My life is a struggle between wanting to go out and have fun with people, and avoiding human interaction at all costs. It’s an internal joust between my inner Miley and inner Kafka, usually with the latter prevailing. Being a self-proclaimed introvert, I realize I’m not entirely content with my isolation, yet I’m also not seeking a solution, and I question why that is. Being alone allows me to ponder the cosmos, political affairs, or how Jeff Probst, the host of Survivor, has managed to look exactly the same for 29 seasons––we’re all philosophers in our own bedroom. Surely I’m not the only developing existentialist; there must be others with a readied list of excuses to fend off any social engagement. During my solitary reflections, I managed to identify some key elements of my journey to introversion, and I began to better understand my condition.
Sweatpants are the foundation of my single-populated empire. This is self-explanatory to the pro-commando who, too, has adapted sweatpants as their own skin. As I sulk in the loneliness of my abode, my friend calls to invite me to a party, and my eyes immediately shift downward. I treat my sweatpants like I would a newborn child: “I’m sorry Jordan. If I go out, there will be no one here to wear my sweatpants. Next time though, okay?” I hang up, having dodged a night of anxiety and conversation. I get to live another day having perpetually condemned myself to my own thoughts.
Another contributor to my desolation is my finances, or lack thereof. Being social, more often than not, requires money. We need to stimulate our senses in order to enjoy each other’s company––obviously to distract our bodies from realizing our displacement from the couch. So, by indulging in food and beverages, perhaps even a film, and my means of transportation, I know I can safely plunge myself into debt, with the possibility of filling the void. The proceeding day, my bank statement dictates I’ll be living off cereal for the next 10 days, and that’s just not cool.
The last factor I feel worth mentioning is my social anxiety (combined with everyone else’s apparent social anxiety). Even just walking down the street, I feel self-conscious, constantly questioning how to conduct myself “properly.” I’ve come to the realization that the world does not appreciate it when I eat ribs in public or forget to shave my armpits, and that’s reasonable, but I also feel shamed and judged. I know, I should just go home, back into my crawl space, where I won’t cause any further disturbances, or put anyone off their tea.
My detachment from society is both comforting and lonesome. I hear my commentary during any Netflix marathon ricochet off my five cats and into the abyss of passing thoughts. Though my self-loathing—which usually goes hand-in-hand with my self-exploration—can seem hopeless, there really is enlightenment in it. I always measure my happiness by how I feel when I’m alone. How content am I without the distractions and influences of the external world? If you constantly need to surround yourself by people to drown out your own thoughts, maybe it’s time to spend some time with yourself. Start liking the demons in your head—the ones that tell you it’s okay to eat an entire pizza alone, or to trade an evening of booze for an evening of Super Smash Bros. You’re not alone in your endeavours. So, I say to you, “Introverts, unite! Separately! In your own homes!”