Well, folks, I survived. Not only did I survive but I had a wonderful time. I really did. My heart smiles when I think about the people I reconnected with and those I met for the first time. Conversation was genuine, interesting and fun.
I was worried for nothing.
I tumbled into sleep last night feeling content.
But there were some introvert moments, namely at the end of the night and then this morning, the day after.
1. Like the flip of a switch, I knew when it was time to leave the party and I left-as abruptly as it sounds. I didn’t say good-bye to anyone other than a very small few. I just grabbed my coat and walked out the door. First of all, I had to relieve the sitter. Second of all-the driving force-my social reserves were depleted. For me, it’s a very physical reaction. A kind-of fight or flight, if you will.
This urge to flee had zero to do with the company in which I found myself. It had everything to do with being an introvert and drawing energy from being alone. In fact, I very much look forward to picking up conversations with these engaging folks at some point in the future. For last night, I didn’t have the reserves to keep going.
The switch flipped and like Cinderella at the ball, I ran.
2. As expected, I plummeted into a deep, resonating silence as soon as I left. I was overcome with physical and mental exhaustion. I barely spoke to my husband when he came home, an hour later, and wanted to recap the night. My lips were like they were cemented together. They were not opening to allow conversation.
3. Today, the day after, I woke up overwhelmed and pissed off. Of course, it didn’t help that I immediately had to get my youngest up and take him to a soccer game. Then I was on to a birthday party, picking up my daughter from a sleepover and getting another kid ready for basketball.
My agitation had nothing to do with last night’s particular party. It could’ve been any event. It could’ve been my much-desired bookstore book signing where streams of readers line up to see me and only me. It could’ve been anything.
I don’t know about you but when this happens to me, I lash out. I’m not angry. I’m done. I need quiet. Space. Solitude. And until I get that, I’ll wallow in a suspended reality of grumpiness and temper.
I am so thankful for the people who are a part of my life, who were a part of the wonderful evening I had last night. I talked about writing and life with old friends, pets with new, marveled at the intentionally hideous holiday sweaters and felt genuine warmth toward every single person.
The after-effects today have nothing to do with them. I would gladly spend more time with each person I spoke with last night.
I just have to do it in doses, with enough time to regroup. But I’m an introvert and that’s okay.
How did you fare after your holiday party?