The trip was amazing. It was relaxing and peaceful, but most of all it was enlightening.
A while back, I read about the highly sensitive person in Sherri's blog. But before I even opened the book (or turned the Kindle on), I decided this trip would be different. On this trip, I was going to be honest and truthful to the essence of who I am: an introvert.
What I didn't tell you guys about this trip is that it is part of my husband's company annual sales meeting. Although I enjoy all the amenities they provide, there is a lot of schmoozing, small talk, and socializing that I absolutely CANNOT STAND that comes with it. For the past 4 years, I have put on on a façade so fake, that even I could not stand myself.
I pretended to be super extraverted and that I cared about what these people were saying. So year after year, I pretended to look super interested in things I can't remember, laughed at stupid jokes, and pretended to enjoy the group and team building activities they put together (except the year I got the "foul ball" trophy because instead of playing softball, I sat on the bleachers reading a book).
But this year, I said enough is enough. I told to my introverted self that I did not have to fill the silence, laugh at the stupid jokes, be at the mingling from beginning to end, or be super nice to those who have been jerks in the past.
And then, I started reading "The Highly Sensitive Person" book and it made so much sense to me. Sure I am introverted, but on top of that I am sensitive. Not the sensitive "cry me a river type", just more in tune with what's going on around me and especially with people's emotions, to the point I can feel their feelings.
When I realized that and respected my introversion, my limits, my true self, all the weight I had been carrying came off my shoulders.
Don't think that I just sat there silent and stoic though, I am well aware I live in a social environment and some social expectations must be met to survive. But when I did that taking into consideration what I can and cannot compromise, it made a world of difference.
I felt proud of myself for standing up for who I am and how that allowed this to be one of the most relaxing trips I've had.
But most importantly, it allowed me to make one connection that mattered. This lady, who I really like, came to my table on the last day of the trip and said she wanted to let me know how much she loved me. She said that my husband was showing her pictures of my paintings and how she felt special for knowing me. She said she didn't want to let me leave without telling me that.
This one conversation, my friends, was one of the most important I had, because in the end what is really important is this deep, special connection I can make with another human being.