A day, or a week, in the life

Sunday, November 19, 2017

It’s a funny thing about people who are semi-introverted and who cherish their solitude: they are often the object of both curiosity and resentment from others. One who has never met me, and who has only read my blogs and watched my videos, might assume that I’m the stereotypical loner, the introspective and reclusive dude who likes to be left alone. And while I do very much enjoy and work hard to preserve my alone time, I’m actually quite sociable when I want to be. The ‘when I want to be’ being the operative phrase here. You see, I’m not an introvert. I’m an ambivert.

An ambivert is someone whose personality lies somewhere halfway in between introvert (socially withdrawn) and outrovert (an outgoing, social butterfly). Ambiverts enjoy interacting with people, but we do so selectively. Meaning, we pick and choose the people we engage with, and the times during which we see them. After reading up on this psychological term, it made sense to me why I find it difficult to share living space with another person, but not to see that same person, say, maybe once or twice a week. In fact, I don’t want to be alone all the time, no matter what I might say when I’m romanticizing living in some isolated cabin in the woods. Rather, I want to be alone a lot of the time, but have friends to see and socialize with the rest of the time. And I do!

But I’ve digressed, here. Point is, people often fail to make the distinction between introvert and ambivert, and anyway, if you’re not being “hip” and you’re not seen in some “super important” social clique, and if you don’t have an in-your-face, ultra-opinionated, trendy presence on social media, people these days wonder just what the hell you actually get up to in your free time. So I’m writing this bit in order to try and answer that.

I hate schedules. Always have. I tend to hate any strict form of structure, in fact. It makes me feel like I’m being weighed down, as though by an anchor, and I can’t be free! But yeah. Work tends to be pretty structural, so I am scheduled to do that five days a week. I’m not complaining, of course. The job has done nothing but benefit me. So there’s that, and it typically takes up a big chunk of each day, Monday through Friday. After work, I usually come home, make dinner, watch any TV shows that I keep up with (like Supernatural or Arrow), and if I have time or feel up to it, do some quick exercising, either by taking a walk on Promontory Point, the area outside my apartment building that is situated on Lake Michigan, or else working out on the treadmill in the laundry room/mini gym downstairs. That’s my evening, 9 times out of 10. If it’s a Friday, I might do some special thing once in a while if I have enough money, like go see a movie with a couple friends or coworkers, or go to a black metal show.

When it gets to be later at night, I make the mistake, time and again, of not getting to sleep early, and then regretting it and being exhausted, in every sense of the word, the following morning. You know, I’ll just never learn. But I use this time to get some reading done, work on my own book or other writing I feel like doing, binge-watch a few episodes of something or rewatch a movie, work on my occult studies, or listen to music. Usually, I’ll have to pick one or two of these things, because there isn’t enough time in a night to do it all. But I’m a night person; nocturnal. Always have been, always will be. The late hours are when I’m the most awake and focused, when I get my bursts of inspiration, and when I do my best writing. I’m hardwired that way, and I can’t change it, nor do I want to.

Now, the weekend, is usually more of what I just mentioned on late weeknights, except that I have two whole days to fill with these hobbies and activities. I try and make the Saturdays and Sundays stretch. But I do get out, too. I like to go hiking, if not every other weekend, then at least once a month (it’s in an area at least 45 minutes away from me, even by car). Or I might decide to hang out on the North Side of Chicago, or hit up a bookstore, or take a walk locally, or go to another show. Weekends are often spent indoors, but definitely not always. And again, I have to pick and choose: will it be a hiking day or a writing day?

In a nutshell, I keep myself plenty busy. When it comes to reading, if you know my Goodreads page, check it. You’ll see that I’m currently juggling three books: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, and The Shadow Rising and New Spring, both entries in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan (New Spring is a prequel to the entire series). Having this many books going at once is par for the course for me, and there is still a stack of unread (or un-re-read!) books on the bookcase beside me, currently taunting me and waiting to be enjoyed.

When it comes to writing...oh man, what to say here? I’m working away on my book as much as I can, and also continuing to be my own worst critic, going back and editing or rewording parts I don’t like or feel are not “100 percent perfect.” I’ve written 47,824 words since early October. I can’t say much more except that I’m making my way through this manuscript, making it exist. I’m also writing rough drafts of a couple short stories and trying to determine whether they should be scrapped, rewritten, or kept as they are. Such is the struggle of a writer-slash-perfectionist.
And when it comes to hiking, I managed to do it just before the leaves fell off the trees. I usually hike up in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, in the Ned Brown Forest Preserve. Fun fact: there are elk there! They were brought there from Montana in 1925, and the herd currently there are descendants of those very animals. There’s plenty of other interesting wildlife and nature there, and on slightly cloudy or rainy days, when there are less people about, it makes for a very peaceful hike indeed.

Oh, I forgot to mention I also make videos to add to my YouTube channel whenever I get the chance.
I have the utmost sympathy for anyone who is dealing with depression or problems in their life. But personally, I just don’t have time for depression, boredom, or some of the (in my opinion) petty things people seem to do these days to occupy their time. Gossip, reality TV, interpersonal drama, crime and delinquency, Facebook arguments, etc., etc. To each their own, of course, and whatever floats your boat! But I prefer more artistic pursuits and things that are healthy for my mind and spirit.

So that’s most of what encompasses my time. There are other things I do whenever I get the chance, like traveling, and there are new hobbies I’d like to add, like painting, but things take time and, more often than not, money. We’ll see what the future holds, but my present is pretty satisfying.

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