Posts tagged with "introversion"

cum dignitate otium, or, les Cent Jours

At some point in my ear­ly adult­hood, I found it far more enjoy­able to par­take in some­thing for the first time when it was in the com­pa­ny of anoth­er – not only as an intro­duc­tion but a time stamp in the rela­tion­ship.

However, this habit even­tu­al­ly became a rein­force­ment (and tes­ta­ment) of a world­view that did­n’t leave room for feel­ings of inher­ent val­ue. I would deny myself any form of plea­sure unless I was with anoth­er per­son1. It’s like I need­ed some­one to val­i­date those expe­ri­ences, and did­n’t know how to give myself per­mis­sion to enjoy them oth­er­wise.

One might have believed that many painful years alone would give me the chance to devel­op a bet­ter sense of self-com­pas­sion, but a career has a way of con­ceal­ing such inad­e­qua­cies. That’s why I had as much grow­ing to do as Heather did, even though I was the one to ini­ti­ate the heal­ing sep­a­ra­tion. Three months would cer­tain­ly be far too long for me to tide myself over with chores or mind­less busy­work. An aver­sion to idle­ness would inevitably lead me to find ways of occu­py­ing my time in a more mean­ing­ful way, and I would be respon­si­ble to no one but myself.

Spending some time in exile also seemed like an effec­tive way for me to learn how to pri­or­i­tize myself, to fig­ure out my wants and needs, to dis­cov­er who I tru­ly am when the mask is down2. Unfortunately, it was­n’t prac­ti­cal for either of us to live apart, even though a com­plete break would have giv­en me a bet­ter chance to heal. As Heather was still work­ing from home3, I spent whole days with the office with the door closed and made it my goal to pass the time in enjoy­able ways.

Continue read­ing “cum dig­ni­tate otium, or, les Cent Jours”…

  1. Another rea­son los­ing L____ was so hard; she was the only oth­er per­son in my life who made it a point not to watch our shows until we were togeth­er. []
  2. How easy this is to for­get after years of cohab­i­ta­tion. []
  3. The pan­dem­ic was in the sec­ond wave. []

was I more alive then than I am now

I try to sched­ule my time with peo­ple very care­ful­ly; with intro­ver­sion, there’s a del­i­cate bal­ance between iso­la­tion and over-stim­u­la­tion. I always make sure I get a lot of alone time between major events. The only prob­lem is that means I’m alone for too long when plans don’t work out.

On the oth­er end of the spec­trum is the fact that I can nev­er say no to peo­ple if I’m too busy. I’m the one with­out kids, so my sched­ule is a lot more open than most my friends, and I nev­er know when I’ll have anoth­er chance to see them. This is prob­a­bly why I’ve been film­ing for four days straight.

Luckily, this includ­ed a won­der­ful per­for­mance by the inim­itable André Bluteau, whose debut CD is out now, and which you should most def­i­nite­ly pur­chase after lis­ten­ing and sub­se­quent­ly lov­ing.

I added a touch of grad­ing to give the video a bit of creamy 1950s American din­er feel. I’m thor­ough­ly impressed by Apple’s Motion soft­ware, and the pow­er it has to cre­ate object-track­ing text effects. Text can add such a nice­ly sub­tle cin­e­mat­ic touch, though doing 3D trans­for­ma­tions to make words match the plane of a fore­ground object is an exer­cise that will make your eyes bug out.

Andrew Vincent live @ Raw Sugar Cafe

The only thing pre­vent­ing me from mak­ing out with this man was his green hat. Don’t, don’t, don’t cov­er it up.

Also head­lin­ing was Andrew Vincent, who opened his set with Girlfriend’s Dog, a song I first gave to Bronwen when we start­ed dat­ing. It was right before she moved in for the sum­mer, and she had Bear, who was also a Labrador Retriever.

Now I under­stand why I need to much time in between events. After the con­cert, I did­n’t fall asleep until three in the morn­ing, even though I was exhaust­ed. The strug­gle not be shy and intro­vert­ed drains me, but the sim­ple act of being around so many peo­ple leaves me inor­di­nate­ly ener­gized. It’s too much some­times, but I nev­er know what to think of that feel­ing.

