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Saturday, March 4, 2017

On Being a 30 Year Old Introvert

I am 30 years old with a husband and two kids. When it comes down to it, I am an introvert. As I get older, I'm finding it more difficult to cope physiologically. I can count on one hand the number of friends I have, and I only have one who actually lives in the same state. I don't have any mommy friends. I don't go out for girl's night, and you can usually find me at home.

I have always been an introvert, but I was not nearly this bad when I was young. In school I always had a group of friends. Sometimes that group would be small, but sometimes I would feel like I really belonged. In high school I yearned to have a normal teenage life and found myself making up lies just to leave the house and hang out with friends. Since I wasn't allowed to play sports, I did my best to belong by joining clubs and participating in school events. Sure, I wasn't the most popular girl in high school. I was probably more on the dorky side, but I did my best socially.

Senior Picnic - 2004
hanging out with friends in high school

College was a game changer for me. I never left my childhood home, and college was even closer than my high school. I walked to campus every morning and walked back home every night. I never had a roommate. I never joined any clubs. I went to a few parties during my senior year when I moved out of my parent's house. Out of those four years I met a handful of people, but only one of them stuck around. Thanks, hubby. The college social life failed me, but then again I wasn't trying very hard. You won't find me at any college reunions.

DSC05840
oddly enough, I still had some high school friends (+ Cyn & H) who wanted to celebrate my 21st birthday with me in college

Out of school and out of luck finding a job, depression hit hard. My self esteem fell to an all time low, and I had a difficult time getting back up. Almost 10 years later, and I haven't recovered. Memories of that time are still fresh, and my prospect of ever having a career have vanished.

Now as a wife and mother, being an introvert isn't healthy for my mental state. When I run into hard times, I only have my husband to turn to. I can't convince myself to join local mommy groups, and I keep conversations short when speaking to parents at preschool. I distance myself when possible. The first few years of parenthood were difficult without any support. Luckily I found myself an online community of amazing parents, and I finally felt like I belonged. Who needs real one on one in person interactions when there is an online community? Well apparently I do. I stopped regularly visiting the site, and now I only talk to those group of women on social media. I'm thinking maybe I should stop that too.

Halloween on Main Street
now this is what I look like... as seen with two kids in hand

I've noticed that in the past year I've been slipping faster and faster, digging myself deeper into the hole. I have forgotten about hobbies, and I have given up on dreams. I have turned myself into a machine. Wake up, take care of my family and house, and go to sleep. Even humans have limits, and I'm reaching mine. I'm not sure how much longer I can do this to myself.

I know what I need to do. I just don't know how to do it. I don't know how to find the motivation and drive. I'm an introvert who needs social stimulation. I'm an introvert who is yearning to discover something new and exciting. I need to find my identity outside of being just a wife and a mother. I need to find confidence in myself. I need to make new friends. I need to find a hobby and rediscover old ones. I need to carve out time for myself. I need to stop neglecting myself and remember that I'm important too. Right?