Posts Tagged With: quiet

AHHHhhhhhhh…….

peaceful

There was a time when I had not a concern in the world….and then I was born.  It’s amazing the things I found to be stressful as a child.  Having to make new friends at school was absolutely terrifying for me, being an introvert.  Having to learn math and spelling and grammar and history and learning to deal with the cliques….it was stressful, to say the least, and led to many sleepless nights.

These anxieties continued throughout my school years, with the inclusion of having to learn geometry, trigonometry, calculus, the sciences, foreign languages, more clearly defined cliques.  Life had become quite the challenge.  Most days I didn’t want to even get out of bed, but if I didn’t get out of bed, I wouldn’t go to school and if I didn’t go to school, I would have to endure it all again next year with a whole new pool of people.

FINALLY, I managed to graduate high school!  The sense of freedom was incredible…until my parents gave me the choice of going to college, joining the military, or getting a job. So off to college I went.  The first year was the absolute worst, again because of being an introverted introvert.  It’s not that I didn’t like people and wasn’t sociable….I was just extremely awkward around people and even more so in social situations.  But I put on my calm face and followed Shakespeare’s “Henry V” by going “Once more into the breach”.

Throughout the bits of my life that I remember, I was seeking to be absent from the world by finding that place where could fit in and be accepted.

Fast forward through the misery that was college and the 8 years of military and a divorce and I now find myself still seeking that place where I can find peace and fit in.  While I have no clue where to find it, I do know what sort of place it is that I feel most at peace.

I like quiet.  I like the environment to be of cool climate.  I like a gentle breeze.  I would like something of a stream or other water.  In a place like this, I could find peace.  There would be no expectation of having to deal with others.

I once thought such a place truly existed.  But am now not so sure.  If it does exist, it is beyond my reach at present and the feeling out of place in this world continues.

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Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m NOT Weird! Well….Perhaps I Am. But Just A Bit!

people

I like people, generally speaking.  Some I find more tolerable than others.  Some of the more gregarious ones tend to make me feel completely exhausted, and also arouse my suspicions as to their sincerity.

You see, I am very much an Introvert! I am quiet, by nature, and prefer to observe rather than lead.  I notice….oh yes, I notice more than I say.  Didn’t think anyone saw you picking your nose during staff meeting? Yeah, I noticed.  Didn’t think anyone heard you belch into your napkin so delicately pretending to sneeze?  Yeah, I noticed that too.  Not much subtlety escapes my notice, I just don’t feel the need to voice it.

I like to sit quietly and read or write.  Whilst engaged in this pasttime, I am still quietly noticing.  I use reflective surfaces as mirrors, so I noticed you adjusting your “unmentionables”.  My ears are sensitive and hear your whispers.

No, I am not some creepy prowler.  I am just a quiet observer.  I like working by myself.  I like spending as much time being quiet as I possibly can.  Loud people who are loud just for he sake of being loud or in an effort to be “intimidating” piss me off.  Just because I am quiet does not, by any stretch, mean that I am weak or afraid.  I am calculating when I must be.

I like thinking things through.  Granted, not all of my thoughts work as imagined, but I learn from that and file it away for next time.  I am constantly learning; constantly thinking; constantly observing.  My mind wakes me up at night because it wants more input when my body wants sleep.

Because I am constantly thinking, I am also caring.  I am a wonderful listener.  I enjoy spending one-to-one time.  I do have friends, but my true friends are a very small and tight knit group.  I like to vacation to places that are off the beaten path.  I like to sing in the car (partly because I sing very badly but mainly because I feel comfortable when alone in the car).  I am perfectly comfortable sitting in silence.

I am an Introvert, not anti-social.  I may be an Introvert, but I also have feelings.

I am an Introvert!  And you cannot change that about me, so please don’t try!

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So What If I Act Like A Hermit Crab?

hermit crabI like quiet!

I like not talking!

I like thinking!

I like observing!

I like reading!

I like working alone!

I like my alone time!

NO, I am NOT a leper!  NO, this is not “just a phase.” NO, I am not anti-social!  NO, I am not unhappy!  NO, crowds will NOT bring me “out of that shell”, matter of fact, crowds make me withdraw deeper into my shell.  NO, I am not avoiding you….well, perhaps I am but only if you are being loud and pushy.

