People are generally surprised that I’m an introvert. And, realistically, if it’s all on a spectrum, I’m probably just a few hairs over the line into the land of the Introvert. After all around people I know, small groups preferably, I am definitely not shy. I frequently have an opinion and feel compelled to share it. Mainly because I see some sort of injustice or underdog that needs defending and if there’s one thing I can’t abide it’s seeing a dog knocked around. By and large, I am deeply driven by relationships.
But then there is my overwhelm button which gets tripped when I’ve said too much, been around too many or listened too long. Then it feels like I’m hyper-sensitive–more anxious, irritable, indecisive, emotional. Sometimes I feel a bad cold coming on. I don’t think its psychosomatic, exactly, it’s just my body responding to what my brain can’t handle.
My previous job was so very, very about relationships and listening–to students, staff, partners. This was no doubt the reason I loved it. Also, it was very easy to slip into the land of overwhelm.
I decided months and months ago, before I decided to leave my job, to take a month away from everything and retreat into writing. I wanted to see what I could produce if all of my energy was focused there. I wondered what it would be like to not have to cram my writing into a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon and then to be discouraged when I couldn’t get enough done. What if theI had all the time in the world to just do this one thing? I wanted to return to Ireland to work on a particular project, and besides, it’s a place I love that I’ve visited before.
I am here now. The project has shifted, but the goals are the same. All the things I was most anxious about before I left–the driving on the left, the hidden costs of everything, getting lost in this very, very rural part of the world, not writing–have been dealt with. I made it, I found snacks and I figured out how to light a fire with peat (it is NOT like a wood fire, folks). I slept something like 12 hours and my jetlag is pretty minimal.
I feel great. I have not spoken to a soul (other than a quick FaceTime call to Mr. B to let him know I was alive). I don’t have a television and wifi is a little on the spotty side so I haven’t bothered to try Netflix. I haven’t listened to music or podcasts.
I can’t bring myself to interrupt this quiet.
I went for a couple hour stroll this morning to explore my corner of the world. I met several chatty mutts and some less chatty horses. I clambered through a bog to the top of a magnificent hill and talked to myself the whole time. I am not sure what I said in my head and what I actually uttered in sounds. It doesn’t matter.
This quiet, it’s delicious. I am savoring it. And I feel myself slowly unwinding.