Musings of a Newfound Introvert

Lately, I've really been struggling with coming to terms with the fact that I am an introvert.

WHAT?! Are you surprised? So am I. If you would have suggested this to me in the past, I would have scoffed at the idea. Haley? An introvert? As if. My main source of joy comes from connecting with others. I have two socially demanding jobs that require me to talk with people face to face all day long and serve as a representative of my brands everywhere I go in the community. I have a knack for befriending random people in coffee shops or yoga studios and if I'm taking myself out to eat alone or shopping, I'll chat with everyone I cross paths with. But lately, I've been reflecting on all the time I spend alone. I LOVE my alone time with my thoughts. And I'm slowly realizing that I spend much more time alone than the average person.

When these thoughts first clicked in my head, I panicked. "I'm not the type of person who is supposed to be an introvert," I thought (honestly, rather shallowly) to myself. I have all of these dreams, ambitions, adventures to go on that require putting myself out of my comfort zone and being, well, social. Surrounded by people all day long.

I think introverts have a really bad rep in today's society. They are labeled as odd, depressed, lonely, anti-social or socially awkward people who don't function as well in today's society as extroverts. Unable to get along or connect with others.

But, I'm realizing as I come to terms with my place in this category, that there is nothing wrong with this. My social needs are fulfilled during the day, when I'm having coffee or sweating with friends, attending business meetings, or talking to guests who come into lululemon. And 5-6 out of 7 nights a week I often find myself alone in my bed, relishing in my hot tea or Golden Mylk, cooking dinner to my favorite playlists, watching Netflix in bed with my pup, or doing research on the newest superfoods on watching videos on how to dice an onion most efficiently(yes, really). Recharging, fulfilling my own personal needs.

For the longest time, I fought the idea of being an introvert and struggled with the idea that something may be wrong with me. As I scrolled through my friends' social media channels, most of them always seemed to be spending time with someone else, and I wondered if I should be doing the same.

And sure, enjoying solitude has its downsides. Missed nights out on the town and memories with friends. Sometimes, I can't stomach the thought of another Netflix episode and boredom sets in. I have to work extra hard to maintain the close relationships in my life because I don't always spend time with my most valued friends every single day. But those who matter most, know how special to me they are and they give me my space out of love and respect. For us, it's quality over quantity, and our time together is always so special.

A very important pillar of happiness is letting go of who you, or others, think you're supposed to be, and embracing fully who you are and loving yourself for it. Detaching yourself from the idea that labels can determine what you are or are not capable of accomplishing. A very huge part of this involves no longer comparing yourself to others and the way they live their lives. Focusing on what makes you happy, and then fully living into it.

I apologize for not feeding your bellies with a delicious recipe tonight. All I can offer you this evening is some insight/food for your soul. Give yourself some extra love and indulgence as we enter into this holiday season. I'll try to crank out a Thanksgiving recipe or two for you guys in the mean time!

 

**Photo courtesy of Austin Fit Magazine. Check out my feature in the October issue if you haven't already!