After much flipping and flopping between being Introverted or Extroverted on the Myers Brigg Type Inventory (MBTI) personality test that I’ve taken consistently since I turned 18, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m an Extrovert. A slight/moderate Extrovert, but an Extrovert nonetheless.
This might be a little odd, seeing as I spend so much time alone.
But I’ve come to the not-so-original conclusion that being alone is not synonymous with being lonely. I’m alone a lot of the time, yes: I live alone, I spend a lot of my free time doing solitary, introverted activities like reading or writing or working on this blog. But that’s my choice, which I view as the crucial difference between alone and lonely. (I also seem to have been spending greater amounts of time chatting away on Skype or Gchat even if I’m technically “alone.”)
At the very core, lonely is by circumstance, being alone is by choice.
Sometimes, when I get too wrapped up in others I lose my sense of self. I’ve always been like this, and it’s not an ideal quality to have. But it’s particularly worrisome when I get too wrapped up in others when I’ve been simultaneously trying to develop my own sense of self. I think this is why it’s good to spend this particular chapter of my life on my own, figuring out what it is that I want and what my next steps are in life.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately and have come to the conclusion that the happiest times of my life are the ones where I was surrounded by friends and family. Clearly, this means that right now I am not the happiest I’ve been in my life, but that’s okay. I’m content, which is good enough for me for now. I have a good set-up here in DC: I have a great job, an awesome apartment and wonderful friends I can count on. I have a very comfortable life here that I am thankful for every day.
I’m in a transient phase, as almost everyone my age is. I have my whole life to be wrapped up in others. But right now, being alone feels right. I have so many Big Questions about my future I want to work out the answers to, and when I’m not sure about where I’ll be in the next two, five, ten years I need to be sure that the decisions I make in the short-term future are made for me and myself only. These are the decisions that will alter the course of the rest of my life, after all, and I wouldn’t want to make those decisions based on anyone or anything else.