Heavy and Light

 

I drove to Los Angeles by myself to attend Heavy and Light, To Write Love On Her Arms. It was by far an incredible experience.
I stood in a room full of stories, music and other people that have suffered or struggled like I have.
I overcame a fear, I learned a lot, and I can honestly say how proud I am of myself to have come this far.

Growing up as a teenager, I was scared to be alone, and go places alone. I thought the word “alone” meant “lonely”. Only until the last few years have I learned that there is a major difference between the two. After having two kids, one at the age of 18 and the other at 21 and my husband working swing shift every night, it taught me to grow up. I had to learn to live in our house alone, go to sleep alone, I had to learn how to cook and take care of the kids and the house when he wasn’t home. I was terrified in the beginning, we just bought a brand new house when I was 20 years old, it was about 45 minutes away from family, in a town in the middle of nowhere. I remember the first few weeks I would call the cops every time I heard a noise. It was awful, I had never been alone, I didn’t know what to do.

On January 15th of this month, I made the decision to drive by myself to L.A. and visit the House of Blues for the Heavy and Light show by To Write Love On Her Arms. I got my own hotel, walked around L.A. by myself, went to the show, then the next morning I took a drive to Santa Monica (I’ve never been there before) and walked around with my headphones in along the ocean and had a nice lunch to myself on the pier. The weather was 75 and sunny, couldn’t have picked a better time to go. It was the most empowering experience I’ve ever had. I had moments of anxiety, but I pushed forward and did something I had always wanted to do. A lot of people told me, “Wow I could never do that, I could never travel somewhere alone.” It made me feel proud, and brave. I did it and the best part was, I can’t wait to do it again. Below are some pictures of my trip. 🙂

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Introverts

 

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“Susan Cain illustrates how today’s world has created an Extrovert culture; the ideal is to be sociable, loud, bold, and it is so because it resonates with how most of our interactions are nowadays. We are bold and loud all day on our social media; the corporate environment favors the “golden boy/girl”, who wins over investments with daring ideas and a charming personality.

But what about the other side of the spectrum? What about introverts? The people who choose a quiet evening at home instead of a large social gathering can obviously be equally capable, strong and successful. So, what does it mean to be an introvert? It’s not the stereotypical notion of the shut-in, that is for sure.

Below are 14 things about being an introvert that can help you understand what it means to be one (or you can experience a moment of recognition if you are, like the writer of this article, an introvert herself):

1. An introverted person can function better when working alone, than when working in a team. It’s not about being a “team player”, it’s about what can help them produce the best possible result. And working in a team, well…it’s is distracting.

2. Being quiet does not mean “having nothing to say”. It means that one simply enjoys being quiet. As an introvert, I find some of my most satisfying moments when I am in a gathering and observe people talk, without saying something myself. Why don’t you speak? Because I am perfectly content introvertabsorbing the stimuli of my surroundings without producing any of my own.

3. Going out in a coffee shop with your book, work, or music, and enjoying that perfect little state between sociability, but without interaction, is very, very satisfying.

4. Introverts choose who they connect with very carefully. And when that connection has been made, it runs deep. Some people can be all depth, instead of breadth. And that is perfectly okay.

5. Rainy days at home are blessings. Period.

6. A trip alone to a foreign country or another city is not scary. It’s an adventure, and not having anyone meddling with your planning is pretty liberating. The lone wolf does survive (if you got my reference, you are awesome).

7. You can never comprehend how some people can spend the entirety of their day together, even fresh lovers in their honeymoon phase. Space is healthy. Silence is necessary.

8. Time alone means time for introspection. While many people avoid looking at their problems, letting them fester and become toxic for them, an introvert can take the time to listen to themselves and perhaps find solutions.

9. Being the observer in a group can actually be very beneficial. It gives one more chances of operating in a behind-the-scenes way.

