Ruminations during COVID19 quarantine: Am I an introvert?

In the age of COVID19 quarantine,
While working from home,
Which I’m thankful for being able to do,
I have time to think.

Freed from the daily commute to/from work,
I wonder to myself.
This transition to quarantine,
Including cessation of my daily routine
Of commuting roughly 3 hours a day by bus and subway,
Hasn’t been too big a deal for me.

Sure, I miss interacting with my co-workers in person.
Sure, I miss the structure of my daily routine.
Sure, I miss being able to go anywhere I want whenever I want.
Sure, I miss hanging out with my friends in person.

At the same time
I’m fine being at home with my husband and daughter.
I’m fine having Zoom sessions and texting with friends.
I’m fine only being able to talk with colleagues by phone, text and email.

When I’m not stuck on my computer working late into the night on all too many occasions,
I wonder more than ever before.

Am I an extrovert by nature?
Am I an introvert by nature?

Am I an introvert because I’m fine staying home (though frustrated at times with the lack of freedom)?
Am I an introvert because I can think deeply?
Am I an introvert because having chats on the phone is not a priority for me?
Am I an introvert because I’m sensitive and empathetic?
Am I an introvert because I love nature and can appreciate it alone?
Am I an introvert because I fear public speaking?
Am I an introvert because I am picky with whom I want to be friends (because I’ve been burned repeatedly in the past by “friends”)?
Am I an introvert because I find it difficult to approach a group because every time I used to do that, people would not welcome me?

Or……

Am I an extrovert because I’d rather be outside running errands, exploring, and traveling than being stuck at home?
Am I an extrovert because I prefer to go places with someone else, but it’s not always feasible?
Am I an extrovert because I always need to get things off my chest and not afraid to express my opinion?
Am I an extrovert because I can chat with a person I meet for the first time as if I’ve known them all along?
Am I an extrovert because I can make friends easily with anyone I sense a commonality with?
Am I an extrovert because I don’t need down time and solitude to recharge?
Am I an extrovert because I have no problems attending large, noisy gatherings and staying there for a long period of time and being phased by the noise/crowd?
Am I an extrovert because I love to plan events, coordinate gatherings and I feel energized from the experience?

From the above, it may seem like I’m somewhere in between an introvert and extrovert.
But at the end of the day,
I don’t believe in labels.
I don’t believe there is a clear rule that makes a person an introvert.
I don’t believe there is a clear rule that makes a person an extrovert.

We are all products of our genetics and life experiences.
I think I might be an introvert by choice due to my experiences growing up,
Being made fun of and excluded for my ethnicity,
Living in a place that was all white (poor choice made by my father)
Being sensitive and empathetic, as after all, that’s my personality,
Lacking a role model in the household that could teach me about friendship,
And lacking friends, even being excluded by other Asian Americans!

At the end of the day, I like hanging out in groups and enjoying others’ company.
I do not need to retreat to recharge.
I do not feel charged by being with others.
I make friends with people who share similar viewpoints.
My friends are usually those with whom I share something in common, which makes sense because
After all, birds of a feather usually fly together?
And not everyone can get along?

I am who I am and I am comfortable with that.
It’s not black and white.
There are all different hues in between.
People are all unique and have their preferences and experiences that make them who they are.

NO LABELS NEEDED

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