A Social Hiatus
In my twenties I took pride in having ALL the friends and going to ALL the events and hosting the BEST house parties. In fact, people still ask me to this day, "when are you going to host another gathering?" (odd because some of these people have homes perfectly capable of hosting events yet....)
It happened around age 30. I hosted my 30th birthday party at my home and had a fabulous time. In retrospect, however, that was the night everything changed. I cannot pin point what exactly shifted but there was a point that night that I said to myself, "I'm done for a while...the party is over."
After that day and for a few years thereafter, I hosted one more baby shower and then only a handful of gatherings. For all intents and purposes, Chateau Meaux was closed for business. Even when an unexpected flood caused us to "renovate" our home, I was slow to even ask people over. Let's face it, I was in a social shell.
I am someone that traditionally receives energy from groups but during this period, I constantly felt drained when I had to go somewhere or be "on" or engage with a group of people. This was not my normal state of being and so it took some adjusting. Months and years came and went and the more I felt myself turning inward and not seeking the same level of exposure to my social circles. I wasn't depressed (trust me, I spent a lot of time and money figuring this out), but I was seeking something else.
For me, I realized that I identified too much by who was around me and the times we were having. There was something about hitting that 30 year milestone that stopped me in my tracks. My inner voice said, "reflect." And so I did. At 30, I got out of a long-term and unhealthy relationship and I did foolish and selfish things (many of which I will never ever admit). It was all about instant and personal gratification. It was also at this time that I began receiving the "hey, haven't seen you in a while are you ok" text messages, or the "hey, are you throwing a NYE party" all of which I replied to with vague responses. In hindsight, maybe it wasn't the right way to handle it, but it was all I had to give. It was as if being so available and so exposed had caused me to feel sucked dry and all I had left was a cursory response or a generic hello. It was pretty pitiful.
The issue with going from one extreme to the next in such a short period of time is that you psyche yourself into justifying the shift. And so I did. I just accepted that this was my new normal. It wasn't until the summer of 2016 when a life-shattering event happened to me that caused me to realize that I had become a hermit. I called my best friend in tears and asked her to come over during my lunch hour. While talking about this unfortunate event in my life, we began talking about how absent I'd been. In one honest moment, she looked at me and said, "it's time for you to come back to life, I've missed you." And with that, I began the long journey out of my shell.
Don't get me wrong, during this gray period, I was able to do things like meet Hassan, get married, and otherwise participate as a functional part of society. Although I was able to function, it was just a huge shift for me, and one that others took notice of. Let's face it, when you are always the one to throw the parties or plan the events or go to the happy hours and you just stop....it's noticeable.
In hindsight, I'm grateful for this gray period. This whole "Mind of Meaux" concept came to me during that time and I did a ton of reflecting on who I was, what I was doing and where I wanted to be. I switched jobs, redecorated a home, became a wife and so much more. It was as if I had to put my old self on hold to usher in this new Meaux 2.0 (who effing rocks by the way).
So here's to the social hiatus! May I never go through that again, but may I never forget what I've learned along the way.
Have you experienced this before? How did you handle it?
Photo credit: Averie Woodard Photography