I’m an introvert by nature.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t or can’t talk a lot, it just means that talking isn’t always something I feel comfortable or even inclined to do.
To this day, I’m still trying to figure out fully what my introversion, or at least, my own version of introversion, means.
So naturally, being on the quieter side of human “socialness”, I always assumed that having a job or business of my own that allowed me to work from home full time would be the epitome of workplace satisfaction for me.
I’m quiet, which must mean I’m not a people person, which must mean I’ll thrive in solitude, which must mean working from home without the distraction of other humans to socialize with would be the ultimate workplace utopia for me.
I was wrong!
I love people!
Granted, I’m not exactly the one who “starts the party” as soon as I walk into the room, but I also know that I don’t suck the air out of the room when I walk into it.
I’ve always had good relationships with my co-workers, with many of those coworkers advancing to “real friend” status (and I don’t just mean Facebook-type friends). They get upgraded from “people I work with” status, to friend zone status.
Even then, something led me to believe that I’d be happier or better off if I didn’t have to see them everyday.
Forget the fact that we hang out outside of work… Bridal showers, baby showers, birthdays, spa weekends, weddings, movies, meals outside of work lunches, funerals of loved ones… These are people (outside of my family and pre-work friendships) that I’ve come to do life with.
Now it’s true that I’ve changed jobs many times over the years and with each new job I’ve gained a new set of friends… But I’ve never let go of friendships formed at former jobs.
So even though every day (most days) we showed up at work, we would enjoy each others’ company while getting the job done. Many times we fantasized about having “work from home” jobs or at the very least, doing what we were doing from the comfort of our homes permanently.
So I’m here now… Running a small business that started off as a side hustle and is now my full-time hustle, 100% from home.
And… I’m going stir crazy…
It’s not just about not leaving the house everyday. I am very disciplined and I keep a daily schedule as though I were going to an office outside the house. This includes setting the alarm for 6:30am (but I’ll be honest… I hit the snooze until 6:50am) and dressing up in my work clothes, hair done and all (no sweats, no pajamas).
I sit at my desk in my home office to work, and if I want to switch things up I’ll sit at the dining table. When I need a complete change of scenery I go to coffee shops, Barnes & Noble, and alternate between two public libraries that are close to me.
Sometimes it feels like the employees at these places are my coworkers except for the fact that none of them talk to me other than to say the obligatory “Hello, welcome to…”
I admit that I even get jealous when I see them talking and laughing amongst themselves. I let my mind wander off as I imagine what they’ll be doing together after work or over the weekend.
And sometimes, I even let myself say it… “I wish that was me… I wish I were them, or a part of them at least…”
So now I know. Working from home full-time, be it a job or running my own business, is not my cup of tea.
I fell for the hype, I bought into it mentally. Then I strove for it and eventually successfully laid hold of it.
But now… I want out.
So, my search for work in the land of the living begins anew.
- I want back in at Cubicle Nation.
- I want coworkers to laugh with and gripe with.
- I want to long for the weekend again.
- I want to look forward to the occasional 3-day weekends and subsequent abbreviated work week.
- I want to have a commute again and I’d really appreciate it being more than 30-seconds.
Do I fear that after making this declaration I may regret it one day when I’m tired of the grind all over again?
But for now, I’m willing to take that risk.