Thursday, August 13, 2009

Picture a Day - Day 253

Whenever someone asks me to describe myself in one or two words (I swear I can't go two steps down the street without people demanding I box my life into a bunch of small categories) I pause, smile that 'I'm about to say something really infuriating' and just answer "Simply Complicated."

Then I run as fast as I can before they start in with the what's your favorite food in summer and do you want to see George Wendt eating Beans shtick.

But it's true (the simple/complicated bit I mean, no one's ever really asked me about George Wendt and Beans though I kinda wish someone would). No matter how much society tries to push us into these little boxes on a checklist (popular/unpopular, jock/geek, good/ bad, diet/ regular) everyone is just simply complicated, though I wonder sometimes if I don't take it to the extremes.

I am the classic science nerd, right? I love the thrill of chasing an idea down the experiment rabbit hole and seeing where I wind up. So that must make me incredibly one track, can only think in black and white, and never have an ounce of creativity in my soul.

Yet, I've been writing stories for the fun of it for years (okay so it was more like proto-blogging really. I can't end a piece of fiction to save my life). I've just gotten into painting, and I love any excuse to make a music video to delight myself with and for a long time photoshopping was a fun habit.

I guess that makes me a stuffed shirt, no nonsense, plot out every aspect of my life free spirit who likes to get her fingers dirty trying to capture that essence of nature of joy in something tangible.

Oh no! I'm a PC and a Mac!

It's just like being an Introvert. I'll have days where I'm excited, will actually go up to people I barely know and strike up a conversation. Maybe even dare to branch away from the all important weather conversation and crack a few jokes.

But like a passing cloud, that sliver of extroversion will exhaust itself and I'll spend a few days in seclusion hiding in my cave only dealing with people when they wander by wanting to be dunked in a river (That's my own interpretation of John the Baptist).

I am not so much a social butterfly as I am a social moth. Butterflies are always seen in large groups flocking around each other, but the sometimes just as lovely moth is alone contemplatively resting on a piece of wall or plant.Yet, so many people think it's unnatural; or worse, actually feel pity for me because I don't have a flock of friends hoovering around me.

The world is not designed for Introverts (Or lefties for that matter. Anyone else a Southpaw?). Introverts are watched with a careful eye, just waiting until Ms. Introvert suddenly can't take the crushing loneliness and goes crazy adopting 100 cats or dropping Gateway computers on cars off the overpass without extroverts stopping to think that maybe Ms. Introvert likes being alone.

Normal is wanting a ton of friends, normal is being bright and cheery around people all the time. Normal is being constantly surrounded by people 24/7 constantly communicating.

Normal scares the crap out of me. Normal makes me break out into hives and sit in a corner gibbering to just think about. Though I am happy with who I am and how my scary brain works, even I feel societies evil pull telling me to be normal.

I'll recognize when I flat out need alone time and will pull myself away, but I feel bad for it. This ever present network of everyone having to be in constant communication makes it next to impossible for someone to ever really unplug. Yet when I do, even for a little while I feel like I'm letting people down.

There are blogs to read and comment on, tweet's that need some love, phone calls ignored (oh how I loathe the phone culture we have. In my world the phone is not king, so I only answer it when I feel I have the spare time not when it's buzzing and screaming in my ear) but my brain decideing that it needs to put the social part to bed, has gotten it a nice warm glass of milk and wrapped it in a snuggie.

I recognize that I am not as actively trying to reach out to people as normal dictates, yet my social brain just yawns, rolls over and goes back to sleep. It's like getting a furniture kit from a store and getting all set to put it together until you realize that you're missing a screwdriver. You can go over the instructions, plan it all out, but that one important piece to get you started is gone.

The blog/tweeting/facebook world is not a good friend to Introverts much either. If you want feedback and attention you must build up a stable of friends to rival King Solomon's harem. And the second you vanish from that constant feedback world, they'll dump you like yesterday's hot potato chasing after the latest shooting star (awe man I think that was the last of the metaphors, all I have left are useless old maxim's now).

Just once it would be really nice if in some people's minds 'shy' didn't equal crazy/weird/about to shoot the place up.

Sometimes a social moth doesn't want a white knight to swoop in and pull her into the throngs of butterflies, the social moth would much rather hang out on the wall with all the other flowers just watching and when she's in the mood maybe buzz with the butterflies every once in a while.


Leslie said...

AMEN! and I'm way more extrovert than you (though still truly an introvert).

Ruby Slippers said...

Nicely said. I don't have a big social network and never have. People don't seem to understand that I LIKE being at home by myself. Of course, I do like to go out occasionally, but it's always nice to come home at the end.

Chesney said...

I don't think any one of us can be categorized into one group or another, people are all so multi faceted and need different things in their lives at different times...

Aleda said...

Yes. This. And look, I've gotten this far without owning any cats! And only 2 computers at a time, that I'm certainly not going to be throwing away. Sigh. I do wonder sometimes what it would be like if our culture as a whole really "got" introverts.

I'm lucky enough to be marrying another introvert, I can't imagine doing otherwise.

Linda said...

Normal sucks so don't ever aspire to being normal!
My hubby is a lot like you. He likes being social but overall he rather be at home reading or playing games. I'm the social butterfly. But I love being at home and hanging out. Being with him has made all the stuff seem less important.