by Moyinoluwa Okunloye
Don’t roll your eyes at me, try to read what I have to say
How are you doing? Of course, I want to know. I can imagine that this season is especially tough on you. You couldn’t have made a choice for solitude ever, in your life. That is not how you function. You are motivated in the outdoors, with lots of activities and people around.
You get more energy in the noise, the hustling and bustling of the city. You are the life of the party. You could never be chained to a spot. You are adventurous. “When one is not sick, why should they be limited to a particular space?” Life is more fun for you when it is lived in the company of people.
So, this is punishment for you. The silence is too loud and it is very ridiculous. The stillness is making you bored out of your mind. It feels as though someone is choking air out of your nostrils, you can barely breathe. “Oh my God, when will this be over?” You say. You cannot deal with this. It is too much.
You have taken walks down the street but it is only fun when there are people like you also walking. But they are stuck in their house afraid of the pandemic. The shops are barely open. The drives around the road are very lonely. Friends are not welcoming guests. Netflix is not your thing, “who has the patience to sit still all by themselves watching a movie for two hours.” Social media is loaded but it is not what you want.
You need to move around. You want to get back into a routine. You are not inspired in silence. You need to rub minds with your colleagues in the office. The traffic is good too; new ideas sometimes come up while you are in it. You need to go to the beach. You already had plans for Easter. Now, you feel stiffened. You are scared for the uncertainty of when this will be over. You are panicking because you need your life back. This could drive you into depression. You don’t like being alone; you cannot remember the last time you were actually alone. This has to be a joke. Things cannot continue like this.
My friend, while I cannot relate to any of your dilemmas, I do understand how you feel. I felt that way with the noise, the constant honks of vehicles, the ogling of crowds, the shoulder brush with strangers and the never-ending race. But I tolerate it because it is good at times. I have made life long friends from it. I have understood the way the world works from it. I have gotten opportunities from it. And it is a good time away from listening to my own thoughts.
This is your own time to sit with yourself. No, that’s not crazy. You should try it; you might even enjoy it. Listen to your thoughts and reflect on them. Try to see what inspirations come up. Write it down if you may. You should be more energised by the time this is over to offer the right kind of change that your company needs. You should have gotten enough from this to assure you of the life you truly want to live. You should get a better understanding of your extroverted self and how to utilize your strengths for your benefit. You will get more amazing things from this if you allow yourself.
If you look really closely, you will see a better perspective in this. You will see the need to be joyful through it and in fact, pray more. This season is not only a gift to the introverts. It is a blessing to you as well. Milk it!
I love you. And I hope to see you unscathed by the time this is over.
Do me a favour. When we finally see again, can you not scream? (try not to, please).
Your introvert friend,
PS: This is a followup to the previous love letter I wrote to introverts.
*Moyinoluwa is a writer and research assistant at the Lagos Business School. She writes about her perceptions of life at betteryou.blog.
Joy, Inc. is a teaching and media company mainstreaming the research and evidence on human flourishing and positive emotions to transform the culture and build a new generation of Africans focused on the greatest happiness for the greatest many.