Hear me very carefully…I’m an INTROVERT!  That just means I process internally (and quietly).  I have no need or desire to be gregarious.  I cringe at the thought of being expected to be the center of attention or life of the party.  In fact, MY idea of a great party is a gathering of my few closest friends (and I do NOT make friends easily), in a quiet setting.  I don’t require a horde of loud whooping Barbarians trying to yawp louder than the rest.  The friends I have are friends for life. For you see, I take friendship quite seriously.

In my youth, I was that one person everyone liked to have around because I would listen.  However, having been branded as that “Sweet Guy” or, worse, “That Nice Guy” pretty much doomed any role for me other than that of listener.  I admit that I was bitter and angry about having been shoved into that role, but time has passed and those who shoved me into that role still tend to seek me out to listen.  But the people who thought me to be that “Nice Guy” failed to understand (or take the time to inquire) that I am an Introvert and, though I am quiet and withdrawn, I have feelings.

I have come to accept my Introversion and have found my niche.  I am an observer of human interactions. Not in that Ice Cream Truck Pervy kind of way, rather I sit on the fringe of the group or party and observe how humans interact with each other.  Not much escapes my notice and I have found that humans have the same habits and interactions as Simians.

At a party for example, there is immediately a “sizing up” of the new arrivals.  The males of the group begin their puffing up and posturing, which is followed up by the exaggerated sports talk at a loud volume, which includes lots of alcohol consumption complete with belching, scratching, and the none-too-subtle “checking out” of the female attendees (And, of course, every female who is deemed desirable or attractive “wants me).  The loud sports talk includes such physical displays as pantomiming a particular sports play considered to have been outstanding. At some point the sports talk will drift into the “who’s got the coolest job” puffery.

The female attendees are not much better in their activities.  They immediately “size up” the new arrivals to judge them on their couture, make-up, hair, jewelry, and general physical appearance.  Yes, even the females judge each other by the size and perkiness of the bosoms, with such statements as: “Those CAN’T be real!” or “Someone’s bought a new set” or “That poor dear couldn’t nourish a mosquito, much less attract a REAL man.”  And, yes, though the females may hide (or think they are hiding) they scratch, pick, and adjust just like the males.

While I realize that these observations reveal stereotypes, the human works very hard trying to make other humans think they are not human.  I chuckle quietly to myself knowing that some other Introvert is most likely observing me.

But think of Introversion this way: “It is the rain that nourishes the grass, not the thunder!”  – Rumi

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Perspectives | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Was Turned Into A Newt…But I Got Better

Good afternoon.  I realize it’s been a while since last I let loose the gerbils of my mind for some fresh air, so whilst they are having a romp about, you are stuck with me.

 Gerbils on a Bender

When you stop laughing and start breathing, we can continue…..

 

Here’s a gasper for you, a realization that slapped me awake faster than my morning coffee: I’m not perfect!  Give that a moment to sink in and the screaming of disbelief to subside.

 

It’s true though. I am in no way perfect, or invincible, or “good enough” by any standard.  But guess what? I don’t care!  I’m not here to impress anyone, smug though that may sound, it is, nonetheless, the truth.  I am rather an introvert, not given much in the way of “chatting” or small talk. As a matter of fact, I am a contemplative by nature, preferring to ponder and consider and observe.  That moment when you pick your underwear out of your butt and thought no one saw, you were seen by a contemplative.  I’m the person in the car next to you cringing while you attempt to sing the high part on Bohemian Rhapsody (and let you get well ahead of me in traffic so I no longer have to hear it).

 

But for most of my life, I dealt with Atelophobia.  I believe most of us have to some degree, and many still face it every day.  Atelophobia, for those who haven’t looked it up by now, is the fear of being “imperfect or not good enough.”  In a world that demands perfection, it’s difficult not to have this phobia. Thank goodness for airbrushing photos, photoshop, masks, and darkness (those who have photos of me are thankful for these).

 

But here’s the part I like best: I no longer care.  I have FINALLY reached the point in life where I no longer give a rat’s dinkle if I “measure up” or have reached “this tall so I can ride this ride.” Why? Because it is much easier to be who I am than pretend to be what someone else expects of me. 

 

I sing badly, so I sing where no one can hear me (i.e. in the shower where the acoustics are fabulous).  I dance like a one legged frog on a hot pavement, so what? If that bothers you, don’t watch me.  I’m not a good conversationalist until we get to know each other, so feel free to inquire and let’s get to know each other.

