The Witching Hour

Does anyone else thrive in the hours between midnight and 6 am?  I have been a night dweller for as long as I can remember.  The creative part of my brain unlocks during the time when everything goes quiet and the darkness envelopes you like a cloak.  Some fear the dark, I embrace it!

I can feel my creative juices flow as the witching hour approaches.  Most of my writing and a good chunk of my reading gets done while the majority of people slumber.  I know though that there are some kindred spirits reading this.  Those people who understand the inspiration and introspection that occurs when the sky darkens.   As an introvert, I love the solitude the night brings me.  I don’t have to be “on” all the time.  This is my self care time.   I can replenish the courage to face the world again.  I can ready myself for the nervousness and anxiety that claws at me every time I interact with other people.

I have severe social anxiety.  I constantly think through every single thing I am going to say.  I plan out every action.  The thought of attention on me makes me cringe.  I have grown leaps and bounds from 20 years ago, but it is something I will live with for the rest of my life.  I always think that people are judging me.  This does not come out of a conceited or logical place.  I am fully cognizant of the reality of the situation.  It doesn’t stop the panic attacks or physical and emotional side effects from occurring.  I have a need for a perfection that I could not possibly obtain.  I set myself up for failure right from the start.  My worst fear is failing so I stop myself from joining in because then I can’t fail.  Believe me, I know this doesn’t help anything.  I end up missing out on many activities I would enjoy like singing, dancing, playing games etc.  It’s a curse to know the issues you have, but not be able to fix them.  It’s easier said than done.

My biggest fears are things people do every day effortlessly.  I don’t like to talk on the phone.  The only one I normally talk to is my mom.  That’s it.  I don’t order food, schedule appointments or anything else that deals with talking on the phone.  If the unavoidable happens, and I must, I write out a script of what to say.  Improvisation is my nemesis.  The worst by far is having to speak in front of more than 4 or 5 people.  Ice breakers and introductions make me shake and want to vomit.  I excel in one on one and small group situations.  No, I do not want you to sing Happy Birthday to me.  No, I don’t want to play charades or sing solo karaoke.  Please don’t pick me as your volunteer because I will turn bright red and politely refuse.

Small talk is so not my thing.  I would take a one on one conversation where I can really get to know you over inane drivel anytime.  After that you won’t get me to shut up, and I will talk your ear off.  I usually don’t make chitchat with people in line or while waiting for something.  This can sometimes come across as me being rude or in a bad mood.  That is not the case.  I’d rather speak up if I have something meaningful to say rather than grasping for trivial tidbits or talk of the weather.

I like to observe my surroundings.  People watching is a great way to spend your time.  I feel like I am pretty in tune with what is going on with the world at large and the people in my life.  You will pick up so much if you just shut up and listen.  This has been to my advantage many times where I have found out important information others weren’t privy to.  It has put me ahead of the curve in the classroom as well as several areas in my life.  I am pretty good with dates and scheduling. I like to think it’s because I listen and make note of what is happening.  The downside though is that you remember all the not so great stuff too.  I can remember like it was yesterday the many times I felt embarrassed even if it happened 25 years ago.  This does not help when you are an anxiety driven worrier who then replays these moments when you lay down to sleep.    No wonder I have insomnia!

Now you see why I have to have these night hours.  I need them so I can interact with all of you.   Most of my blogs are written at 3 or 4 am like this one now.  It is currently twenty till 4 as I write this blog.  For all my fellow introverts/insomniacs/night owls I say hello.  For all my extroverts/early birds thank you for helping create the balance.  I would be nothing without my bestie, Kris, who guides me out of the dark and into the light.  Every introvert needs an extrovert bestie to make us get out of our comfort zone.  Plus, who are we kidding?  We wouldn’t have any friends if we didn’t latch on to the ones our extroverts seem to attract everywhere.   They can strike up a conversation with anyone.

As dawn slowly approaches, I will feel my creativity juices start to slow down, and will decide to call it a night.  Time to get some rest and try to get out of my comfort zone by venturing out to interact with the world.

Yinz be kind.

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