Thursday, June 30, 2011

There's seclusion, and then there's people

I have been looking forward to this week for pretty much my entire life. Well, not this week specifically, but a week like this week. You see, my one roommate is out of town, which means I have the entire apartment to myself for longer than just a few hours. And that means I can experiment with my cooking, listen to loud music, control the t.v., leave my stuff lying in the living room, and run around wild and crazy if I so desire. No one will be there to tell me what to do, to compete with my noise level, or to make me feel self-conscious when I'm singing along to my quiet music.

During those long summers I spent babysitting, I often imagined what it would be like to be on my own, to do things simply because I could, like buying a gallon of ice cream and eating it all by myself. Yep, I had big plans. From my journal, dated February 17, 2003:
You know what I decided? When I move into my own house I will always have apple juice, snacks, chips and salsa, good shampoo and conditioner, chocolate chips, and cereal. I will get it all to myself! and I must also have: a piano, a big bathtub, a waterbed, lots of good movies, and a cool deck. Oh--and lots of porclien dolls and cross stitch and cute stuff like that everywhere. It will be great!!
I am happy to report that I stayed true to most of those dreams. I don't usually have apple juice though (but now I'm going to crave it until I get some); I don't have a water bed, but I did buy an amazing queen-sized bed before moving in; my bathtub isn't really that huge, but I do have my own bathroom, which is AWESOME; and I don't have a piano yet, but some day in the distant future I will have a piano in some form or another.

So yes, it's really cool to be living the dream, but there's one thing I left out when I dreamed up this lovely scheme.

I need people in my life.

Being the shy individual that I am, I usually don't mind hanging out by myself. Honestly, my favorite way to spend a Friday night is in holed up in front of a t.v. somewhere with a small bowl of melted chocolate chips in one hand and a baby spoon in the other. I have a lot of hobbies that keep me occupied for hours and hours, no conversation required. It's a pretty good system that has mostly kept me happy throughout my life.

But however much I may (unintentionally) avoid people, I still need them in my life. The past week or so I've sat in my bubble at work for 8-9 hours and then I'll go home to an empty apartment, and the joy of being the boss of everything is dampened somewhat by the fact that I haven't talked to anyone all day.

And so the past couple of days at work, I've gotten unusually giddy when someone talks to me. I perk right up when someone says hi as they're walking by my desk, and when somebody actually stops to talk to me I feel so energized I could run a mile, or even walk up to someone and talk to them. Yesterday I went to a 10-minute meeting and I felt like Christmas had come early.

So I guess it all comes down to the "all things in moderation" motto. I probably wouldn't have been able to understand this when I was 13 and was surrounded by siblings and schoolmates, but I understand the importance of human interaction now.

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