 I Am SEXY

When you look in the mirror, do you see someone trying to be what others expect you to be or do you see the wonderful gift that is YOU? So….Am I “good enough”? No! I am so much more than merely “good enough,” I am ME and I enjoy it!

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Shush! I’m Thinking Here!

As a youngster, people annoyed me.  When it came time to go to the play yard, I would find some out of the way place and read.  My parents and teachers thought I had a mental problem or had anti-social tendencies.  I, on the other hand, while not realizing at the time I was introvertish, simply didn’t like all the noise and activity. It made me tired, and gave me a headache, and, quite honestly, just prefer the exercise of my mind. 

While I don’t claim to know or understand all the physiological, mental, spiritual, emotional, or complete oddness of introversion, I do acknowledge that “I Are One”.  During social gatherings a plan is developed and put in place almost as complicated as Mission Impossible.  While there’s no secret, self destructing mission messages, there is a cooperative effort amongst a close band of friends that is triggered upon the issuance and acceptance of the obligatory social activity invitation.

A pre-arranged time is set for our departure strategy.  This will usually be no later than 90 -120 minutes into the soiree.  At the predetermined time, the chosen individual will pocket dial the rest of us, or develop some sort of distress (stress of these situations does this), or we will step out for some air and slip away.  We will make a point to thank our host, upon our arrival, for inviting us. 

Admittedly, during company dinners, this strategy is not easily employed, but we tend to arrive early to select our seats near the exit so we can make discretionary escapes to the lobby and/or lavatory as needed.  Having a bar in the lobby is quite helpful until the bartender gets tired of our escaping there.

I happened upon a wonderful book by Sophia Dembling called “The Introvert’s Way” (shameless plug that I don’t get any royalties for), and upon reading it, saw my own life habits in her words.  Needless to say, it is always good to know that Introverts are not alone, even though we like to spend time alone.  There should be a club where we each have our own soundproof cube and can all be alone together.

Anyway, where was I going with this?  Oh yeah, a few things about introverts I have learned:

  • Introverts are weird, not psychotic.
  • Introverts recharge our minds by being quiet and processing.
  • Introverts can sit together for hours without speaking more than 3 sentences.
  • Introverts ARE social, just not in the way some might think.
  • Introverts have an incredible sense of humor, albeit sometimes subtle and dry.
  • Introverts enjoy having coffee conversations (if you talk with coffee in your mouth it will burn and stain, so the silence pockets are greatly desired).

 

Please do not take offense, but I am one of those insane people who believe libraries are for reading, not chatting or eating or engaging in various amorous activities in the reference sections.  If you have the need to smack or pop your chewing gum, rattle your candy wrappers, or have a nasal ailment, please step to the restroom and deal with that, as a courtesy.

Which brings me to another question: Why are the wrappers for foodstuffs always so loud? 

Anyway, that’s what has been meandering between my ears for now.  Feel free to ponder at will.

Shoosh

 

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Chirpy Beware!

I’m NOT a morning person! For the sake of those whose coffee may not have quite activated their ‘start’ button, let me repeat that: I am NOT a morning person. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against morning or its people. I just don’t happen to be one of them.

morning person

When I was in the military, we had to rise at O-it’s-still-dark-thirty, which in civilian speak means “just went to bed.” And what did we do at this glorious time of morning? Dash about with painted faces, hefting our weight in our rucksack, scampering from tree to tree like armadillos on crack. All the while listening to the sweet melody of our drill sergeant reminding us that whatever we were trying to do needed to be done faster, more efficiently, and with greater enthusiasm. We had to decode this encouraging message from the surrounding volumes of profanity, obscenity, and his doubts as to the legitimacy of our parentage.

Upon my exit from the military, my dislike of mornings continued with one exception, coffee! While in the military we were given many things, it just so happens that coffee was not among them. That’s not to say we didn’t make full use of the opportunities to obtain the wicked nectar from various means and methods, but I have gotten off task…

Anyone who knows me will tell you not to speak to me at all before I have had at least 30 minutes of quiet time and coffee. Why? Because, until the second influx of caffeine has been properly infused into my brain, my brain is focused on two things: breathing and not killing those who disturb this routine.

I purposely set my alarm to allow enough time for peace and quiet with my coffee each morning before toddling off to face the day.

Those cheery people who are so perky before my fourth cup has been ingested are like mosquitoes and should be smacked. My job requires focus and concentration, thus in order to be ready for peak performance, I do drink a lot of coffee. While this might explain the bouts of insomnia, I can hardly attribute it entirely as the cause.

