"If you ever happen to go outside of your house, do you think you could run this errand for us?" - my boss, during a meeting.
It's safe to say I am always at home. Mainly because I'm at home every time I don't have something I have to do, that is to say, if I am free to choose where I want to be, I will choose home every time.
I've been thinking about this a lot, for the past few years, trying to pin-point the exact moment in which my abnormal sleeping pattern stopped being the only reason I wasn't engaged socially as much as everyone else in my circle.
Part of it is being a highly sensitive person (HSP). I don't know how canon HSP is as a diagnosis but I can say I definitely relate and thinking about myself as a HSP has allowed me to understand myself better and find solutions to my particular challenges. Basically, being a HSP is not necessarily about sensitive in the sense of feelings, but more in general, all your sensors are more fine-tuned and can pick up lower signals than average. For me, it means that I can find it hard to focus, and I tend to note everything that goes on in a room to the point that I miss the main event because I was making note of how all the people walking in and out.
Another big part of it is that I tend to overthink everything, and have a running anxiety that constantly weighs on all my attempts to do anything. So, as I go about my HSP life picking up very many signals, I also happen to overthink each and every little signal, leaving me with a very busy brain. And after a while, I feel really tired. Especially after a long day of social engagement, I feel exhausted, I need to retreat seemingly for long, long days. Yes, I am an introvert. I am also just a little bit shy, but that hasn't really been a problem.
Come to think of it, most of my favorite activities are solo activities or quiet-time activities as well, such as reading (number 1 favorite!), coloring, researching/learning, watching movies. The best companions for all of these activities are my little housemates, Eggy and Mimin, who are cats. Even so, no man is and island. And as I grow and mature, I'm starting to be a lot more grateful to all the people behind the scenes who have supported me all along and helped me succeed. I'm putting a lot more value on interpersonal relationships, because now I see that even though I am happy being alone, I still love, like, need, and want people in my life.
So it has come time to lose the identification with the hermit in me. The hermit is just another facet of my personality, but it's not who I am. If I'm a little bit more honest with myself, I will also talk about how much I loved hosting dinner parties when I lived in Scotland, how I traveled for a week with friends, lived with friends, and how much I enjoy going on walks and even, occasionally, I love parties. I suppose, being completely honest, that a personality is more like breathing, oscillating between extremes as you learn and adjust and try to find a happy balance where things somewhat make you feel complete. I spent the past three years on the inhale, isolating myself, taking in experiences, reflecting and hiding inside my own self. But I can feel it already, the exhale has begun. I am now ready to come out, like the proverbial butterfly all changed up, to show the world all what I can do in my new form.
So yes, boss. I will run that errand. I will run it today.