Warning: Introverted Skeptic

In an extroverted society, the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is that an introvert is often unconsciously deemed guilty until proven innocent.

Criss Jami

Shame on myself for letting all of the outlets that help me get through life wither and wane on the vine hoping someday that I’ll come back and visit them again. Blindly paying the bill to WordPress for a domain and hosting that just… sits there… patiently waiting for me to return and breath new life into an impressive history of posts. A history of pain, mental anguish, life events, and other random crap that I felt like sitting down and writing about. I could go into details as to why I stopped, why writing became a burden for me instead of an outlet, why it felt as if I wasn’t getting any benefit, why, why why… It doesn’t matter honestly, really doesn’t. What matters is that despite not writing for so long, for whatever reason, I still kept reading and still kept up with all those that I follow. It was a one-sided relationship, take but never give except in rare occasions. The silent follower that would “Like” a post but almost never comment and admittedly in the last few months, the liking of posts had even stopped.

I’m in a weird place right now, mentally and physically. That in between place where you’ve sorted through the tough stuff and have all the annoying crap left that takes up way more time than it should. Using the regular routine of gym, work, dinner, lather, rinse, repeat is amazingly helpful to me but quite the opposite to everyone else. My attitude to them has been one of implying they should go pound sand and leave me be until such time that I’m ready to allow entry back into my head space. This is definitely one of those “in my own head” phases that’s lasting a little longer than typical and if I’m being honest, I’m in no hurry to really figure out because it’s just easier most of the time. Those that know me best understand, those that don’t, well, they’re getting good at pounding sand.

If you would have just told me to go pound sand and never contact you again... that would have been freakin' awesome.  Cause I'm not real figurative but I understand words real well.

The approach of the infamous holiday season does not have me enthusiastic regarding my ability in finding a solution to my current situation. Arrival of family, in an otherwise closed in space, usually puts the brakes on any type of civility past a certain period of time and I end up just finding a space to retreat. Individuals that seek me out to find out if I’m “okay” after having segregated myself (obviously don’t know me well) receive the full force of attitude that has been stored up like a twisted rubber band. It’s not their fault really, more of a wrong place and time type of situation that I usually end up apologizing for later on when the tension is gone. There are days I wonder, not wish, why I am the way that I am. I’ve never known anything different though and have no frame of reference other than my perception of those that aren’t the same as me, which is subjective as hell.

Ok, for those that have made it this far, bravo to you. I’ll explain the featured image now. It’s awesome because in my advancing age, my skepticism has been one of my true infallible weapons. This makes for one hell of a combination though; introverted skeptic. I should start wearing shirts that give people some advance warning.

#introvert, #pound-sand, #reading, #skeptical, #wordpress, #writing

April Fools Start Date

This is the part of the job search, the part where I know I have a new job and my first day is approaching, that I find the most stressful. Walking into a new environment is intimidating enough let alone adding the stress of meeting new people literally all day long. The part of me, you know, the part that is introverted and internalized, is usually not the part that leaves a stellar first impression with anyone. I wish there was a shirt I could wear on my first day of a new job that announced that I was an introvert to let people know that I’m not a pompous asshole.

The hard part is over, you’ve sold yourself to the employer and they offered you the job and know you can do whatever it is they hired you to do. Their part is over and it’s all up to you now to continue to sell yourself to everyone else that didn’t get a chance to interview you weeks ago. Being “on” for an hour or two during an interview is easy even for the most introverted of us out there. Being “on” for an 8 or 9 hour day, for 5 days straight is a completely different endeavor that requires a herculean feat of energy. Despite having started multiple jobs in the last 20 years, it’s never become easier and nothing has ever worked long term.

My standard approach is to observe, with an intensity that often doesn’t hide the internal F5 tornadicane that is going on inside my head. The astute observers will see this and often ask the typical questions “Are you okay?” or “Is there something wrong?” because they just don’t understand. The kindred introvert will immediately identify what is happening and make an attempt to figure out what support is most beneficial and offer it to me. The good ones figure it out and become essential co-workers that with enough time become friends. I have a few of them from previous jobs that I’ve remained in contact through LinkedIn or other means.

Glad I’m back to work again. Unemployment was scrambling my brain.

#introvert, #meeting-people, #new-job

True Friends Might As Well Be Big Foot

When you stop to think about it, true friends are like family without the commitment to obligation to see them on holidays, birthdays, etc.  Family is mentally and physically draining for many reasons, many of which lead back to the fact that they remember how you used to be and have difficulty understanding why you would ever change.  Friends on the other hand, at least in my experience, go with the flow and embrace change as it happens as it strengthens the bond; makes the friendship stronger over time.  It’s this reason that for most the idea of a “true friend” is so foreign and unattainable because the level of trust required to be given is truly frightening.

