This morning, I got up in the dark to drive Steve to the airport. I miss him already. A week is a long time and we’ve rarely been apart this long. And yet, I’m the one who encouraged him to take this trip to be present at two different family events, both in the same state — although opposite sides of a pretty wide one.
I’ll miss talking to my favorite person about our days over dinners (which, believe me, will not be nearly as nice when I’m cooking solo). Besides, I rely on Steve for so many other things — extremely essential things. Like waking me up. Fixing my first cup of coffee. Packing my lunch. I realize this brings into question whether I truly was the independent and cosmopolitan woman I claim to be, someone who comfortably navigated between countries on her own. It remains to be seen whether I’ll even be able to make it to work on time without Steve. Pathetic, I know.
During my lifetime single, I grew quite accustomed to time alone but I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with it. When I had my traveling role with Cru in Eastern Europe, I loved being with my staff friends in the different countries I visited, so much so that I’d return to my flat in Budapest completely spent. I both needed time alone to recharge and dreaded the loneliness (read, depression) that inevitably followed. Never quite sure what I truly am, I’ve always tested as an extrovert. But I suspect I was born an introvert who enjoys people (a surprising combination that many can’t seem to fathom) with the extrovert behavior learned later in life.
The typical question to clarify whether you’re an introvert or extrovert is how you get your energy. All I know is, to have any sort of equilibrium, I’m desperate for time alone — especially alone with God (which, by the way, even the most outgoing person needs whether they’re unaware of their neediness or frightened by it). Yet I need people — Steve now, girlfriends in the past — in order to process aloud and sort out what I think. And at night when I’ve been with friends, I’m so energized I can’t sleep. Every conversation and nuance replays in my mind. However, if it’s a gathering where I’m forced to make small talk, I try my best to avoid it. I read something the other day that resonated with me. An introvert wrote that she secretly loves it when others cancel plans with her. Me, too. (But it’s not all the time. And not everybody. Can you tell I’m still conflicted?)
But here’s what fascinates me. When I was single, married people reached out to me infrequently, I guess assuming I preferred, or at least liked, being alone. Now that I’m married, I’ve received oodles of invites from people who think I’ll pine away this week while Steve is gone. Yes, I will miss him. And yes, I appreciate friends reaching out to me, I really do. But — and Steve understands this — I’m also looking forward to time alone. I used to have it all the time and now I never do. (I live with a retired husband. Just sayin’.) This weekend, I plan to be a recluse. I want to paint, play the piano, read, walk, and have a good long Saturday morning alone with the Lord. All solitary activities. All things my soul needs. All long overdue. As usual with me, I’ve planned way too much to fit in two days, but I’ll try my best.
Because at the end of the week, I’ll be so eager for Steve to come home! That’s the funny thing about being married to my best friend. He’s ruined alone time for me.