I've gotten increasingly more introverted with each year of my adult life. I'd be happy spending every night of the week at home, and I actually dreaded my social 'obligations'. When I did go out, I'd often leave early or have to take a break mid-party to be able to handle all of the stimulation.
I'd end these nights feeling drained, anxious, and like there was something wrong with me. Why did everyone else like going to these shitty networking events? Why'd they enjoy drinking awkwardly in loud bars? Why did they try so hard at conversation with people who mainly cared about what they did for a living or how many followers they had?
Yet everyone was into it, so I figured I didn't like these people/events because I was introverted, and since I like alone time, I just started doing that more and more until I was alone almost all the time.
Until two months ago, when a friend invited me to a partner-stepping bootcamp. I agreed begrudgingly but once there, I felt a spark. Everyone was sober, and wholesome, and smiling and laughing. No one asked me what I did for a living. Every dance was like painting with new colors, each person brought their own unique style and it was so fun!
I went out again a couple days later, and again the night after that. Soon, I was going out all the time, exploring new honky tonks, meeting delightful people, creating a little community of folks who left me feeling good, invigorated, and happy instead of drained.
I have 'my bar' now, where I'm a regular. Me! Who is she?! And I sometimes stay until closing! I never have to leave and recharge, or go home early. And I have a favorite live band, too! I never liked seeing live music before. It was always so loud and kind of boring. But it turns out, I'd never found my kind of live music.
I'm making myself stay in tonight to get some rest and 'me' time, and it's actually kinda hard, even though I'm going out tomorrow and Thursday and Saturday and Sunday. Like, who even am I. Well, I guess I'm a girl who changed up her hobbies and her people once she found a good fit. And now, maybe I'm an extrovert.
I was out with a new friend on Saturday and she'd said that her husband used to be really introverted, but when he started anti-depressants he got way happier and now he wants to be around people. It reminded me a little of myself. And it makes me wonder how many of us serious introverts are actually that introverted, or if we just haven't found our things and our people yet.