Most people have a lot of what I refer to as acquaintances often mistakenly though of as friends.  These people are the ones that you see at work, on the weekends, hang out with at parties or catch up with over lunch every so often.  Acquaintances are definitely ones that you are connected with over social media accounts and rarely ever see in person.  The idea of calling up an acquaintance, out of the blue, asking to meet up because you need to talk to someone about something really important or need help is foreign and feels like wearing a left shoe on your right foot.  The fact of the matter is that we all have a lot of these types of friends but most will ever ascend to the pedestal of a true friend.

True friends are those lucky few that are allowed access to the inner working of your mind and soul.  They’ve seen the raw energy, the darkness and light, the wordless joy and crushing sadness, and the massive crazy that is your life for what it is.  In return they’ve shared the same with you, raw, uncut, unedited.  There is a connection deep enough that a mere glance can emote an entire conversation in seconds with no effort at all on either participant.  A true friend would give you their last dollar to help you out if they didn’t need it at that very moment.  These are the reasons that true friends are so hard to find and so hard to keep once you do find them.  This kind of connectedness isn’t normal for most people, certainly isn’t normal for me.  In fact, I go from full to empty in a matter of an hour or so with this type of person and have attempted to sabotage these relationships in the past.

What’s the point of all this?  That’s a good question.  I guess the point here is that I’m in a place right now where I could use a true friend and I don’t have one right now.  If you’re one of the lucky ones to have a friend like this, make sure to hang onto them and recognize what it is you’ve managed to capture.  Very few of us have someone that gets us for the true person that we are on the inside, the person that talks back to us on the inside that no one else can hear.  Once you find that true friend, grab on and don’t let go, it’s like holding onto a hurricane.

#connections, #friends, #true-friends

An Introverts Holiday Season

The introverts in the world, Christmas and New Years is probably the worst time of year.  Trying to get away from all the noise and distraction is nearly impossible and normal tasks become stress inducing activities because of it.  I can’t speak for others, but having a quiet and ordered mind is key to being able to sit down and process.  The past week has been anything but quiet and ordered.  There was so much that needed to be done; cooking, cleaning, last-minute shopping, wrapping, organizing, decorating, etc.  After just over a week without any downtime to speak of, the annual holiday blow up was going to be inevitable.

After surprising myself by keeping it together for my workplace holiday party (Dec 16th) and the daughter’s birthday party (Dec 17th) with a week of prepping for the following weekend, all seemed tolerable.  A few things got ordered incorrectly and it was a scramble to work around it.  I ordered a few last-minute gifts on Monday (Dec 18th) and paid extra to have them in hand by Dec 23rd, but they didn’t show up.  I had two gifts for the wife that weren’t going to be under the tree because they were originally ordered wrong a few weeks back.  Turns out that there are shades to the color Brown.  Not having a color to work from, I picked the middle shade and it was the darkest shade she wanted.  Bah humbug, I took the hit on that.  Patiently waiting for the expedited shipment on Dec 23rd, that didn’t arrive, pissed me off.  Bah humbug, it’s not my fault this time, but it is because the first order was wrong.

All this non-processed stress and frustration reached a tipping point yesterday, Dec 26th, and I shut down to outside stimulus.  I didn’t attempt to do anything except watch TV and read some random IT news.  That obviously didn’t go over well with the family and I was all but pushed out the door to go to a movie with them, with more people around me, that I didn’t want to see.  Adding to all this, my wife decided to get buttered popcorn.  Butter and me don’t have a good relationship and I found myself leaning away from the popcorn bag through most of the movie.  This was interpreted as something other than just relief from the offending butter and made things worse.  Once we got home, I retreated to my basement office with my laptop and put on the noise cancelling headphones.  I spent over 3 hours in my office.

Despite resurfacing from my cave much calmer, the days damage was done and I quickly wished I hadn’t come up for dinner.  My wife has said in the past that she understands my need for processing time.  Based on what I experienced yesterday though, her actions say otherwise and she really doesn’t get it at all.  Multiple occasions I’ve tried to explain it to her, helped her understand what’s going on in my head, but I’m beginning to realize that a life long extrovert will never get it.  This season is the only time I find it difficult to find the time I need to stay grounded.  I’m not a Christmas person, never was, never will be.  My years of thinking boil down to the idea that people who act one way 11 months of the year and a different way 1 month of the year are fake and not worth my energy.  Family, friends, co-workers, doesn’t matter.  Holiday spirit is not an excuse to treat people nicely 1/12th of year and crappy 11/12th of the year.

