Us introverts all know that there are times when you just have to deal with doing things that you would much rather not do. Sometimes you’re expected to be certain places and be with people when all you really want to do is stay at home and watch New Girl on Netflix with your cat. There really doesn’t seem to be any way around these situations that I know of (if you know of any loopholes, then PLEASE for the love of alone time, let me know!). But anyway, I remember a time where I had to participate in something that I would consider to be the ultimate sacrifice for any introvert: A DESTINATION WEDDING.
My brother fell in love with a girl who is originally from Florida and she moved to Michigan to be with him. This was all fine and good to me, I didn’t think twice about it until they had gotten engaged and I was informed that the wedding would be of the destination variety. It was to be held in Florida where his fiancée’s very big Italian family still resided. My heart sank when I learned of this because it meant traveling, which I hate; taking a plane, which I had never done before; and the most daunting part of all? MINGLING *gulp*.
You see, not only was I traveling for the wedding, but I was actually IN IT as one of about seven or eight bridesmaids. This meant that I had to meet them all. I was practically hyperventilating at the thought. I even found myself hoping and wishing that my brother’s fiancée accidentally got pregnant so that she wouldn’t fit into her dress resulting in them postponing the wedding or just getting married at the local courthouse (and I feel absolutely no shame about it.). I have to admit though, that I was pretty excited to be visiting such a beautiful place. It was full of palm trees and allowed me access to the ocean (I love me a good large body of water). It was also nice because it would be like a family vacation, which was a whole new thing for me. And the cherry on top? My best friend Jennifer was gonna be there too. She’s basically part of the family so it was only natural that she come.
So. Months of dreading had passed and there was still no pregnancy (smh). The wedding was happening whether I liked it or not. My family and I got on a plane to Delray Beach, Florida and the festivities began. Here are some of the mishaps that came along with those festivities.
One night in and I was already bawling on the floor of the hotel bathroom while talking to my husband on the phone. The physical distance between us was freaking me out. I felt resentment about the wedding being so far away from my comfort zone and about it being such a long ordeal (four days is a lot to ask of an introvert.). In my mind, not coming to Florida was not an option for me though. I knew that had I decided not to come, everyone would have looked at me like I was a bad person for not being at my own brother’s wedding. What was I gonna say? “Sorry, I can’t come. I’m like super introverted sooo yea…” Pretty sure that wouldn’t have gone over too well. But, being honest? Had I not been worried about what everyone’s opinion of me would have been, I would have been at home chilling. I was feeling a mix of emotions. Most of all though, I was missing my husband, the cat, and my cozy bed. Although, I must admit, the mattresses at the hotel we were staying at? Primo.
I had literally NO TIME to myself. For four whole days. That’s the better part of a week so as an introvert, I’m sure you can imagine my frustration. When I wasn’t with my best friend in our room, I was out and about with a mix of family and my brother’s friends. Not being able to have the alone time that I craved for such an extended period of time had me feeling majorly overstimulated. For lack of better words, I felt like a caged animal. I was jittery, cranky and just altogether on edge. I had never felt this uptight in my life and I didn’t know how to handle it.
POOR COPING MECHANISMS
Because I didn’t know how else to handle it, I had found myself drinking a lot throughout the trip just to take the edge off. I’m not even a drinker! The most I’ll have is a glass of red wine from time to time. I had begun a viscous cycle of drinking to cope with the fact that I was around so many people all of the time, acting out of character because of said drinking (I embarrassed myself a time or two.), waking up feeling like crap the next morning and then doing it all over again that night. Some people consider this fun vacation behavior. I do not.
Everyone wanted to squeeze so many activities into everyday. They wanted to go to the club, go to the beach, go out to eat, dance, scream, you name it. I get that that’s what people like to do on vacation, but it was all too much for this introvert. But, me not wanting to be a party pooper, I participated in all of these activities. This resulted in me feeling worn down and burnt out. In retrospect, I should’ve opted out of some of the activities. It would have benefited me to break away from the group and take some time to chill alone. If I’m learning anything right now it’s that I should listen to myself and honor what I want.
I felt like I was putting on an act the whole time. Seriously, it felt like high school all over again. Everyone seemed to be having so much fun and I wanted to appear to be having fun too. I felt like I had to act like I was excited and having the time of my life because I was in Florida and that’s what people do when they vacation in Florida. I didn’t want anyone to be put off by how reserved I am although, again, looking back I should have just stayed true to myself and I would’ve had a better time.
The vacation was not without its good times though. The wedding ceremony itself was so beautiful that it brought me to tears and there was something so beautiful about gaining a new member to my family. Witnessing the love that my brother and his wife have for each other was something that I’m honestly glad I didn’t miss out on. I made great memories with the people that I love the most and that was truly priceless. And did I mention how beautiful Delray Beach is?!?!!! It was absolutely gorgeous!
By the end of my trip I was POOPED. Pooped actually might be an understatement because I was so drained that I slept all day everyday for about a week straight when I finally got back home. Introverts are not lying when they say that hanging out with people takes our energy away. That trip took every bit of mental and physical energy that I had. There was no way I could have lasted one more day. Getting back to my house was like finding a reservoir in the desert. I was so happy to get back to my husband, my cat and most importantly, my OWN bed.
What are some of your stories related to obligatory social engagements? Comment them down below!