Last night, as I drove from work to home and hopped on the subway to get uptown to pick up my race packet for a race this morning, I felt overwhelmed. I'm not one who is easily overwhelmed. Brooklyn, and NYC, can do that to me, though.
It started with the crazy traffic that made my 2.4 mile drive last 45 minutes. I could have fast walked it in about the same time. That was combined with more horn honking than usual which was an assault to my ears. Additionally, the lights on stores, cars, and the street were driving me crazy with glare on my windshield.
I got to the subway platform and was immediately asked for money. When I got on the train, a homeless man got on at the first stop asking for money. On the third stop, a young lady was asking for money for a school trip. Some buskers arrived as we hit manhattan and were playing music for money. The subway car was so crowded that it was hard to breath.
Arriving to 72nd street, I felt like if I lifted my feet, the crowd would've walked me out of the subway car, across the platform, and up the steps to 72nd street. Getting out of the subway, there were dozens of honking cars, street vendors hawking books, hotdogs, pretzels, paintings, christmas trees (all the way from Alaska according to the sign), a busker playing saxophone, a homeless guy sleeping on the subway vent, and a lady in a wheelchair screaming for donations.
I walked down the street to get to the store where they had packet pick up. I was hungry, but didn't feel like eating. I was reminded why some people are fed by this and others are drained by it. I'm an extrovert and gain energy by talking with people. I am left wondering if the people who gain energy in the city are introverts who enjoy the fact that there are few people that you actually have to connect with. I find that the people here are people that I need to walk by and not talk to. Talking to them, for some reason, saps my energy instead of increasing it.
I did find a brand new shiny penny on the subway platform on the way home. I got my packet and made it home. I made a turkey sandwich and at 7:30, I turned on some white noise and crawled into my bed with no lights and lots of blankets. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and feel like I can face the world again.
I doubt this is an introvert extrovert thing. I do realize, though, that I sometimes need to get out of the city to just hear birds chirping and feel nature. Central park doesn't cut it.