So the computer runs a red line under my title. Not so with introvert or extrovert. Giving credit where it is due, I first heard this concept from Kimberly Willis Holt, and if you haven’t read her books, where have you been?
In a small group of writing friends at various stages in our publication journeys, including Kimberly, we were discussing our compelling needs to have time with people but also to have time alone. The irony was not lost on me since this group that seldom got to the same place at the same time was relishing our time together. Kimberly had recently heard someone give a name to people who shared this phenomena – ambiverts.
I had almost forgotten the discussion until I was reading Dimestore by Lee Smith. (The book will get its own blog later.) She tells of an elderly lady who has spent years writing for herself rather than for publication. The lady says, “I think the best writing time is the night time. And it is a wonderful time between twelve o’clock and maybe four . . . It is a strange feeling when all the world is asleep except you. You feel like you’re in touch with something special.”
I know the lady’s feeling except my choice isn’t night. I would make it five AM. At night, I’m tired. At five AM, the day is fresh and new. Two hours every morning before Al gets up or the world seems to move, I’m all alone, in touch with my thoughts and words – no phone interruptions and few noises except those of nature. Birds may provide a bit of music, but they don’t intrude. I have a real need for this time alone.
Am I an introvert? I can go to an event by myself in perfect comfort, but I will soon be chatting with another attendee. That’s the crux of my ambivalence and translates right onto my calendar. A much too busy fall with events and people I loved had me looking with longing for the two weeks of Christmas and New Year’s that held a lot of dead time.
Two weeks of a free calendar, nicely broken for a family Christmas celebration, gave me alone time to put together a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle and watch a lot of football games. With my spirits refreshed, there’s been enough of that. It’s time to find my people and places again. Come to think of it, ambiverts may have the best of both worlds.