Confessions of a Self-Declared Hermit

jan 27
If pajamas could scold, I think they’d be scolding me right now.

I’ve been shuffling around in my PJs for the past 24 hours. I mean, I’ve been really trying to leave my place more often, but god, it’s just so warm. And cozy. And fluffy. And all these public spaces are so crowded and loud and stuffy and chatty, with basic girls in front of me gabbing on about how Mary Beth should have prioritized Gwenyth for  brunch, but didn’t. Some shit like that.

But I did venture out for about a day or two, wandering into bookstores, cafes, an event. I went to the event for an article I was writing.

Here are some confessions of a self-declared hermit: people can be scary. And irritating. Really irritating. See, when I’m in a people-loving mood, every social interaction’s an opportunity. It’s great. But when I’m feeling hermit-y, unfamiliar faces are terrifying, smiling at strangers feels like a chore, and I sometimes can’t even recognize my own voice. It sounds distant and chirpy and strange.

And strangers can seem so…strange. Or annoying, like the person smacking loudly besides you in the coffeeshop. Or aggravating, like the girl with the raspy dry voice (please, I beg of you, drink water) in the corner of the room, rudely checking her hot pink phone when other people are presenting.

All of this just emphasizes how much I really do like my best friend, who, honestly, might be the only person (aside from a select few) I can spend 89 consecutive hours around. Without becoming massively annoyed. Because I spent 89 consecutive hours around her the past weekend, and we got along–really well–and it just felt like such a relief to be around her family, whom I like and (am pretty sure) like me.

Whereas with strangers, it’s like, this weird quiet split-second dance of figuring out whether you like them, how much you like them, whether they like you, if it even matters, should you smile harder? talk louder? avoid eye contact? spread the cheer? grab the food? make them feel special? or just stop scrutinizing in general? I mean, it’s natural to like, or dislike, some people more than others, simply based on first impressions. But constantly forming and making first impressions is an exhausting endeavor.

It’s just–obviously–so much easier to be around people you like, who like you, who you and be yourself around, who can be themselves around you, etc. But since 99% of people don’t fall under that camp, though, most interactions requires effort, weight, energy.

That, I guess, is really my point. When I have a lot of energy to make that effort to go out and meet people and spend time with them, it’s seamless. It’s fun, it’s necessary, it’s energizing. But when I feel like a hermit, and all my energy’s just drained by people, I find the sphere of “social activities” to be tiring. And vaguely terrifying. So really, when I feel intensely introverted (and it’s a pendulum) socializing is either painful or alarming.

See, it feels good to get this off my chest, even though this a complete non-issue. The people closest to me are more hermit-y than I am, so when I do talk about this, it’s just regular conversation. I am usually the aggressive social butterfly. But every butterfly once had a warm, fluffy, PJ-filled cocoon. And I am currently marinating in said cocoon, drawing and reading and watching Bob’s Burgers.

1.27.18 | Daily Art