Posted in Life

New Job

I’m currently in my third week of my new job at the library. I’m getting paid to shelve books and check things out to people and alphabetize everything in the world. How cool is that?

All the other people who work there have been very nice. They’ve been willing to help me figure things out, and no one has made me feel silly for not knowing something or making a mistake.

This morning I was chatting with a friend on Facebook while I got ready for work. When I was ready to leave, she told me, “Enjoy yourself.”

And I realized:

Hey.

I probably will.

What a wonderful feeling.

Posted in Life, Thoughts

Introverts Need People, Too

“I think it fascinating that the introverted one needs people more than the extroverted ones, in a way.”

This is a comment a friend recently made on a story I wrote. It made me think about how rarely an introvert’s need for people is portrayed in literature. As I said last week, the general internet likes to talk about how introverts need alone time. This is true, and important. But it means many people have forgotten that introverts do also need people. And sure, there are lots of stories where the awkward loner does something cool and gains a bunch of friends, but that is not at all what an introvert needing people looks like.

It looks like a not-usually-chatty person coming home from college for the weekend and talking and talking and talking because they don’t have close enough friends at college to make them feel heard.

It looks like still wanting to spend hours talking to a close friend after a long day making small talk at work.

It looks like debating about whether to go to a social gathering, because yeah, you’re kind of lonely and you know it would do you good, but you’re also so exhausted…

Socializing does use up an introvert’s energy. But not all socializing uses the same amount of energy, and not all socializing equally satisfies the need for people.

For example, socializing with strangers or slight acquaintances uses a lot of energy and provides little satisfaction, so while it’s very often necessary, it’s not particularly helpful.

Socializing with close friends, on the other hands, uses little energy and provides lots of satisfaction, so it can potentially go on for hours or days with little need for breaks.

Then there’s the middle, people who use a moderate amount of energy and provide a moderate amount of satisfaction. The introvert likely considers these people friends, but not their closest friends. Whether they’re helpful to be around depends on what the introvert needs at the moment.

(Disclaimers:
1. There are probably some introverts who could pull off being a hermit long term. I am not one of them. And while I don’t know statistics, I doubt it’s the norm.
2. All descriptions are from personal experience. Take them with a grain of salt. Your introvert may function differently than I do.
3. Not every decision on whether or not to spend time with a person is made based on amount of available energy and need for people. Nor should every decision be made this way. But it is often a factor.)

In conclusion: Don’t forget that introverts need people, too.

Posted in Life, Thoughts

Extroverts Need People

The general internet likes to talk about how introverts need alone time. Introverts want their extroverted friends to understand that sometimes they need to withdraw to recharge and function well.

This is good. It’s important. After all, an extrovert who never made sacrifices to help their introvert friends live in a healthy way wouldn’t be a very good friend, right?

But guess what, introverts. It goes the other way, too.

What if you never go to a party with your extroverted friends?

Never spend time with them when they want company but you would really rather just be alone?

Never make sacrifices to help them live in a healthy way?

Well, that wouldn’t make you a very good friend, would it?

Posted in Life

Adventures with Maria

Last week, my friend Maria and I visited Biltmore Esates. She’s getting married this summer, and we wanted to go on a trip before that. We like visiting old fancy houses, so this was a good choice.

We had a little apartment for the few days we were there. It was only minutes away from everything we wanted to do, but it was still in a very quiet neighborhood. In the mornings we opened windows and could hear more birds than traffic. The apartment was part of an old, renovated building, and it was an excellent combination of quirky and nice. We enjoyed it.

We spent most of a day exploring Biltmore. The house is enormous (200-some rooms – not that we saw all of them), and we toured it in the morning. We saw tons of pretty things and fancy rooms and impressive architecture. Here are just a few small details:

The view through a door. It looks snowy outside, but it was actually just very misty.
I loved these stairs for reaching high shelves in the library.
A cubby underneath a staircase!
I did not get a picture of it myself, but this painting, The Waltz by Anders Zorn, hangs in the second floor living hall. I loved it.
This was my lunch, winter risotto. The color was a bit unexpected, but it was absolutely delicious.

After the house, we went to lunch at one of the restaurants in the village that’s part of the estate. The place was nice, the food was excellent, and we didn’t wait long at all. We were very satisfied with our choice of restaurant.

After lunch, we explored the gardens for a while. The timing was perfect; it rained in the morning and while we ate, but it stopped when we were ready to wander around outside.

We saw only a minuscule portion of the grounds, but what we saw was beautiful. Not many things had bloomed yet, but the gardens were still artistically designed and meticulously cared for. One garden contained an abundance of tulips. In another we found a pond full of fish, who seemed very interested in the possibility that we had brought them food (we had not). We discovered lots of intriguing paths to explore.

To wrap up our day, we went to see Beauty and the Beast. It was nice to sit down, and we accidentally found a swanky movie theater with unexpectedly comfortable seats.

The trip to and from the place were very enjoyable as well. We had lots of time to talk and listen to music and just enjoy each others’ company.

It was a very special trip. I’m so glad we were able to go.