Missing A Ride

I almost did some­thing stu­pid crazy excit­ing adven­tur­ous tonight. But I did­n’t. Maybe it was too last-minute. Maybe I was feel­ing too shy and intro­vert­ed. Maybe I’m com­pla­cent. Maybe I’m too com­fort­able where I am right now.

Maybe the con­se­quences of fail­ure were greater than the poten­tial gains of suc­cess.

Sometimes I won­der when the scales will tip that bal­ance. When — if ever — will I be unsat­is­fied enough with things to step out of my com­fort zone and take those chances?

When will I catch that ride?

Patterns in the Chaos

I hap­pen to have a chance to write now. It’s rain­ing, so nat­u­ral­ly the win­dows are all open.

My life has been some­what chaot­ic late­ly. Weekends spent being social have been turned into intro­vert­ed exile, a way of charg­ing my bat­ter­ies once again. The added ben­e­fit is that I have more time to tie up loose ends on my projects. I’m even get­ting back into the still pho­to medi­um again.

Dry erase boards

I installed these dry-erase mark­er boards next to my front door. I use them to keep track of my tasks, projects, and errands, so I can come home and imme­di­ate­ly decide what I feel like doing. The two sil­ver clips are used for hang­ing notes and let­ters.

Nothing feels bet­ter than putting that thick black line through a task. Writing on frost­ed glass is pret­ty tasty too.

Dry erase board closeup

I use the oth­er board for quotes, a way to keep myself moti­vat­ed — or ground­ed — every time I pass by on the way in or out of the house. It’s also a nice way for me to prac­tice my hand-drawn typog­ra­phy, by try­ing to bal­ance char­ac­ters, words, and lines on the board in dif­fer­ent vari­a­tions in an esthet­ic man­ner.

There’s some­thing famil­iar about this. A feel­ing like I’ve been here before, not in this sit­u­a­tion exact­ly, but in the mid­dle of the chaos.

All I know for sure is that I feel like I can han­dle it much bet­ter than if this was hap­pen­ing a year ago.


Hello, I’m an intro­vert.

When going through Psychology 1101 to cov­er a required sci­ence elec­tive, I stud­ied the char­ac­ter­is­tics of intro­ver­sion and extro­ver­sion, but the mate­r­i­al nev­er real­ly res­onat­ed with me. As I saw it, there are vary­ing degrees of both, I fit some­where on the intro­vert­ed side of the scale, and this was the extent of the appli­ca­tion of such a sub­ject.

I can force myself to be social, friend­ly, cheer­ful (what Shirley and I call being on), but I can only do this for lim­it­ed amounts of time. Usually I can keep it going just a few hours for a par­ty or gath­er­ing, or as long as a few days as required if we’re out camp­ing or snow­board­ing, but nev­er longer than this.

The rest of the time I spend in my room, away from the world, because the social inter­ac­tions of every­day life are a huge drain on me. When I’m alone, I recharge in a way I can’t explain. I’ve spent years feel­ing guilty for this behav­iour. The North American atti­tude is that there’s some­thing wrong with being qui­et or unso­cial. The most strik­ing mem­o­ry I have of this was dur­ing frosh week, when oth­ers would con­stant­ly harass me to go drink­ing, or danc­ing, or par­ty­ing with a bunch of peo­ple I had nev­er met before.

Now there’s an expla­na­tion that makes more sense to me than a sim­ple degree on a scale. In a recent arti­cle, neu­ro­science researcher Marti Olsen Laney talks about the con­nec­tions between intro­ver­sion and biol­o­gy. “It impacts all areas of their lives: how they process infor­ma­tion, how they restore their ener­gy, what they enjoy and how they com­mu­ni­cate.”

I real­ize that there’s a great­ly sig­nif­i­cant cor­re­la­tion between the way I behave and my intro­vert­ed mind­set. Introversion is an atti­tude that affects almost every aspect of my life, deeply root­ed to a phys­i­o­log­i­cal lev­el. It isn’t some­thing I should be ashamed of or embar­rassed about.

And if I can come out of my shell every now and then, I’ll be alright.