Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Monday, January 1, 2007

Thanks for the Ride

One of the first things I realized when the dust settled from the new information I was presented on Saturday, was the scope of how I have worked around being an introvert in an extroverted culture over the course of my life. It’s horrendous! Even without considering the complications of my childhood, the accommodation that an introverted child needs to make to get the attention it needs boggles the mind!

My favorite trick was to attach myself to an extroverted person, activity or a performance unit; establish myself as a fixture and tag along for the ride. I’m like a little Egyptian Plover sitting pertly in the crocodile’s mouth making merry dental hygiene for my host and enjoying all the benefits this kind of symbiosis affords. This is the kind of detail a misunderstood introvert is reduced to in attempting to connect in an extroverted exclusive world.

Another way that I was in the world was much subtler and much more a traumatic loss than any of the other changes my disease of hypothyroidism presented a decade ago. It’s what I call “the loss of my looks”. Obviously everyone gets this one eventually. Few get it over the course of 6 weeks like I did and in terms of being an introvert this sudden change in my external appearance was tantamount to having half of ones face blown off. I was uncovered, revealed and exposed for the 200 lb fatty that, I guess, had laid dormant all my life under my size eight skin. It had never occurred to me. Seriously, I had never known such discord with my body my entire life.

I lost my total presence in the world as I understood it. Suddenly I was a round, middle aged woman appearing more at home behind a cart at K-Mart than getting down at a Chili Peppers concert. I had a melt down over this and I still leach grease from it upon occasion. I look like my Nana replete with jowls and hips you could use as sideboards. What is amazing is how I am now realizing how this has become a blessing. As hard as it was to loose the attention from the occasional turned head, there is no replacing what I gained in an open playing field unobstructed by the distraction of empty promises of deep romantic connections – the possibility of great sex or even the need for it, because by virtue of my disease, I had also been shoved into the onslaught of premature menopause. (…I feel a shudder of horror go through my extroverted friend’s very bountiful, sexually active and vibrant bodies!)….but when you think about it, for me as an introvert, this is like winning the lottery! And it’s not like I haven’t had tons of sex terrific to great - indifferent to bad!

Enter blogging. I think I my introverted cup runneth over. So we all have a propensity for one or the other – introversion, extroversion. Like being right handed or left handed; it hardly matters but for what one does with the hands. As for me, I have never realized before what I have relinquished of myself in not appreciating my life long modus operandi. As well, I have not appreciated what kind of movement all these people, places and things I’ve been using symbiotically over the years have allowed me. I think, frankly, Rauch was a bit hard on the extroverts in his article . It’s the extroverts that give motion to ideas we introverts noodle over, and the motion carries with it even more ideas. There is a lack of appreciation in this culture, surely, for the introvert but there is little dancing going on without the rowdy clamor of the extrovert.

Sincerely…when I first started this blog I developed a 24 hour fever over what kind of reaction I might get. I put up a site meter. Obviously everyone goes through this when they start a blog but there’s a point where the introverts are separated out from the extroverts: I found after the second post I really did not care who read the damn thing because for me the hitting the “publish” button felt like a closure of the subject. I’ve no interest in hits because the payoff is self evident for me in the use of the vehicle itself. I'm an introvert. I’m out of the room and on to the next quiet pleasure.

Having said all of that, I think my urge to blog is more a result of getting stuck with myself and not having any alligator too preen. What I really have is a profound urge for a ride!

….which segues into what I want to talk about next….

(To be continued)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hips Hips Hurray for the middle aged female introverted blogger!