I’m a full-blooded introvert. People often misunderstand this characteristic because I am a strong leader, gatherer, and I like speaking in public. People are often shocked to learn, that means I would gladly stand in front of thousands and speak for an hour than spend an afternoon tending to garden variety small talk. It makes me itchy to have to be interesting and funny, to talk about the weather or sports, or whatever people talk about when they aren’t really saying anything.
Today was my kind of people day. I spent the morning and the evening with Keith and our kids. We laughed, talked about politics, ate yummy food and celebrated a birthday. We gathered around the table and lapsed into silence, or laughter, or teasing, without any effort. We lounged on the couches, petted the dogs, and admired the newly carved pumpkins. Our familiarity allows us to lean in, or lean out and still be comfortable together. We’re family and we just don’t need much.
This afternoon, I was with some of my favorite people. We again gathered for a meal, with kids and dogs underfoot, the house was loud and there was life spilling out all over. I loved talking with the kids, laughing at the baby, and just enjoying the chaos. When the dishes were cleared, we jumped right into real things. We talked about a shared passion. We talked about plans. We asked hard questions and pondered open answers. This was not polite conversation but the real work of bringing something new to life. When we said goodbye, we had gained new friends and deepened our existing bonds.
If I am spending time with people, I want it to be like this. Not superficial, but real and true. It still takes all my energy to be with people, even my people. I feel like a wet noodle at the end of day like today, but it was worth it because we know each other better. That is the key for me. People always drain me. They just do. But, it’s worth it if we work together, or play together and know each other better because of it.
I love people, and the greatest gift I know is to know and be known by others. It’s always a risk. It’s dangerous. It takes all my energy. I hate the vulnerability. People can be hard. But, knowing others and being known by them makes all this people-ing worthwhile.
I hope you are enjoying this exploration of simple things that make life special. This is part of the Write 31 Days challenge. Click here to follow along.