The introvert alone

So often, we speak of introverts out of their natural habitat. Today, we journey into the unknown to observe an introvert in the wild.

As we approach the nest, be sure to keep quiet and hidden.

Ah! A female introvert, going about a daily morning ritual of yoga with coffee. She seems to be spending the day just as she likes–no work today.

Look–what now? She is settling into position on a couch and browsing the internet. Such calm beauty! And now she chooses a book. The hours fly by.

Dinner time, already? She puts on light music and begins to flutter about the kitchen when–NO! Disaster strikes with the sound of a ringing phone!

My friends,  the biggest danger to the introvert is destruction of habitat. A single phone call or doorbell can turn the introvert’s quiet space into an infestation of humans! Alas…as she chats on the phone she discovers it is her friend, another introvert. She invites him over for dinner, having had the whole day to recharge.

They share a meal and watch a movie. Truly, nature is a mysterious, wonderful, beautiful thing. Even the smallest of moments can be a wonder.

Top 5 places for a restless introvert to go alone

Just because we’re introverted doesn’t mean we don’t like doing things! Here is my list of the best fun things to do when you want to get out of the house but don’t necessarily want to talk to anyone.

  1. Shopping. For the ambitious introvert, shopping can be a lot of fun alone. I do my best shopping when I don’t have to worry about other people judging my purchases. Plus, you get to spend as much or as little time as you wish in each store. Shopping is low on the list because it often involves a stressful environment with a lot of people, and there’s a high chance of running into someone you know. However, more often than not it’s a fun break to do on your own.
  2. Nature. Grab your favorite copy of Walden and spend the day outdoors. It’s easy to feel comfortable in your favorite outdoors spot, whether that’s deep in the woods or your own backyard. Bring a snack, take your bike out. Your heart and your soul will thank you for it! Just remember to stay safe when alone in the wilderness; don’t try rock climbing by yourself, for example, and don’t get lost.
  3. The Movies. I know, it seems lame to go to the movies yourself…but think about it. What is social about going to the movies? If you’re going to sit in silence for two hours, might as well take away the social stress of being around people—and yes, there will be others in the theatre, but they’ll be quiet and ignorable. Plus, you get that whole popcorn to yourself.
  4. The Gym. Though not my personal preference, the gym can be a great way to get yourself active without being bothered. Plug in some headphones and enjoy some music all while getting that blood flowing. Many gyms also offer calm classes that involve little interaction, like yoga. The best part about the gym is that if you run into someone you know, there’s no obligation to talk to them. A quick smile and wave and you’re back in the zone.
  5. The Library. Many of you may be saying, duh. The library is practically introversion incarnate. Well, yes, it’s great to curl up in the comfy sofa and read a rented book, but libraries are so much more than that! They offer art and cooking classes, book clubs and author readings. They give discounted passes to local museums, they host farmers markets on the front lawn, they have cafes with rich coffee and scones. What’s not to love about a library? Whether you go with a book and a chair in mind or you go looking for inspiration for another activity, the library is the top hub for people who want to do things but would prefer to go alone. And the best part? Quiet is mandatory.

Something about September

When in a city, it’s easy to feel like you live in a Lego set. Everything is hard lines and rigid angles. Even though people in suburbs spend about just as little, if not less, time outside as city folk do, they still get to see the trees, hear the wind outside their windows.

In the city, we wade in a sea of white noise, our eyes just peering over fog and static. We avoid the other heads popping above the sea of stimulation and rush, necks bowed, to our destination.

I always feel the urge to sit in the park. I rarely sat outside when I lived in a suburb. I think it’s just that here my window faces a brick wall and an air conditioning vent and there my window faced a forest. I saw birds in their nests under my porch and worms fell from my tree and onto my car in the morning. Fog coated the road on a cold night, the kind of whispy fog that looked like trapped smoke. Frogs belched, squirrels and woodpeckers clutched to the trees, spiders spun masterpieces on the windowframes.

Here, we see rats and roaches, pigeons and mosquitoes. The flowers seem too bright to be real and the people seem too real to be bright. Here, we lose our connections to nature and therefore to ourselves.

I keep a bamboo plant on my windowsill. I touch its leaves when I feel sucked dry of my humanness.

It’s something about September. It’s still warm enough to wear one light layer of cotton, but not for long. I remember the city in the winter. I remember the walls of grey and ceilings of white, the sludge-lined sidewalks and frozen toes in boots not made for such abuse. I feel I should suck in all the summer left in the city and keep it warm in my bones, radiating through me until next April when I can shed my winter coat.