Over the Weekend

August 20, 2013

Little Wren had her first bath yesterday. It was traumatizing. For me, not her. #catsPainted the doors over the weekend. I call this color Chicken Makhani, or #2 Pencil. Same diff.
#clackamascountyfair#clackamascountyfair
Little Wren napping after her first bath.
We painted our front and back doors 'yam' from Martha Stewart's color line.
The reptile exhibit at the Clackamas County Fair.

It was over this last weekend that the lateness of the season finally hit me. I was watering my garden, staring blankly at all of my ripening tomatoes, when I realized it was chilly enough outside to warrant a sweater. I hadn't felt that cold since spring.

To tell you the truth, I'm a little anxious about fall this year. Usually end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall is my favorite time of year, but Matt is starting classes again this September, so things are going to change for us, and change is always stressful. In this case, it is the type of stress that is decidedly good and exciting, but I still have little knots in my stomach.

To relax, I've been reading Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, which has completely captivated me. I didn't mean to buy this book (I've got four other books on my reading list), but after I read through the sample on my Kindle, I was inspired to keep going. As an introvert who is also highly sensitive, I've always tried to blend in - often poorly - with the extroverted culture I live in. This puts me at odds with others, and especially myself, and makes me feel like there's something wrong with me. You can imagine how liberating it would be to read a book like this, and to realize there might be a way for introverted people like me to embrace our nature, and to coexist with extroverts without pretending, performing, or sacrificing something of ourselves.

As I read this book, I find myself highlighting furiously because there's so much I can relate to. For starters:

The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationships into the real world.

I always found it difficult to participate in class discussions when I was in college. Not because I was shy or wasn't paying attention, but because I needed time to mull things over. There was something about the pressure of in-class discussions that kept me from being able to organize my thoughts, and this was always a source of upset for my professors who wanted me to participate more.

Still, I managed to do well in school because of my written work. Expressing thoughts through writing has always been easier for me than verbal communication, which is a phenomenon that many introverts experience in common. It also explains why I can write this blog, where I have no problem discussing anything that interests me to anyone and everyone (I figure you wouldn't be here unless you were interested in what I had to say), yet I rarely discuss anything that's important to me with people face-to-face unless I feel really comfortable with them first. I tend to be very quiet except with close friends and family.

Anyway, I highly recommend this book to both introverts and extroverts alike. Not only does it debunk some of the stigma attached to the word introvert, but I think it has some really valuable ideas about how we can help balance the scales in society so us introverts have the opportunity to prosper, too, instead of being made to feel like we're doing something wrong.

5 comments:

  1. I had no idea about you being an introvert. You write so well, it is hard to tell. I have had friends through the years that have been painfully shy and we got along famously..they told me it worked out well because I could just do all of the talking and they didn't have to..haha.

    I am getting excited about Fall, it has been a great summer for the PNW but the 'natives' always seem to get a bit nervous when we go this long without rain.

    Your photos are great, always love to see what you are up to. xo

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  2. I forgot to say how I really like the 'yam' color you did your doors, very nice! xo

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    1. @Sherri: thank you! I think te yam goes pretty well with the teal trim on our house. And yeah, I like having extroverted friends. I think I introverts and extroverts balance each other well sometimes. :)

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  3. Thank you for this post, I can relate SO much!! I too am a highly sensitive person (just discovering that has helped me so much, finally understanding what was "wrong" with me in other people's mind) and rather introverted.
    It doesn't help that I work in a very extroverted environment. What you describe of class I often have in business confrontations: I can't enter into discussions right away because I need time to mull it over and prepare (time I am often not granted).
    Wishing you a great fall even with the changes! They affect us highly sensitive people so much more emotionally than others, even if they're good. It helps me a lot to just realize that and be ok with it.
    I actually downloaded "Quiet" a while ago, you've inspired me to finally get started reading it!
    And finally, yes to making friends online and being much more open than in person. I've written things on my blog I don't talk about in real life and when my mom mentions she has read it and wants to talk about it I squirm and brush it off!
    I could go on and on but I'll close with saying your kitty is just so darn CUTE!

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    1. Haha, yes! I can relate to what you say about talking to your mom about stuff you write on your blog. It doesn't seem logical sometimes, but I guess that's just how it works.

      I found out I'm an hsp when I was 14 years old, but somehow I forgot over the years, which lead me to believe, like you said, that there is something wrong with me, or that my needs are somehow not legitimate enough to take seriously. It's such an awful feeling.

      I'd love to know what you think of the book when you're done! For me, it has been mind-blowingly accurate.

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