By Maggie Reimherr
I had been looking forward to this past weekend for months. Derek was going to a bachelor party in Denver. For the first time in our nearly 8 months of marriage, I was getting the apartment to myself.
On Friday night, I went to a women’s conference (Belong Tour with my pretend best friends, Jen Hatmaker and Shauna Niequist), with some women from church. We stayed up late having girl talk in the hotel room, and it was a welcome change from having most of my conversations with a dude. Saturday evening, I dropped my friend Kate off at her apartment on the way home from the conference. She asked me if I wanted to come in and hang out, and I proudly declared, “No thanks, I'm going to head home and be an introvert. I'm so excited.”
I returned home with an excellent plan: Hallmark movies and decadent foods (okay, McDonalds and a slice of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory). Then I found out we don't have the Hallmark Channel. Next, I realized I wasn't even hungry thanks to the buffalo chicken wrap I’d eaten for lunch. Undeterred, I settled in to watch the episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Crazy Ex Girlfriend I'd missed that week. 2 hours later, it was 8:00 pm, and I didn't know what to do with the rest of my night.
The next day, I never changed out of my pajamas and watched 3 movies and approximately 8 episodes of The Mindy Project. I texted my friends a lot. I texted Derek, “I miss you! Please come home!” I was lonely. I was bored.
And then I had a thought: am I becoming...extroverted?
It checks out. I thought back to Friday night and the late night girl talk. I was so energized and refreshed by having honest conversations and lots of giggles with other ladies. I thought back on 8 months of marriage and sharing space with another person and realized, “I think I enjoy being around people more than I enjoy being alone now.”
This realization came from a girl whose biggest fear about marriage was the idea of not having my own time and space, who, as an engaged woman, frantically texted a married friend asking, “What do you do with your free time? Are you ever alone???”
I found myself wondering what I used to do with my alone time. I was a Netflix queen. I could finish shows at a pace no reasonable human should. While Netflix used to give me rest, it now leaves me feeling disconnected and alone.
Don't get me wrong: I still enjoy reading books and introspectively writing in my journal. I enjoy the 2 hours I have to myself on Saturday mornings while Derek sleeps in since my body has decided in my mid-20s that it won't sleep past 8:00 am. But anything beyond the quiet hours of a weekend morning, and I find myself craving human interaction.
I'm not ready for the label of extrovert. I'm just here to say that Maggie Carter was an introvert. But Maggie Reimherr is a connection-craving, people-loving, small talk-having, question-asking individual. I think it goes to show that as our lives change, so do we. Constant connection in marriage has made me hungry for more time with people. And I'm here for it.
So next time Derek goes out of town, please come visit me.