I’ve learned a new word. Ambivert: A person who is neither clearly extroverted nor introverted, but has characteristics of each.
You guys! I cannot believe it! Another week has gone by already and here I am, spending most of my morning on the couch with a new novel, trying not to feel bad about “wasting” a day to rest.
Rest from what? Playing? Yes.
I’m a fairly social being and lately I’ve been feeling a bit…stretched thin. I need one day a week to be alone much of the day, with nothing to do but wander around in my own mind.
When I opened up my old blog and landed on my post, Sick Of “Community” from September 2018, I knew it was the one I would share with you today. Why? Because I’m still sick of the word “community” but not the idea of it, although my idea has changed a bit.
Here’s what I had to say nearly four years ago. Keep reading to hear my newest thoughts on the concept.
Community. I hear that word every day. I see it in print. I hear people talk about it online and on TV.
“Get involved in your community!”
“Everyone should have a community of people they rely on!”
“Know what’s going on in your community!”
“Community brings people together!”
Ugg…I’m tired of hearing it and tired of trying to make it work for me only because that’s what everyone says is important.
I want to be a part of community in some sense. I enjoy the company of friends from time to time. I like having people to invite over for a BBQ, but is that community or just friends?
What about the past? I’m looking at rural farmers and fur traders, people that lived pretty isolated and only came together in groups a couple times a year at most. Were they lacking in community?
I’ve always had a hard time finding my people. It’s me, not the people. I just don’t feel like I really fit in. The more I try to work in a group, the more frustrated I become. I end up not helping the group or myself. It all seems so futile. Then I started thinking…maybe not everyone works well in groups!
Maybe being alone more will help me focus and create. Maybe, for me, Monday’s here, Wednesday’s here, Saturday’s there, volunteer at this, help this cause, etc., is just too much for me and I lose myself in it.
I’ve never been physically alone for an extended amount of time. The longest in recent years has been a three-hour stint sitting in the car waiting for my son. I read a lot. What would happen if I were alone for a whole 24 hours? 48? I’d like to experiment with that idea in the near future.
And now here I am four years later and not much has changed for me, other than a better understanding of my own needs and acceptance that this is who I am.
In the recent past, I’d begun to identify myself as an introvert. When people asked if I wanted to go somewhere or join something, I’d simply use the excuse “introvert” and walk away. But it didn’t feel right. I do enjoy the company of people, but not all people, all the time. I’m selective and I’ve finally decided that it’s ok.
Are there only “introverts” and “extroverts?” Is there more than a dichotomy? Could there be a spectrum? The answer is, yes. I’m starting to think there are no real dichotomies in this reality, everything has shades and leans one way or another, and nothing stays the same.
Why do we feel the need to label everything anyway? Maybe “community” can simply be the people that you choose to associate with, and those people are constantly changing.
Want to read last Sunday’s repost? Check out Slightly Painful Reminders.