Strange how it all comes out in the wash.
I agonized last year. Really agonized. I sat in an empty parking lot for hours, days in a row, thinking. Trying to work it out. Every last emotion I could muster was involved. I felt so torn.
Now? Now I don’t feel any of that.
And, strange as this may sound, that feels like a loss. I’d rather have felt more. I suppose I’m all feeled out.
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Strange how one never falls in love with those that one is most compatible with over the long term, while invariably getting involved with those that simply don’t match up in any way.
Is this everyone’s experience? Is it universal? Or is it a particular disease that only some of us have? And, it would seem, that we talk to those others about endlessly—those ones we belong with but don’t fall in love with—and on a mutual basis.
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It now seems a million years ago that I was writing my dissertation.
I don’t like that sensation.
I don’t like it at all.
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I should be angry, but I’m not. I should feel a lot of things, but I don’t. I feel like my old, introverted self. I spent years trying to fit myself into the mold of something that I wasn’t, and it just didn’t work. You can’t change for people. You are who you are.
I am my old, introverted self. I don’t share much of what I feel. It’s not that I’m repressing anything or hiding it from myself. It’s all there. It’s just that it’s mine and isn’t for everyone else—except the impulse to reflect on things. That I share. That, and that alone, can be public.
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© Aron Hsiao / 2007
The world outside myself is kind of like a thunderstorm that happens outside your window while you work on something else for hours. It’s there, but it’s only in the background. It’s not something you’re conscious of. And it’s far away, on the other side of the glass, a fact of life, but not one that you necessarily pay attention to all of the time.
If you stop and look at it, it can be beautiful, and it can be impressive. But if you’re going to go out in it, you know that you’ll need to take an umbrella, and really most of your senses and sensible mind tell you that there’s really no reason to go out into it much at all, unless you’re ready to channel the storm and consciously evoke some sort of pure presence, a kind of performance, even if only just for one.
Until you’re ready to do that, you stay indoors, and you let the storm stay on the other side of the window while you do whatever it is that you do. You’ll go out if and when you’re ready. And it will only be every once in a great while.
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I’ve been writing this blog for a very, very long time. It has been my companion through four degrees, a dissertation, seven books, every woman that’s ever been in my life but the first one when I was sixteen years old, an entire marriage, the births and childhoods of two children, life in every state I’ve ever lived in, and every serious job I’ve ever held.
This blog is, in most every way that matters, a record of (at least the marginally shareable parts of) my inner life over the years. I like that. There’s something comforting in that.
In a world of instability in which nothing seems permanent, durable, or trustworthy, this seems permanent, durable, and trustworthy. Real. Maybe it’s the only thing that is.
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Introverts terrify extroverts. Always have, always will.
Because they make extroverts confront the fact that everyone has inner spaces, and that these simply aren’t able to be shared. Introverts are the proof that everyone is, ultimately, a stranger to everyone else. And for extroverts that is the least acceptable of any possible truth.
We are the great shatterers of illusion, and often they hate us for it.