I’m a little bit shy. Maybe you already knew that from reading here, if you’ve been visiting for any amount of time. And maybe I wouldn’t say it’s shyness exactly, but talking to people I don’t know very well takes every ounce of my energy. And I’m able to seem normal (I hope–It feels like I’m doing a good job at it at the time!) and carry on with chit chat at a party, but inside I’m scrambling to think of the right thing to say. And when the conversation ends and I step away, I feel like I have an allowance of personality for each day and I’ve depleted some of my ration. By the end of a party or a busy day at the mercantile, I am all used up. I have used all my words. I am utterly spent. My dearest friends and family know this about me and never think twice about my virtual silence over dinner. They know it means I talked a lot that day. They ignore my crabbiness, my solitude, and choose to love me in spite of it.
But Ben! He’s quite the opposite. He feeds off of conversation with new friends or old friends, he is energized by it. And I prefer to stand in his shadow, my comfortable place where he does the talking, all jovial warmth, and I can smile and listen intently.
Tonight we went to the most lovely Christmas party at the Batemans’ house. So many amazing people from our town were there, people I know well enough and see every day, but I still felt my heart pounding as we were walking up to the door, my hands shaking a little as we stepped inside.
I snaked through the house and even managed a few hugs and conversations as I did, then spotted our dear friends around a fire pit outside. I felt my heart swell with happiness at seeing them and made a beeline for that glowing corner of the patio. And then I could be me, without anxiety or nervous feelings. My tribe. How I love them.
Do you ever feel like I do? I want so badly to be a person described as “sparkling” at a party, but it will never come naturally for me. And that’s okay.
I was welcomed home by a warm bubble bath, The Crown, and the polar vortex bedding we only pull out for a few nights each year: my real down bedding that’s more akin to a cumulus cloud than a duvet.