I’m really not the overly social kind of person. I never was. And by social I mean I was never the the kind of person to have a never ending spiral of friends, or that social circle that’s always swelling to enormous proportions, and the kind of person that is constantly doing something with someone. Plans. We all make them. But some of us have plans falling out of our ears. Breakfast with someone, work, meetings, evening drinks, dinner, dessert, late night movie. I was never that kind of person. I have had and continue to have at any given time a very small number of close friends. But I liked to go out. Until recently, something has changed.
With the husband working inordinately late these days and pulling extra load on weekends too, I find myself alone a lot more. Not so long ago, I’d fill my alone time by going out, doing things with myself, a visit to the parlour, a nice long stroll through the market, get in an evening run, that kind of thing. Or I’d make plans. Meet a girlfriend, catch a colleague, go watch a movie, go out for a meal. But more often than not these days I find myself choosing my own company over everything else.
Even in the odd social occasion that I might find myself in, I’m quite okay blending into the wallpaper, than going out of my way to get to know people, make conversation or be seen and heard. Being quite the introvert, my ability to socialise with anyboy outside my immediate circle of comfort is also a little stunted. I’m always the person at a party, that chooses to slowly find their way through, rather than jump bang in the middle and get right into it. I take far longer to to get out of my shell and lets say, start dancing. Or go out of my way to introduce myself to someone new. Of course that’s where alcohol helps, and in the past I have been known to say and do things that I wouldn’t have done had I been stone cold sober. Nothing bad, I’m not that wild, so don’t let your imagination run amok, but I’m talking about things like confessing a stupid secret to someone, smoking a few cigarettes out of the blue, being unusually friendly with people I would otherwise have my guard up with.
So I’m not quite sure when this happened. This transition from wanting to spend my weekends packed with outings, driving out of town, eating out, visiting far out places and the like, to pretty much just wanting to stay in all the time. Spending slow Saturdays lounging around the house, doing some chores, cooking myself some lunch and just being. I don’t look at that as a chore anymore, as much as something to look forward to as the weekend draws near. It could also be that at the end of a weekend spent doing pretty much that, there’s always some friends who are more than happy to pop over. And I’m happy to cook a big meal, and we’re all okay with staying in, laughing long into the night, with the beer flowing and the music running on.
I guess my interests and choices are fast changing. Choosing snuggling in with my reading over heading out for a movie. Choosing a quiet date with the husband, preferably at home, over meeting friends for dinner. Choosing my time alone, over inviting a friend over.
So yesterday, after a day of lounging around by myself, having a hearty breakfast, catching up on my writing, and watching Bridget Jones’s Diary, when the question “What are you doing this weekend?” flung itself at me, quite unexpectedly, I found myself very easily admitting to having no plans, wanting to stay in and continue to do nothing at all. I imagined an evening by ourselves once the husband came home form work. Perhaps cooking some dinner together and watching a movie in bed. But very quickly, it morphed into an impromptu dinner for 6 at my home. And I was happy to play host. The transition happens quite effortlessly, and as long as I’m not being made to leave my home and run after a plan, I find I’m mostly okay with it.
Weekends were always meant to be for exploring, checking out new restaurants, visiting friends, having potlucks, going out to get a drink. That kind of things. But suddenly, staying home has become my default thing to do. The days I finish work relatively early, I feel a sense of relief as I head home and open the doors to my space.
When did I go from being planner and social (As far as is possible in my world) to a compulsive stay-indoors kind of person?
When did choosing to cut out the cacophony of the outside world become the preferred thing to do?
When did being alone, with no specific agenda replace planning ahead, meeting people and doing something?
When did longing for the weekend to arrive mean looking forward to two whole days at home as opposed to two full days of doing something?
When did I suddenly go from a restless, hyper active girl to the one who is okay with being still with no plan, no agenda, no nothing sometimes. Just empty time to do as I please?