Those of you who follow me on Twitter (@Addison_Crow in case you don’t. And if not, why not? I’m lovely) will have noticed I wasn’t around as much this weekend. That is because I was supremely busy! Working full time means that all those odd jobs that require shops being open have to wait until Saturday morning when everyone else who works full time also decides to flock to the Post Office. I’m away for a week in Germany next week, and I had to go get some Euros; I had to get some cardmaking supplies to make a birthday card for a colleague who had a party for which our presence was gift enough (but a handmade card is a good compromise); I got fabric dye and buckets for an exciting textiles project and I still had time to have lunch out with my friend Rivka, who is also an author, donchaknow.
I saw a lovely cartoon on DeviantArt the other day about Introverts and how to interact with them. Like we’re a different species. Yes, I consider myself an introvert. Why do you think I communicate best through the written word and at a distance? I thought it was very good at explaining why I sometimes suddenly, with the almost audible sound of shutters coming down, run out of friendliness and have to get out of Dodge.
I have a weird relationship with my own company. I lived by myself for a year when I first moved to the Highlands and I am perfectly capable of looking after myself but there were times when I felt myself getting crusty and insular. I was so used to being alone that social interaction made me grumpy and everyone I met was an idiot because they didn’t see everything the way I did. I could go from Friday getting out of work to Monday going back in without speaking to anyone face to face. Texts, Skype, Facebook etc were at my fingertips, but I didn’t physically open my mouth to form words. I shuffled to and back from the supermarket with an invisible HazMat suit on, lest anyone infect me with their jolliness. I buried myself in my own little hermit hole.
Next month I’m moving in with my friend Rivka (have I mentioned she’s an author?) after having lived with my (now)ex for a year. I don’t think I’m ready for living with someone I have to share a bed with. I’m too wiggly, and I don’t like the sound of my bedmate existing when I’m trying to sleep. I definitely don’t like cuddles. Apparently that’s akin to rejection to some people. Weirdo clingy weirdos! Anyway, Rivka and I are quite well-suited in that we’re quite independent but need someone else to make sure we check in with reality every few days. I won’t be offended if she doesn’t talk to me for two days and in fact I’ll probably be glad of not being bothered as I hate being pestered when I’m in the middle of something. Companionable silence is an immeasurable joy.
Most of the time, being with someone (or a small group) while we’re all busy doing something but not talking together, is enough for me. We’re sharing an activity by dint of sharing the same space while we happily knit/sew/felt whatever and that counts as a social activity. MOST of the time. Sometimes I get a massive surge of I NEED TO BE CLOSE TO ALL THE PEOPLE and I can get a bit manic. I’ll crave company, physical contact, loud noises. I will link arms or hold hands with friends in the street and text them with every little detail if we’re apart. I want parties and banter and music.
I don’t know where it comes from. Maybe I really do have a store of social-energy inside me and sometimes my cup floweth over. I am quite far away from the core group of friends I made through my twenties. I have new friends here, don’t get me wrong, and fun times are had by all, but sometimes you just crave a particular brand of sweetness. If those people are unavailable then I crash. The ground slips out from under me and I feel a total disconnect from the Universe. It happened to me the other week. I had been to a barbecue and on the way home I still wasn’t done being social. I felt panicked. I was alone and I felt like I had been cut adrift in a sea of strangers. I called everyone I could think of. No one picked up. I panicked a little more. Then I told myself I’d best just get over it because the ironing wouldn’t do itself. I settled myself a little, and ended up talking to J on Skype for a bit, if I remember correctly. That grounded me enough.
Whether hermit-y or Miss Highlands 2013, neither condition is good for my productivity. In one case I’m too shut down and in the other I’m too busy flirting. I need an even keel. I need to medicate with regular social interaction interspersed with gratuitous solo reading and moping. Hopefully, this new living situation will help. There’ll be a person there to talk to should we wish it (there is now, but it’s altogether too awkward!) but their presence will be enough to tide me over most of the time. I could talk or socialise if I wanted to. The potential is there.
That’s good, because I have an article to write for Opening Line, as well as a short fiction piece I want to bash out, and then the usual work on my actual books.
On top of that I’m moving house and going on a week-long trip to Germany, I’ve got a major sewing project to do (hence the fabric dyeing pic from the other day) and some major organisation to undertake.
I’m feeling quite positive. I’ve got Locke Lamora on audiobook (aftermath of Echo Hole ongoing) and Best Served Cold to read (second murder achieved, plus collateral) to get me out of reality if I need them.
Onward to Friday!