Wednesday, February 17, 2010

feeding your inner-introvert

Extroverts are like those huge trees in Florida whose roots lay on top of the ground like monstrous wooded Octopus tentacles, sprawling out for human interaction. The sunshine of people's presences and the mist of retirement communities's sprinkler systems is enough to feed and water them. (I actually know nothing about these trees, so I hope no horticulturalists are reading this, disapprovingly clicking their tongues at me. I can't take disapproving tongue-clicks!) Their roots soak up the environment around them like scaly reptiles in the sun. Sssssssssss.

Introverts, however, are more like trees whose roots are buried deep in the soil. They need gulps of flood water to penetrate the soil, or else the heat of the sun scorches their leaves and leaves them wilted and pitiful.

I am an introverted tree who has been trying to water my roots like a gargantuan Floridian tree, and now my leaves are wilting. I love the sun for its chlorophyll and vitamin D, but without water I'm scorching, and the sprinkler systems of the extroverted world are not enough.

I realized last night that loving people does not mean that I can be around them all the time. All the energy I have I would love to spill onto them, but so many things are taking up my energy that I'm drawing on reserves to give to people until I am slowly being depleted. And this leaves me no time to replenish what I've lost, if every spare moment I'm looking for more ways to BE WITH PEOPLE. It's a balance system I have not mastered, and still don't understand. I hope my future occupation is working with people, so that they can have my energy.

Ways to recover and feed my introvertedness in order to rejuvenate and de-stress:
  • My favorite part of the day is walking to class down my street in the mornings. The sky is always so early, unmarred, and glassy, like a cold pool without the ripples of the day in it yet. I need to relish this more and spend it in praise to the God who created it.
  • Black Beauty. Ultimate relaxing, everything-will-be-all-right movie. What is more serene than watching butterflies land on pink flowers to the music of Danny Elfman?
  • Participating in unimportant - yet not unproductive - things, like watching curling. There is something peaceful about that sport, like golf - except they don't yell at each other in golf ("YUP! YUP!"), and curling is a lot more technical (Team USA: "I'd say you gave it a 7-8. It landed on the button." Me: "Ah, yes, a 7-8. Precisely. You conquered that button").
  • Reading, and realizing I'm not missing out on the world by reading. I'm reading The Professor's House for my American Novel class, and for some reason I'm really enjoying it. When I got to class today, Dr. Vincent began it with, "This novel is about someone experiencing a crisis." Oh. Well, maybe that's why.
  • Spend time with the Lord. Be still, He says. Cease striving, and know that I am God. Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. (Psalm 46:10 NASB & Isaiah 30:15 NLT, respectively.)


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