Monday, August 20, 2012

Knock, knock. It's your introvert.

“Knock, knock.”

Who’s there?

“It’s your introvert.”

I don’t have one of those. Go away, I want to be alone.


I am an extrovert. No one will argue with that. I frolic in a dramatic, social environment. Whereas an introvert might feel the energy sucked out of them by a crowd, I gain vigor from it. I say to myself, “I feel lonely” more often than” I want to be alone.”

There have been times, albeit limited and short-lived, that I have wanted to be solitary. I enjoy a good cry now and then and I prefer to write when I am by myself. But I have never felt the coziness of self tugging at me until now.

I love it here in Egypt. I love the friendly, kind nature of perfect strangers and the energetic, inspiring presence of my colleagues. My yearning for some me-time is not directly associated with wanting to be away from others. Instead, I want a balance between taking in everything and everyone around me, and sitting solo with my thoughts and reflecting.

These are newish feelings for me, so as I am learning to otherwise set boundaries, I am also figuring out how to shut myself away for a couple hours without being a total brat. “I want to be alone,” sounds so conceited, but shutting my door without explanation also appears rude.

I think I am slowly becoming a new person, a person I like a whole bunch and want to nurture. I am eating healthier, exercising more, rarely drinking, and feeling more content overall. I know it is early, but I want to steadily keep this stream of positivity going rather than rising to the occasion and then plummeting into my past behavior. I actually spoke this thought aloud to my great roommate today: “I think I’d like to get a chair for my balcony and sit out there and read.” Can you believe it? Darkness-prone, cold-loving, inside-girl wants to sit outside in the warmth of Egypt?

I miss being around my family and friends, I like being around my new coworkers, and I’m also starting to enjoy being around myself. Not bad for one week, eh?


  1. Megan,
    We are enjoying your blogs and look forward to reading the new ones everyday! Continue to grow as a person and know that we all back at Nieman Miss you like crazy!!!
    From the Watland Family

    1. Thank you so much! It makes me so happy to know you are reading it and to read your comments. I hope everything is going ok and the girls are enjoying school. I miss you all!

  2. My first day in Hong Kong, I stayed at a hotel in the middle of one of the busiest intersections in the city.

    I left the hotel, took a hotel name card, and ventured out. I weaved in and out of people, trying to get my directions straight and get a sense of my surroundings. I had three days in the hotel before I needed to find my school and move into my new flat.

    I stayed out only an hour that day. I made a goal to stay out two hours the second day. The third day I found enough courage to trek to the other side of the island. Once pre-service activities started, I was surrounded by colleagues, but I'm thankful for the few days by myself - time I needed to get adjusted.

    I spent far more time by myself that first year than I have since. It was a great time of growth for me, as it seem to be for you.

    I'm so glad you're blogging about the experience. I wish I had.

    1. Thank you so much for your comments, Janet. I know that I have a long way to go in this journey, but so far, it's pretty enjoyable!

  3. I think it's awesome that you're exploring the joys of "me-time" and I still can't believe how out-doorsy you've become!!! As an extrovert who think's he's a introvert, I also like combining the two intro/extro sides by being alone in a crowd. i.e., people watching, have a meal/snack at a public place, or even just walking around by myself. One of the best activities anyone ever suggested to me when relocating to any new place is the "concentric-circle" orientation. You start at your front door and start walking in a circle. First around your block to get to know the shops and buildings, then around the surrounding blocks and streets until you eventually go from knowing your immediate surrounding to knowing the whole neighborhood. It's a great way to avoid finding that AMAZING restaurant/shop/cafe the week before you leave/before it closes. Also, solitary walks are also great times to introspect.

    ...Of course, crazy desert heat might make this a better fall/winter exercise ;-) Love reading the blog and miss you sooooo much!!!!