It was really difficult for me to admit that I am introverted. I mean, it’s hard to admit to being something when you don’t even know what it is. My family described it as “moody”. They didn’t know what an introvert was either.
Since I am someone that does like talking to people at times, and is pretty darn good at it, no one would suspect a thing. I had a roommate a while back that was extroverted. She would be on the go constantly, crash and sleep, always wanted people over, and then would go out for more. Just thinking about it makes me tired. I used to hate when she would come into my room when I was home from a trip without asking or texting me first. Truthfully, though, I envied the fact that she was an extrovert.
How do I pair being an introvert (and possibly a highly sensitive person) with being a flight attendant? Well friends, some days, it’s really hard. Today was one such day.
There are situations in which it works out really well. The people skills that I’ve honed on other jobs, coupled with the ability to “know my cabin”, has aided me many times in delivering great customer service. In addition, being compassionate here and there never hurts either.
It becomes problematic, however, when the days are 5 legs long, or the flights are just long. When I haven’t had time to catch my breath or eat, I can’t possibly be at my best… and Lord forbid if I haven’t slept! No one is at their best all the time, but I know when I need to recharge. I start stumbling over words or zoning out. I feel agitated and don’t engage with small talk much, and sometimes the only way I can get through boarding (or even the flight) is to disassociate.
I was tired today, and found myself feeling like an observer. You know how scenes on shows focus on what a character is looking at or observing? This is what it felt like. Like I was watching something that someone else was experiencing… except that I was “someone else”. It’s strange to describe how I disengage, and it’s my first time attempting to describe it. People that have experienced this will know what I mean.
I come home, fried. No, not fried. Something fried is delicious. I’m more like the toast that was in the toaster when the toaster caught fire. Nothing is delicious about that.
Then I take public transportation back to where I’m staying. After greeting the bus driver and putting my bags onto the rack, I flopped into my seat, and stared straight into the void. People walked by me as they got on, and my gaze didn’t shift. I was too tired. Physically, yes. All of the shows were early, and that was tough. Nothing, however, could prep me for all of the people-ing I had to do today in that state. Jello has more hold than I do after a day that feels long. The only thing that almost makes it worse is knowing that I’m not going home to my own place. It’s not that my roommates are bad, but I’m an introvert with a desperate need not to people. Since they’re not best friends or anything who understand this, it still counts as people-ing.
So then I barely hang out with my roommates, and feel guilty; however, taking care of my introvert needs is crucial to my mental health. Having my own apartment will be also. I’m still looking, my friends. Pray for me.
I feel pathetic after trips. Sometimes I sit awake, deciding whether to eat or sleep first, and feel miserable all the while. Like now. I’ve been home since at least 1pm, and I’m still in full uniform. To be fair, I got this nifty new iPad and was excited to start playing with it… but still. I’ve done this on many a day. I’ll start cooking and doing household chores, all while still in uniform. My brain doesn’t function enough after a trip to take the damned thing off when I get home!
I wish someone could leave me food, order me to take a nap, leave me a fur friend, and shut the door. And make sure my devices are charged so I can watch Star Trek later (I’ve become obsessed with Next Generation). My darling cell phone, which can’t hold a charge longer than about an hour of normal use, now is probably dead… like my ability to think to plug it in.
I love how this is the first thing I’m writing after a long pause, but it weighs on me constantly. I won’t stop being an introvert. I just wish I could take care of myself better, I guess. I also wish people understood it better. Introvert, Dear has been a wonderful way for me to feel less alone as an introvert. I tend to read it often when I feel like this.
Seriously though, I could use a nap. Until next time, folks. And there will be a next time. A much sooner next time now that I have a functioning device 😉 So world, please excuse me for not being able to people today. It’s just too much for me right now.