I could feel my eyes glazing over. “Pay attention!” my brain chided me. I mentally shook myself. I tried to reengage but found myself thinking about markers instead, and how I would really like to get better at lettering, and how I bet I could do something pretty with purple, light green, and orange.
I leaned over and reached into my bag. This guy was still talking. He was always talking. English is not his first language, but he babbled on quickly, constantly, and confidently about every subject. Stephen, an extrovert himself, seemed to be enjoying this unending chatter. They were both sitting upright, hands empty, nodding at each other, asking questions, answering them.
When was the last time I had spoken? I paused, markers in hand. We had been there about 30 minutes and I think I had said hi? No, wait. I just smiled and made eye contact. I don’t think I’ve said anything at all.
Maybe if I add to the conversation it will buy me the time to play with my markers. It’s not rude to do that, right? If I nod and look up and add something sometimes? Except between me and me, we both know I don’t want to add anything to the conversation. In fact, I wish there was no conversation. I wish I could lock them all outside and sit in silence by myself for two whole days with a massive pile of blankets.
(Okay, that’s a stretch. Stephen can be there. He’s a restful presence. Plus, someone needs to feed me.)
This always happens. Our last house sit ended over a week ago and I’m at the end of my introverted rope. Between crowded hostels, hanging out with new and old friends in cities, and friendly couchsurfing hosts and their eager friends, I have had no time to recharge in over a week. I’ve stopped speaking when we go out. People are starting to ask if I’m alright.
Sometimes travel does not accommodate all of my needs. But, really, what lifestyle does? It’s impossible to live constantly in optimal circumstances no matter what path you choose.
I’m an advocate of mental health. I think it’s a very important aspect of health and life, and I believe it is essential that we take care of ourselves in that area. However, it’s not always easy. Since we’ve started traveling, I’ve had to learn how to rest on my feet.
Right now, I don’t have the luxury of shutting myself away and hearing nothing but birds chirping without any human contact for several hours. I have to stay engaged. So I need to use other ways to keep my sanity.
I’ve found a few things that help me feel better: Sitting quiet and still on a bench, painting, writing, enjoying nature, meditating, taking a long shower, coloring with markers, journaling, going to bed early (to lay there with my earplugs in), and purposefully being open to receiving good stuff from others. Not every interaction with every person is taxing – something I do well to remind myself of when I’m feeling particularly introverted.
One big encouragement this week has been the early responses from “Shattering the Mirror“!
Thank you to everyone who has purchased my new book, and THANK YOU to everyone who has already reached out and shared their thoughts! Already I’ve seen these responses on Facebook:
“Just spent my morning DEVOURING an AMAZING book by Courtney Cox. It was not only a delightful adventure, this book was exciting, moving, funny and beautiful (more to come on this book!) I highly recommend checking this out TODAY!”
“I haven’t been able to put this book down for the past 2 hours. I’ve never been much of a reader but there’s something special about “Shattering the Mirror” that honestly depicts a huge decision in life. I’m only a fifth of the way through but would already highly suggest this book to anyone looking for a new/fresh find.
Cheers to travel and new adventures.”
Additionally, the first blog reviewing my book has been published! Read it on glimpsesofmylife.org.
I feel so relieved and thankful and happy every time I hear from those of you that are reading my book.
For everyone who has purchased “Shattering the Mirror”, please don’t forget to leave a review on Amazon. Reviews help a lot when someone is considering reading the book themselves, especially since I have chosen to self-publish.