I will mere stick to my original premise: I am NOT a morning person!

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Perhaps I’m A Smart Aleck

Perhaps I'm A Smart Aleck

I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop (office away from the office) doing the research and observing that I so enjoy, when a rather boisterous friend came in. Apparently my expression was not as inviting as she would want, so she made a b-line to my table and said, in a rather loud tone, “What’s wrong with you?”

I met her gaze, smiled, and replied quietly, “I’m working on research for a presentation.” And returned to my observing of humanity and its interactions.

My response, apparently, bounced off her understanding like a bullet hitting a steel block, and she said in an even louder tone, “Why are you watching all these people?”

So much for my unobtrusive research! Again, I met her gaze, smiled (or grimaced, as the perspective might interpret), and asked quietly (yet insincerely), “Is there something you want or need?” She gave me a confused expression as though I had asked her to solve for pi to the 1,000,032 point. I even thought she had suddenly developed a tic of sorts, as if her circuits were shorting out.

She plopped down, uninvited I might add, in the chair across from me, almost toppling my coffee, leaned over the table to look right into my eyes and said, “Why are you always SO QUIET?”

By now, my head was about to explode, and I honestly tried to stop the words from blazing forth like a cannon shot, but they were out before I could manage, “Because YOU WON’T BE!”

Perhaps, it was because she got angry by that response; perhaps, she got her feelings hurt; perhaps, her mind imploded at the notion. Sara hasn’t spoken to me since.

I do enjoy the quiet. It’s like a vacation.

Categories: Fortress of Solitude, Hmmmmm........ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

I’m An Introvert And I’m Okay

Introverted

This may come as quite a stunner to you, so please have a seat or hang on to something, I am an Introvert.  Let that sink in for a moment, as your heart rate and breathing recover from that shocking revelation.  A sip of coffee or tea would be acceptable about now.

 Most of my life, I have been aware of this fact, but wasn’t really able to understand what it meant.  I was told I was “stuck-up” because I wasn’t gregarious and loud.  I was thought to be “odd” because I preferred the company of a few people rather than a group (or herd or gaggle or glaring).  As far as I was concerned, there were only three types of people: Friends (who are close and few), Acquaintances (those with whom I would be polite and courteous, but not permit to get too close), and Strangers (those whom I would acknowledge with a nod or wave but little more).

 It’s not that I didn’t like people (although some people I would rather enjoy life without), because I truly do like people.  Okay, most people. Well, to be completely honest, only some people.  I don’t enjoy social gatherings much; rather, I enjoy a quiet evening with perhaps a couple of people.  Sporting events, for me, are to be watched from a recliner with snacks, or read about on the internet tomorrow.

Now, just because I’m an introvert in no way means I am missing out on any part of life.  I simply enjoy life in a different way.  Introverts love to laugh. We have ideas and opinions. We usually speak when we have something to say, not merely to fill the silence with noise. Introverts enjoy elevator rides for the simple reason that most people will FINALLY shut the hell up when the doors close.  When I wander off to my favorite hiding place, I tend to read.  If someone sits next to me and insists on chattering, thank you for ruining my little outing.

 Introverts aren’t lepers. We’re people and we’re normal. We can be outspoken if we need to be, but we process our thoughts differently.  We can smile, work the crowd, and even be in the spotlight; but we find such things tedious and exhausting.  If I must “mix and mingle” then, trust me, I will need some peace and quiet to recover.  Those who know me know that I tend to get grumpy if I am concentrating and get interrupted.  They also know that until I have had quiet time in the morning, I am absolutely cranky and irritable.

Those who think introverts should just “come out of their shell” or “get over it” are complete idiots! 

Here are a few things I have discovered on a website dedicated to Introverts:

 

Myth #1 – Introverts don’t like to talk.
This is not true. Introverts just don’t talk unless they have something to say. They hate small talk. Get an introvert talking about something they are interested in, and they won’t shut up for days.

Myth #2 – Introverts are shy.
Shyness has nothing to do with being an Introvert. Introverts are not necessarily afraid of people. What they need is a reason to interact. They don’t interact for the sake of interacting. If you want to talk to an Introvert, just start talking. Don’t worry about being polite.

