Posts Tagged ‘introversion’

Echoes from another time.

“You’re too sensitive.”
“I was just teasing!”
“You need to come out of your shell.”
“You spend too much time in your head.”

When I was young, adults labeled me with words like “shy” and “bookish” which didn’t sound bad but I was pretty sure they weren’t compliments. I had no such confusion with the schoolyard taunts of “pussy” and “faggot.”

These were the judgments pronounced upon me. They were the phrases that defined me. They were spoken so often, I believed them. I believed that I was defective, inferior. I believed that I was somehow less. Even with all my gifts–of concentration, of perseverance, in music, as an autodidact–I still felt that there was something wrong with me because I didn’t fit in, because I rarely spoke up, because I enjoyed solitary activities, because I preferred walking in the hills to traveling with the pack.

So, when a friend recommended Susan Cain’s sociological study, Quiet, I was intrigued.


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Mahonia after rainI drive up the unfamiliar street, looking at the numbers on each house until I find the one we want. I park and we get out of the car. My internal temperature spikes–though it’s August, it isn’t hot, yet the sweat beads on my brow as I retrieve the dishes I made for the pot-luck.

Yesterday, I made quinoa tabbuleh salad and white bean hummus. I picked the cucumbers from my garden, trimmed and minced the spring onions, selected the best sprigs of parsley, mint, and coriander. I whisked the tahini and lemon juice into a cream, blending it with the bean and garlic puree, testing the flavors repeatedly until the profile of earthy/salty/tart was just where I wanted it.

I took extra time and care with each task, not to show off my skills or with the intent to impress, but simply to keep my mind occupied so it wouldn’t be thinking forward to this moment, walking up the steps of a house, preparing to enter foreign territory, about to meet new people. (more…)

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