, at least not a happy content version of myself!  It puts me on edge and sucks me dry.  For extroverts, you don't need as much (if any) alone time to generate energy, you can get rejuvinated when others are around, and even refreshed by the presence of other people!  Most are a combination of extrovert and introvert.  Being introverted doesn't mean you aren't social, it's just a matter of how you recharge.  I would say I'm 80% introvert and 20% extrovert.  That 20% of extrovert thrives in one on one conversations and quality time with a close friend or someone I feel safe and known around.  I can handle doses of crowds or group situations, but if they go on for too many days in a row without any alone time I begin to shrivel up and feel like I'm going to have a melt down.  I need to talk one and one with someone to balance myself out and develop a personal connection.  I used to fight this and run myself ragged, but I'm learning to accept this part of my nature and the way I'm designed, capitalize on it and remember my strengths.  Recognizing when I'm filled up and have the most to offer and when I need to draw boundaries, pack up and retire for the day.  It's been a challenging process for me to embrace and learn to navigate this part of myself.  I feel like I'm missing out when I don't go-go-go and drive myself to be present and interact in every situation my friends are a part of.  Those lies creep in of feeling like I'm lame, no fun, not interesting and that there's something wrong with me if I can't keep up.  And they're so easy to listen to if I don't remember my strengths and who I truly am.  But I am fun, and I'm engaging and inspiring!  I'm a thoughtful, analytical, deep thinker.  A creative mind.  An observer.  I have so many original ideas and ways of seeing the world, a unique perspective to offer.  I'm an activator and someone who gives insight and courage to those I love to help them grow and break through to the next level and pursue their dreams.  My close friends and family love that about me, it's what I'm known for!  And if I don't spend time recharging by myself and pondering thoughts in my mind, interacting and focusing on details and projects that breathe life back into me, then I will feel so burned out and lifeless that I can't give away the very thing I am best at!  The part of the process I'm in now is practicing not being so hard on myself, giving permission and validation to do what I need to do to feel "full" and thrive.  Even if that means not going to every social event my friends are going to, or taking a break from an overstimulating, crowded situation when I haven't recharged for days so that I can regain my sanity.  I'm learning to be okay with that.  Maybe I'll get to the point of loving these healthy boundaries!  Who knows? 


Photos by Megan Walton

Sandals: M. Gemi
Crossbody: Coach (cute one here!)

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