Three Lessons I Learnt From Staying Away Too Long.
1. You owe an explanation.
It’s a myth that we do not owe anyone an explanation for how we live our lives. It’s a lie we’ve believed.
You don’t have to tell just anyone why you shut down, broke down or whatever term it is you use for the time you suddenly disconnected from everyone in your life.
But you see those people who would stoop and clean up the mess when you throw up? You owe them an explanation.
Those people who would drop everything and come when you call? They deserve to know.
They deserve to know why you stopped replying their messages and picking their calls. Why you didn’t come when they called. Why you left. Why you went off the grid. Why you would hurt them that way.
They deserve to heal.
Think hard. You’ll find that there’s quite a list of people you owe. Give to Caesar…
And if someone never explains to you, you just might not be on their list. No hard feelings.
2. Life happens without you. Be humble enough to catch up.
While you were away, people in your list had birthdays. They got married. They got jobs and lost them. They lost loved ones.
Reply messages even three weeks later. Return calls. Pay condolence visits, give belated birthday wishes and congratulations.
Pride will deceive you that it’s late and everything is over. But it’s not. Because if the people are anything like me (except they’re not human), you know that what matters more to them is that YOU came, not when. Especially if you already explained (See 1.)
3. Even if your introversion is at 99%, you CAN’T ignore the other 1% that NEEDS people.
Because the little things matter.
Because eventually it’s the 1% of poison that pollutes a glass of the purest water.
Introverts gain energy and stability from solitude and quiet.
But what’s the use of gaining energy if you’re not going to spend it on what matters most, like the people in your life?
Remember that your best life moments have rarely been the ones where you’re alone.
Realise that there are ripples of laughter and love in your chest just waiting to spill on your people. Spill them.
You can shut down as many times.
But when you reboot, Explain. Catch up. Stay up. Laugh. Love.
***BONUS: Note that these people in your list will someday shut down too. Everyone does at some point in their life. Leave the door open for them to explain and catch up when they come back. Don’t make it awkward.
To all those who have stuck in my ‘list’ despite my 1001 shut downs, thank you! I love you dearly 💟.