Growing up I always felt a little different than the people that surrounded me. I felt like I was a little too independent, a little too unorthodox, a little too inside my head. Don’t get me wrong. I loved being with my friends and belonging to my dance studio. However, the constant activity and surge of adrenaline I enjoyed so much also inexplicably drained me. The only way I could recharge was to be by myself, or at least retreat inside my imagination, for hours on end, usually by reading books.
It wasn’t until much later when I was in college that I discovered this type of behavior wasn’t so strange after all. I was in a group dynamics class my sophomore or junior year, and one of our assignments was to take the Myers-Briggs personality test. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s an assessment that uses the psychology of C.G. Jung to break down an individual’s personality into one of 16 different types. As it turns out, my personality is classified as INFJ, or Introversion-iNtuition-Feeling-Judgment, and we make up about one percent of the entire population. So while my personality type may be rare, I’m not the only one out there.
Why does this matter in the grand scheme of this blog, you may be wondering? Well, INFJs are extroverted introverts. We love being around people, but we also crave and require solitude in order to realign ourselves. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I have been happily living alone, sans roommates of any kind, for the last two and a half years. While I may be predisposed to love this kind of living style, it’s also come with a lot of challenges that I’ve been slowly working to conquer in the maverick-like way that I’ve learned to discover is just who I am.
I’ve learned a lot of things about being on your own over the last eight years since graduating high school. I only spent three of those years in my home state of Michigan, while the other five were spent living in Illinois, California, and most recently Massachusetts. So maybe more specifically, I’ve learned some very interesting lessons about living away from my family, friends, and basic support group. I’d like to use this blog to share my experiences and advice to help other people find the same happiness I’ve found living on my own. Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned is where I should start…
Your relationships with the people back “home,” wherever that home may be, are exactly what you put into them. When you move away from your entire life as you know it, you have to decide who is important in your life. It’s then your responsibility to keep up those relationships, no matter how busy you are or think you are. It can be incredibly difficult, but it certainly is in no way impossible. I know because I’ve done it. I haven’t lived in the same place as one of my closest friends in almost five years, and I still talk to her every single day. I want her in my life so I make the effort, and at the end of the day those relationships make living alone a little less lonely.