Oh, you guys know I love you, but I’ll tell you a secret: sometimes I just really need to get away from you. Not just you. From people.
Surprising as it may seem for someone in the theatre, who is almost constantly out and about, seeing people and doing things, I’m a closet introvert. Meeting new people? Love it. Mingling and networking? Yeah, I can do that. But when I’m run down, at the end of the day, I get refreshed by being alone and by having some quiet, not by spending time with other folks.
It’s more pronounced in the winter, or maybe just more noticeable because I don’t get to really enjoy my alone time when I’m outdoors or in transit (I don’t especially like freezing). I would absolutely hibernate if I could. You might notice that it’s much harder to get me to your weekend party on a winter’s night. If it’s important to you, I’ll come, but secretly, I probably looked very longingly at the stack of books at the foot of my bed as I left home.
I know several other secret introverts. People you would never expect–people who work in sales, who are incredibly engaging on the phone and in person, who seem to always be surrounded by other people. We’re not shy, necessarily, but we find it easiest to breathe when the dust clears and the party guests have gone home. It doesn’t keep us from having an excellent time with you. It just means, if you want to keep us happy, you’ve got to give us a break every so often.
Why bring it up? Well, I find it difficult to say “no” to friendly invitations. I love going out and getting drinks or coffee, I really do. The problem is when I’ve been booked solid for a week and a half. If I don’t get my time alone, anything, even your birthday party, can start to feel like an obligation instead of a joy.
I’d much rather feel up to fully enjoying my time with you. So basically, if I tell you that I have to go home a little bit early–if I can’t see you every week because theatre stuff is crazy and I just need to sit in my bed with a book for a half an hour–I hope you’ll understand.
It’s not you. Really. It’s actually, entirely me.
Except this one person I really don’t like. I’m actually ignoring you.