Last night I pretended I was in my 20′s, and stayed out drinking and gallivanting until 1 in the morning.
When I say “drinking”, I mean having two cups of tea and about a million little cookies; and when I say “gallivanting”, I mean hanging out and gabbing in the kitchen for four hours after yoga ended. And, really, I was doing more observing and listening than talking, but still… I was out till 1 AM, talking to other grownups.
It was one of those times when you say your goodbyes, gather your stuff, move a few steps closer to the door… then set your stuff down again, and stay for another hour because someone started another funny story that snowballs into six more.
It was very unlike me.
My first inclination – especially when I’ve been busy or stressed, or alive – is to hole up and hibernate. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not engage with anyone who didn’t come from my loins or sleep in my bed. Yesterday I saw a comic on Deviant Art that likened living as an introvert to going through life in a hamster ball. Brilliant.
But it occurred to me at some point last night that I needed to be right where I was, talking to who I was talking to. As easy as it is for me to hole up sometimes (and it is so, so easy), we weren’t meant to live that way. We were meant to be part of a community. We were meant to connect with others.
I even wonder sometimes if that’s why I was called to teach yoga… so I’d be forced (but in a positive way) to reach out. To inspire, and to be inspired, by others. To touch, and to be touched, by others.
I talk so much about the importance of connecting with your kids, and it should go without saying that it’s important to connect with your spouse. But lately I’ve been stretched to realize and appreciate the importance of connecting with other adults as well. To share in struggles, and disappointments, and triumphs, and victories. To have another person, or ten other people, who are just there… offering a hug, or an ear, or a challenging perspective.
It’s pretty much what life’s about.
So to those who I’ve let in my little hamster ball of introversion, I thank you. I appreciate you more than you know.
I’ll never stop needing my long periods of hibernation (and that’s okay) but it turns out that occasionally connecting with others isn’t so bad either. Especially when there’s tea and cookies.