Every time anyone asked me what I was planning to do over the four-day weekend, I exuberantly replied, "SLEEP!"
Most people were not impressed with this. Fair enough, it's not the most interesting activity out there. The lack of empathy surprised me a bit though. Is everyone else in the world getting a good amount of sleep? Are all the people around me not weary?
This is hard to believe. Perhaps they're just better at faking it than I am.
No plans were made, in fact I made anti-plans and said no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, long after people stopped asking. No one will invite me out again, and oh please let that be the case. 'Sleep' is one way of saying 'rest', and 'rest' can mean many things.
I pulled myself in, an operation that started some time in the week before, when I found myself compulsively checking my phone and email accounts for any sort of contact that meant someone out there was thinking of me, which would validate my existence for maybe the next minute, if I was lucky, this validation seldom lasted long enough to see me through to the next such instance of contact, and so I'd find myself wondering what I could do to increase the regularity of these instances, and acting before thinking and with the most pathetic motivations.
Interestingly, the source of this behaviour doesn't lie in depression and insecurity as it usually does.
The 34 days I spent in Patagonia I was constantly surrounded by people. There was not a moment I had to myself, no quiet time, and these weren't quiet people. They were boisterous and rowdy and hilarious. They didn't stop. Pretty early on they twigged that I wasn't quite fitting the mold, and to fend off any future troubles I told them I wasn't a people person and in a couple of weeks would probably over-saturate from social exposure, cease all communication and disappear off on my own for great tracts of time.
This failed to happen, which they called me on, and fuck me if I wasn't the most surprised of everyone. It wasn't just that I coped the shit out it, I wasn't actually 'coping' at all, it was no trial, I did not have to be careful with myself, I was having a freaking awesome time and it never occurred to me that I needed to fall apart at any point in time.
Do you know how that feels? To find the boundaries of your introversion do not lie where you assumed they did?
To feel like maybe you're a normal person?
That feels amazing.
I came back, and carried on with this new assumption that I could be a normal person with a fun and happening social life. I've done so much stuff in the last couple of months it's ridiculous, from concerts to cocktails, phone calls to rampant text messages. I'm not ruled by introversion! I can be normal! I can take it!
And, yes, well, no, actually, I can't.
For a moment there I was closer, much closer, to being a person I've wanted to be for my whole life. But I'm not her. Or rather, I can't always be her. She's unsustainable, and not good for me.
In withdrawing (yet again), breaking myself of this validation-chasing habit (yet again), I've given myself a different sort of validation, more unwanted but not unexpected confirmation than validation I suppose. Not saying anything is good for me. Not waiting for something to be said to me is even better.
I've been over-indulging in the wrong sorts of words. Too much discourse, too much effort spent trying to predict or bait the response I wanted. Too many words spent communicating.
It seems a sad thing to live in a world in which there is no shortage of fascinating people with interesting things to say, and yet I must spend time talking and listening only to myself.
It doesn't matter that right now there is no great turbulence in my life. There need be no howling and the volume need not be on full for me to spend time listening to the tides in my thoughts. What goes on in me now is quiet and soft, which makes it no less important to listen to, only that I must listen harder.
Every time I do this I despise myself a little more. Inconsistent and unreliable. I am sorry.
It was fun, and now it's not.
Operation: Shut The Fuck Up gogogo
[ETA: On considering, this has probably been further exacerbated by my means of communication, being little snippets here and there as I'm still wary of my hands. Twitter and Facebook are fun, but lacking substance. Like eating fast food, it's fine for a bit but doesn't take long before you want something real.]