Adjusting to a different life

in #life3 years ago (edited)

When I went away to University I was quite happy to just sit in my room alone by myself. I had no problems making friends of which I made many, but I have always been someone who was very comfortable when there was no one else around. I guess the term for this would be 'introvert' but I also believe that even though it came naturally to me it could also be classified as a skill to others where it did not come naturally.

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Because of this, I would spend hours if not days just spending time by myself. This was great because it allowed me to get into really deep thought patterns with no time constraints with anywhere I specifically needed to be at a given time. I think that is a wonderful freedom to have.

When I went on a much bigger adventure into the US by myself, I did the same thing. Outside of getting a job and socializing occasionally, I spent a lot of my time by myself whether it was hiking at LA's Runyon Canyon or sitting at my desk writing or reading. This type of lifestyle that I had for a few years allowed me to learn a lot about myself and also the world. It sounds strange, but the time I spent being alone was basically a period of deep learning.

Within the past few years, I have spent less time alone. I don't think that is a bad thing at all, on the contrary, it has been an overwhelmingly good thing. Being around more people has allowed me to view life from a different perspective and learn even more skills than I would have. For example, I have become a better planner and manager of my time due to needing to take other people's lives and schedule into account. This is invaluable as most of our lives will include more than just ourselves.

Having to think of more people than just myself has also led to a life of more action-taking than before. Not that I was passive, but more-so that I have taken what I learned while I had the time alone and put it into action to create something physical (like a business). This has been a great experience that has also required a certain level of adjustment, because even though I have taken action to the extent I have done things much quicker than I thought I would, I also feel as if I haven't learned as much as I was previously learning.

I think that this is correct on one level but not another. In other words, I have simply been learning different things than I would have been had I not been taking this level of action. It has been an adjustment because it has simply been a different way of living life. Things that I was used to having or doing have now shifted into something else that are just as if not more valuable.

Coming up with things to write about were a lot easier when I had more time alone. I am unsure why, but having certain 'realisations' or learning experiences seemed to be more prolific back then. I wouldn't say I haven't learned as much as back then, but I think this is all part of the adjustment to being a more action-oriented person.

Being someone who is naturally an introvert allows a lot of flexibility. Not only am I very comfortable being with just myself, but I also put a large focus on having the social skills and comfort level to be around a lot of others, despite it not being my natural preference. I think this is one of the best balances you can have, as the opposite which is usually an extrovert probably doesn't have the same comfort or deep thinking which comes with being alone as they're always surrounded by people distracting them.

I am sure there are extroverts who are comfortable being by themselves too, and that's fine. I think it's a bit of a superpower, which is strange in itself.

Because being action-oriented generally requires you to be 'in the moment', there has to be more of a conscious effort to be... well... conscious. I think this has been one of my bigger takeaways from the experience of being less alone and I think it is an invaluable lesson.

If you can be an action-taker and have the self-awareness and consciousness to learn on the go, I think you will do well in life. Not many people can juggle the two, and it is something that I will be continuing to focus on as I grow.

Thank you for reading!

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I think I am a bit of an introvert too. I enjoy a bit of quiet time for deep reflection and so I know exactly what you mean. Some of the learning and insights I've gained from such contemplation have been life-changing for me.