I am sitting here alone in a cozy home wrapped in a furry robe my dad got me for Christmas. I am an extrovert, so being alone is not my favorite thing. I used to to think it was because I got my energy from people so it's debilitating to be by myself for long periods of time.
But I've spent lots of time alone, more than usual I'd say over the past few months, and I am starting to realize that it's not the energy that I am lacking. It's the distraction. I'm a question-asker. I can sit at a table with someone and talk about them for the entire time. Now, of course this isn't a bad thing in general. I wouldn't brag about my listening skills, so don't think I am saying I never talk about myself. We all know that's not true. But I do think that if I'm honest, I often use other people's lives and problems and stories as a way to avoid my own.
It's hard because I want to be a person who is emotionally stable and mature. I want to be the person that I project - someone who has it together and can handle a lot, a lot.
I am those things often.
But sometimes, and especially in the last few months, I have not been that person.
Someone once told me you are 10 different people in your 20s. I think they meant it to be comforting or encouraging or exhilarating.
That's positively horrifying to me.
How exhausting - to change 10 times (10 is an arbitrary number, I know. I think I'm well on my way though...). I feel the fatigue of it, though.
I dive wholeheartedly into things. Which is once again, a good thing in general. But it also enables me to leave other, less "interesting," things by the wayside in pursuit of something "better." But I'm learning I can't trust my own instincts all the time. They want to cash in on those 10 different lifestyles. They want me to put my heart into something because that is just what I do. But when you put your heart into something, it takes a piece of it. Whether it's successful or not, you've invested. That is sometimes a great thing - but for me - it's been a detrimental thing. I feel like I have little heart left to put into something.
How do you get heart back? How do you get sense of clarity and purpose back? How do you claim an identity for yourself when you've spread yourself so thin that you really don't have a true concept of yourself? These are the big, annoying questions I think people hate when millennials ask - they are like "Ok, person who has been handed so much in life, stop pondering everything and just contribute to society. Not everything has to be so hard and you don't have to dissect every part of life looking for something that isn't there." These are those questions. Eye-roll. I should just read one of the countless books written to help me find my way and call it a day. Oh wait, I have. Ha.
So I'm asking them. I'm cashing in my millennial, confused, I sort of don't know what the hell I am doing card.
Another compliment someone gave me is also something that haunts me. He asked me "what does it feel like to be good at lots of things?" Which is a very, very nice thing to say. Don't read into this and think I am bragging.
He's right though, I am good at lots of stuff. I am a natural learner, and frankly, just a good faker. So even if I'm not GREAT at something, I can sure pretend I am. This is also a good thing, in general. But it goes back to my problem. There's so many things I think I could pursue with my whole-heart. How come I've never done music? Or quit everything to really dedicate time to writing? Or gone back to school to get my PhD and teach? Or become a mom? Or become a true pastor? Or become an Executive at a company? Like, why are none of those things my current reality? Why didn't I dive into them with my whole heart for a long period of time?
I am a contradiction. I am half-in/half-out with nearly everything in life. But I also put my whole heart into things in such a way that leaves me exhausted and restless for energy.
This is why being alone is a scary thing for me. I am left alone in this wormhole with my thoughts. Yikes.
My friend Paul is a terrific writer, and does a "Friday Freewriting" exercise that I decided to steal. I will try to do it once a week. Set the timer for 15 minutes and write. Who knows what will come out. Then, I'll edit for mistakes and post. Easy.