10. Similarly, the observation of people can lead to better understanding them, which can make an introvert a very likeable person. Everyone wants an understanding confident who lets them speak out for a change, in a world where everyone has an opinion that can, unfortunately, be pushed on to you.

11. Spending less time socializing means coming up with so many more things to occupy your time! There is always a book to read, or a movie to watch, or a language to learn, or some volunteer work you can do, and so on. An introvert can see adventure in the most ordinary settings.

12. That moment when you finally come home after a large party is like the first breath of air in a long time, and a great relief.

13. It can be funny, interesting, and a little bit sad when people get surprised that you have so many interests and hobbies. “Oh my god, I had no idea you did so much!” I mean, it’s not like I sit and stare at my ceiling when I am not with people. But your surprise entertains me.

14. Socializing can be draining, but an introvert can love spending time with an extrovert. Opposites do attract, and one fulfills the other. There are things an introvert cannot do without an extrovert, and vice versa.

To sum up, being an introvert is a great thing. Being an extrovert is also a great thing. The greatness lies within the fact that we hopefully live in a world where people can just be themselves. Being clever and successful is not about learning to separate the more capable (read: sociable) ones from the less capable ones. It’s about fully utilizing every resource, and more often than not, an introvert might just be the ace up society’s sleeve.

Embrace introverts, whether it is the one hiding inside you or someone in your circle.”

 

Introvert3 Susan Cain

Spending Time Alone

Why and How You Can Benefit from Spending Time Alone

spending time alone

“Man is a social creature. However, that does not mean that man is at all times obligated to be surrounded by hordes of friends and acquaintances. That is a little golden rule that applies not only to introverts, but to everyone. There are benefits in spending some time alone with oneself, and there are plenty of ways to reap those benefits and use them to your advantage.

Through spending time alone and away from the buzzing of the crowd, one can find some inner peace, solve and examine their personal issues and troubles, and work on bettering themselves, work on their personal well being and relaxation. In short, time alone may very well lead you to the peace of mind we all so desperately seek. Here is how:

Benefit #1

When you are on the go all day, your mind is not still, either. You attention is always focused on the myriads of little things that need to be taken care of and the dozens of people that seek your assistance, consult, advice or help. And your mind toils and strives toward satisfying all those loose ends. But is there any time or focus on you? Sometimes, don’t you just wish for a break, for a second in which you can take a breath, stand still and enjoy the quiet? Time alone throughout the day, in small segments, can help you keep your balance, and most importantly, your sanity. Balance is what keeps us going, after all, so don’t be afraid to shut the door for a few minutes throughout the day and breathe. In those minutes, thinking is not a necessity.

Benefit #2

In that spirit, it becomes obvious how time alone is essential for your brain to effectively shut itself down, empty out all the thoughts that whirl inside of it day by day, hour by hour, and recharge itself in order to keep working. The brain can overload and develop faults, if one overworks it.

Benefit #3

It goes without saying that turning spending some time alone into a habit will help you tremendously in organizing your time and day. That way, you can examine the issues and projects at hand, see what needs what, and act accordingly. At the same time, you’ll be able to communicate with yourself; listen to your mind and your body, and take care of your needs. You can’t let your life pass by without you having no say in it because you have been too busy. It is your life, and you need to be able to control the aspects of it that drain or trouble you.

Benefit #4

Finally, here is another important reason why you need some alone time: because it will help you learn how to be alone. Nowadays, one of the most common causes of anxiety is the fear of being alone, leading to excessive socializing and somewhat degrading the true value of it.

There is a social misconception that someone who goes out in movies or coffee houses on their own is somehow a “loner”, or a “creep”, or just plain boring. Wrong. There is nothing wrong with doing activities by oneself. When watching a film alone, you have time later to think about it and absorb it into your being. When going to a coffee shop, you prove to yourself that you can do things by yourself. You learn to be independent, and you learn to be autonomous in mind. And you learn that solitude can be one of the little pleasures in life. So, enjoy yourself, go have that cup of coffee, go see that movie. Take a break.”