Myth #3 – Introverts are rude.
Introverts often don’t see a reason for beating around the bush with social pleasantries. They want everyone to just be real and honest. Unfortunately, this is not acceptable in most settings, so Introverts can feel a lot of pressure to fit in, which they find exhausting.

Myth #4 – Introverts don’t like people.
On the contrary, Introverts intensely value the few friends they have. They can count their close friends on one hand. If you are lucky enough for an introvert to consider you a friend, you probably have a loyal ally for life. Once you have earned their respect as being a person of substance, you’re in.

Myth #5 – Introverts don’t like to go out in public.
Nonsense. Introverts just don’t like to go out in public FOR AS LONG. They also like to avoid the complications that are involved in public activities. They take in data and experiences very quickly, and as a result, don’t need to be there for long to “get it.” They’re ready to go home, recharge, and process it all. In fact, recharging is absolutely crucial for Introverts.

Myth #6 – Introverts always want to be alone.
Introverts are perfectly comfortable with their own thoughts. They think a lot. They daydream. They like to have problems to work on, puzzles to solve. But they can also get incredibly lonely if they don’t have anyone to share their discoveries with. They crave an authentic and sincere connection with ONE PERSON at a time.

Myth #7 – Introverts are weird.
Introverts are often individualists. They don’t follow the crowd. They’d prefer to be valued for their novel ways of living. They think for themselves and because of that, they often challenge the norm. They don’t make most decisions based on what is popular or trendy.

Myth #8 – Introverts are aloof nerds.
Introverts are people who primarily look inward, paying close attention to their thoughts and emotions. It’s not that they are incapable of paying attention to what is going on around them, it’s just that their inner world is much more stimulating and rewarding to them.

Myth #9 – Introverts don’t know how to relax and have fun.
Introverts typically relax at home or in nature, not in busy public places. Introverts are not thrill seekers and adrenaline junkies. If there is too much talking and noise going on, they shut down. Their brains are too sensitive to the neurotransmitter called Dopamine. Introverts and Extroverts have different dominant neuro-pathways. Just look it up.

Myth #10 – Introverts can fix themselves and become Extroverts.
Introverts cannot “fix themselves” and deserve respect for their natural temperament and contributions to the human race. In fact, one study (Silverman, 1986) showed that the percentage of Introverts increases with IQ.

So……sing it with me: “I’m an Introvert and I’m okay……”

 

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Hypnotically Mesmerized

Mesmerizing…Clouds heavy with moisture…  
image

Watching the thick grey clouds drift by the window like whipped cream across hot cocoa.   Okay, perhaps not the best analogy, but they were grey, they were clouds, and they did drift.  And there I sat almost hypnotized.  

Please stop chuckling at the fact that so many things can capture my focus.  I can sit for hours watching the flame of a candle (btw, there’s an app for that), while my mind fades into some ethereal place where time is has no meaning and meaning has no time.    

It seems to be a most rare option these days…focusing.  We live in a world of constant distractions, lots of noise, lots of visual and auditory input. Yet when was the last time you sat quietly and watched the patterns of the raindrops on a window, or quietly listened to the rhythm of the wind in the leaves, just sat quietly?  

I went to one of my favorite thinking spots the other day in order to ponder the deep thoughts of the day, okay there MAY have been a pint or two involved.  Perhaps it’s just me, and perhaps not, but my perception was this…the moment I started reading and concentrating was the moment those around me seemed to have something to discuss with me.  

Those who know me can attest to the fact that I am not a chatterer.  I have a strong dislike for small-talk (what is known in Southern Regions as “chit-chat”).  Perhaps I am socially awkward in a dysfunctional sort of way, but it doesn’t rumple my stiltskin one iota to sit in silence.  

Those who know me also will most likely confirm that I tend to get a wee bit cranky with lots of extraneous noise.   One of the joys I get out of life is people watching.  Observing people going about their every day lives and watching (and listening) to their interactions (if you talk loud enough to me to hear you, I will listen. Just like if you are brazen enough to show me, I am brazen enough to look).  

One oddity I’ve found, and I realize there are exceptions, is that chatty people tend to shut up when they enter elevators with people they don’t know.  However, the cellphone chatterers don’t stop talking for anything.  

Have we lost the gift of quiet?

Categories: Hmmmmm........, Koffee Klatch, Perspectives, Wanderer's Wonderings, Wandering Mind | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

It’s SO Simple

If you would hear more then you must quiet yourself.
Categories: Hmmmmm........ | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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