- On a walk in Aberdeen
Yesterday, I met my fiancé for lunch. Prior to his arrival, I was standing in a popular lunch spot at 12:30pm sharp. The hustle and bustle and the sheer amount of people surrounding me tightened my chest. I stood there feeling like a fish out of water. When Ben finally arrived, I turned to him and said, “I am afraid we are going to return home and I wont know how to have human interaction.” He chuckled.
But, after being in Aberdeen for a week, I have come to fall in love with my alone time. I don’t know anyone nor does anyone know me, besides Ben, of course. In this short time, I have also come to understand that as long as I have one interaction with people each day, that is enough for me. This might include getting lunch with Ben, exchange with a person at a convenience store, or going to get my haircut. That is all I need in my full day of alone time.
Growing up, I was an extrovert. I wanted to be at every party, every event, and had serious FOMO (fear of missing out). However, as I grew a little older, that slowly began to change. By the time I was 17, I noticed I yearned for time to sit alone, make a quiet dinner, or read. My energy was fueled from time to myself. Of course, once I approached college this became a huge issue of concern. Kids my age were out partying, socializing, and doing whatever they could to meet people. This felt painful for me. However, it is a little confusing for the people who knew me in my life. Anyone who knows me at work or in a classroom would classify me as an extrovert. I am talkative, giggly, and fueled by people in my place of work or classroom. For whatever reason when I return home, I become an introvert.
The Social expectation of what college was supposed to be like made me feel like I was a loner. Because I wasn’t attending parties every weekend or doing what “normal” college students do, I felt I must have failed. However, I knew deep down that this wasn’t the case. While some kids graduate college with a whole slew of friends, I graduated with one. However, she was and is my dearest friend and I hold her very close to my heart. However with graduation approaching, I couldn’t help but think of what my family or my then boyfriend, now fiancés, family would think of me graduating with only one friend? Again, this was the social expectation of what college should have been like that made me feel so badly about myself. Even though I am sure nobody cares or notices, I am human and I do care what people think. After school, I started to get more comfortable in my skin and embrace my habits and know that they were okay. The world wasn’t staring at me.
Here, in Aberdeen, I know nobody. No one has a preconceived notion of me and nobody knows where I came from. It is the very first time in my life that I can be alone and sincerely at peace with it. Nobody knows me as the bubbly work girl or the fun classmate. I don’t have to stand up to any standard I might have built for myself. Being here with just nature, my most wonderful fiancé, and myself is truly a gift that I am deeply thankful for.
This internship has given me an opportunity to do what I truly love, reading and writing. I hope that my alone time will continue to fuel creative work. Next weekend we are traveling to Glasgow so stay tuned!