The hardest time to make a change is when you’re pretty happy. I mean, why change if everything is good? The answer to this, of course, can range anywhere from the fact that things can get better to the fact that happiness is not the solution to all of life’s problems. For my part, it’s a little bit of both of those things.
I just got back from a super quick trip to New York, during which I both attended and covered conference on brand publishing. It was fun and it was busy. During the barely six-hour event I gathered up enough material and interviews for about four stories, learned a ton, and most importantly, met some humans. I mean, I’d long ago “met” most of these people. Some of them, I’ve been working with for more than a year from either end of some internet tubes. Instead of small profile pictures attached to blocks of text, however, here were the three dimensional versions of these people, doing all of the walking and the smiling and the interacting. And it was so stinking delightful to interact with these humans that it was almost depressing to this one.
How did I, a born and bred extrovert, get the point at which human contact is such a rarity? I know the answer to this one too, actually. First, I chose a career that I can mostly do in my pajamas. Second, over the two years, I’ve gotten married and moved to my favorite city in a house I adore, which is closer to my friends than I have lived in a long time. So why wouldn’t I turn into a homebody? Finally, I’m like, totes all over the internet all the time. All of that digital socializing acts as sort of an illusion. It feels like real, human interaction, and it is truly valuable in many ways, but it doesn’t do the thing the human interactions normally do for extroverts, which is energize and fulfill us. We hear lots of sad things about introverts having to live in an extrovert’s world, which are all very valid. I just happen to be an extrovert in a introvert’s ideal situation. It doesn’t deserve a world movement, but it does call for some some personal growth.
To clarify, I have been happy all along. I have been comfortable. But I haven’t been energized or as fulfilled as I should be for some time. Perhaps it’s been post-marital nesting or something, I don’t know. It’s been nice, but my life is officially too damn cozy. Sometimes it takes a bit of a shakeup, a change in perspective to succinctly diagnose something that’s a little off inside. So friends, watch out. I will be dragging you out of our respective houses. Events, prepare for me to attend you. Humans, you will be seeing more of me. In front of you. In three dimensions.
(But let’s be honest, I’ll still be here digitally too.)