I’ve always known I was introvert. My “safe” space has always been a quiet nook with a book. I recharge through time in nature and carefully plan downtimes between social events.
I’ve always known I was an introvert.
But I’ve just now made a connection.
The beginning of the school year is hard on everyone – parents, students and teachers. But I’ve always seemed to find it more difficult than some. Yes, my feet are tired at the end of the long days and my voice cracks from overuse.
But I also inevitably feel drained for the duration of August.
Fragile and bit raw.
Now, sure, I’m not sleeping enough and overwork is a given at the beginning of the year.
But there’s more to it than that.
I have 120 new people that fill my days, filing into my room in groups of 30 every 54 minutes. I have dozens of new coworkers to get to know and hundreds of parents with whom to work. I have no moments of solitude once I enter the school, simply times of noisy and less noisy. In front of the class, I’m animated. Acting a role for the sake of connection and the lesson. In the halls, I act and interact.
I’m good at all of this – the teaching, the managing, the multi-tasking.
But it comes at an expense.
Because for any introvert, being social takes energy.
And navigating new social situations requires even more.
Looking around my classroom on Friday, I could see the effects of the sustained efforts on my students that seem to be of an introverted nature. Like me, they were drained from the energy required to be in an always-on environment. Like me, their nervous systems were on overload and were demanding some quiet and alone time.
I just made this connection between August and exhaustion yesterday while teaching. This morning, I tried (emphasis on tried) to explain it to my very extroverted husband. He just didn’t get it. He wants to be able to fix things and gets frustrated when it’s not an easy fix and, even worse, one he can’t understand.
Like always, I’ll adjust and learn to find the balance in an extroverted world. But for now, I’m just reminding myself that August doesn’t last forever and I will be recharged again soon.
But first, it’s time for some Motley Crue tonight! Hey, no one ever said that introverts can’t be headbangers:)