Northern Lights10:45 PM
I moved back home almost nine months ago, and I still have a fairly large closet full of belongings at Kyle's house, boxes in my parent's basement that have yet to be sorted, and piles of clothes to be sold, and donated. I have an outline for a short story saved on my laptop that hasn't been touched in over a year, and two blog posts left in draft. Why? I have spent almost every waking moment since the weekend I have moved home on the go. Between renfaire, birthday parties, house parties, helping friends out with projects, trips to the gym, shows, sitting on my friend's couches watching movies, and working a lot of weekends, it adds up rather quickly. About a month or so ago, I was finally feeling OK when suddenly almost all of my close friends went into crisis mode. Break-ups, injury, sickness, depression, and anxiety seem to be running rampant in the Detroit/Metro Detroit area and plaguing everyone that I love. At first, it was almost a relief to focus on my loved ones instead of myself, but fairly quickly I started to feel like I was being pulled into too many directions, and stretched too thin. I had to start saying "no" to people I love who have been there for me ever since I moved home, and I felt guilty for not being able to be there for them.
Being an Outgoing Introvert, I have been able to come up with a great solution: Platonically date my friends. One-one time with close friends seems to be a very good route, and once per week or so, Mariah and I meet up for lunch, or coffee. On this particular day back in April, we went to Northern Lights Lounge in Detroit. Quiet hours spent with just one or two people help me be there for them, while also avoiding becoming overwhelmed, and I feel like I can pay closer attention to that individual. This past weekend Dani and I spent Sunday together, alternating between our group of friends and running errands just the two of us and it ended up being a decent balance. I left a party at 11:00 pm, completely sober and enjoyed not being hungover the next day. I still struggle with saying 'no', it is hard trying to explain to people that I don't always want to drink, not with my anxiety levels so high, and that I need alone time in order to recharge. It usually ends with people offering for me to come over and hangout, so the cycle goes. However, planning things ahead be it movie nights in with my girls, or coffee dates with my guys, quality time with close friends is a great way to find balance.
I have had some small changes in my life recently that have had major effects; hiring in the intern full-time has created a slightly crowded office as well as removing the 1.5 hours I had alone before my boss would wander in for the day. Going with friends to the gym, weekly band management meetings, and having anywhere between two-six people at my parent's house at any moment makes for very little time to decompress. Very often, the only alone time I get is when I am driving in my car. At the end of the day, there is a select group of people who I can talk to all day and night, and there are a few who I have to prepare myself for because they can be exhausting. It doesn't mean that I love them any less, it just means that I am often left so very drained that I cannot be a good friend to them unless I have time to recharge.
Taking care of my introverted nature isn't the only concern here, it's also finally facing all of the obstacles I have been running from, avoiding since I have moved home. I have paid off a decent chunk of debt, but there is more that needs to go, and won't unless I take better control of my spending. I have been at my current job for over nine years and have become a little too comfortable, that needs to change. I have personal goals that I need to start hitting, or else I will feel trapped in a box and give into partying every weekend as a means of escape all over again. I can still go out, but there needs to be a balance. I need to be a better friend, a better employee, a better blogger, writer, and a better me.