Recently I realized that I view the world in terms of how easily I can escape.
I park in the rear of the parking lot to be closest to the exit the concert, shopping mall, you name it.
I accept jobs with the notion in my head, that I can always leave if it doesn’t please me in some manner.
I avoid long events, and I am emotionally torn at school events; sit in the back to escape easily, or get the best seat to get the best view. I always take the best seat, but map out my exit plan as I watch the show. I am always thinking ahead.
I have become the worst kind of introvert. Alone by choice is one thing. Alone by fear is quite another.
Be prepared; if I invite you in, there is a limit and a line which I do not want you to cross. If you cross it, you ruin my exit plan. Think all those Von Trapp kids exiting over the Swiss Alps. Don’t throw me a curve ball now. I’m set; I know how many kids I have to carry over the mountain. I know how to get out if I need to. What is need? It’s hard to quantify, but I know it when it hits me. Sometimes it happens when I see a happy couple holding hands. Other times, it is the site of a family together, making plans to share the responsibilities and the plans of some upcoming event.
It is a trigger that is hit, and I know I have to get out of there.
This season gets me. Trays of holiday food at work. Try this. Oh my! My daughter made these, you must try them. I don’t want to try them. I take it to dump it later. I don’t want to insult the lady wearing the Santa hat with the flashing colored lights.
Come one, come all. You must be happy! It’s Christmas. Lady, that’s your happiness; it’s not mine. Honestly, I just want to leave and be alone with my family. My exit plan set. I have packed up my purse and lunch bag. They sit in my drawer at my desk, awaiting the word from the boss that we are released for the vacation to be with our families. It’s like the sprinter waiting for the gun to sound the start of the race.
Exit plan set. I just want to get out of here. If I sit here too long, I will cry. I don’t want those cookies. I don’t want the hugs from people who know nothing about me; I just want to leave.
I know, it sounds sad. I should be participating in the holiday festivities at my job! Woo Hoo!
But why? I need to celebrate on my own with my own family. They understand my occasional tear. They understand why certain things make me sad.
I can feel the tears welling up. Time to Exit. I have begun to doodle on my pad. 59 minutes, 58… 55… no thanks… I simply cannot eat another bite! I am sure it is delicious! 50…
I was an introvert by choice, but now, I am one by need. The outside world doesn’t understand and I don’t need to explain myself. My world is OK. It is mine, and it is OK.
I am shy. I am alone without a life partner. I have my kids who bring me endless joy. I have lost both my parents. My sister and I do not participate in each other’s lives. It’s my life, and it is OK.
I feel no need to explain myself to you. My joy is private and it is beautiful. I love my family, and I accept my life for now. I am working on what needs to be changed.
The holidays bring struggle for people like me. I have difficulty pretending to be happy when I am not.
I am an introvert. I am an introvert who is frequently frustrated at some of the directions life has taken me, but I am OK.
I don’t do small talk; in fact, plain and simple, I suck at small talk. It is far easier for me to discuss the philosophical differences between the political parties.
I am merry, and I am joyous, but in my own way. There are many types of joy; mine includes and exit plan with all the bells and whistles.