I’m mentally preparing myself for New Years this week.  We’re doing the usual friends house with lots of food, but this year I’m not drinking.  I’ve lost my taste for alcohol in its many forms as I don’t like how it makes me feel, both during consumption and the day after.  This guy is waiting, impatiently, for January 2nd.  I’m looking forward to the end of this year’s holiday season so I can start preparing for 2018’s holiday season.  I’m ready to get started on next year already.

#christmas, #introvert, #new-years, #social-anxiety

Mr. Crankypants

To say that I’ve been busy the last few weeks is a massive understatement. There are certain things that I do daily and weekly that help me cope and process the outside world that I have not been able to do for various reasons. Work has been crazyballs. Home has been crazyballs. It’s hard to sequester yourself when there is so much to do every day. I get those looks that say without words “You’re really going downstairs?” that convey a disgust in the fact that I have things I need to do so that I can handle being around people on a daily basis. When I don’t get that time, I then am just irritable towards everyone and then get the recursive “Why are you acting like this?” looks. It gets to the point where no matter what I do it’s perceived as being selfish.

Well, yeah, it’s selfish of me to take the time I need to process, reset and recharge my ability to be around people when my preference is to be alone. My wife gets it, I think, so does my daughter as she’s showing a similar drive to want to be alone as well. I will always choose to be alone rather than be around people, especially if I don’t know most of the people around me. My energy is drained like an iPhone running Snapchat where my wife in the same situation is recharged quickly.

What doesn’t help is that my wife has no idea what I do despite explaining to her multiple times what I do. Due to the fact that I can’t be alone in a work environment, my Monday to Friday is a struggle week in and week out. The act of just driving home is often a minor respite for me so that I don’t walk in the front door with the stress from the day, but when it’s really busy like now, it’s near impossible. Knowing that I can’t be alone every night, I will be in the common area watching television most nights. Even that has started to become less effective because the house can’t stop making noise or doing things on the main floor because I’m watching television. What should be relaxing and brain clearing instead turns into one distraction after another to the point where everything becomes something I get angry over.

The only thing that has marginally worked is getting up early in the morning and going for a walk. Regardless of the day, I have been getting up early. One major negative to this is that if I don’t head to bed early the night before, I feel worse the next quicker if I’m getting up so early. My balance is completely messed up right now and I’m not sure how much longer I can go with it being like this. I know where this will end up if I’m unsuccessful finding a solution to this problem of being so busy. I’m out of ideas and open to suggestions.

#cranky, #introvert, #work-life-balance

As we head into Christmas…

This isn’t my time of year, various posts in my archives all around this time show a common theme. While I generally don’t get excited or drunk on the Christmas spirit, that doesn’t mean I Scrooge on others that do. My approach is to establish clear boundaries with people so they know that I don’t share in their enthusiasm and that, if I were to be forced to get involved, the consequences aren’t pretty. For the most part, everyone in the family knows this and isn’t too bent out of shape anymore (there are still moments). They know I get “that look” at a certain point and it’s a signal to just leave me alone for a while. Counterproductive to a non-introvert, almost frustratingly so, but a necessary moment of time for me.

 

thislook

This is sort of how I look when I get “that look”.  Best to steer clear.

Although I’m Scrooge to most outside observers, I do value the fact that it’s a time set aside every year to be around family that you normally wouldn’t see otherwise. I have my issues with family, we all do, and I do my best to accommodate as best as possible so as not to make my Scrooginess contagious. I focus on Christmas as a time my daughter can enjoy and we have never made it about gifts. Our family uses a modified version of Santa, where my wife and I get the bulk of gifts to help him out and he delivers one special gift to her. We have, the three of us, made Christmas about volunteering at the local department store to wrap gifts for families in need (department store donates gift cards, we wrap what they pick out). As this is the first year we’ve been involved with the local volunteer fire company, we rode around with them to hand out candy canes to the children in the neighborhoods Santa on the fire engine visited. We’ve also made it a family affair to one weekend go nuts with baking cookies that we hand out to family, friends, neighbors, etc. I put my foot down that the Snickerdoodles were NOT to be shared, they’re way too good a batch this year 🙂

 

leglamp

May Santa bless you with many sexy leg lamps to put in the front window, LOL

It’s going to be a rough weekend coming up. Christmas Eve (Saturday) dinner with my family, brother included. Christmas morning (Sunday) just the three of us, then breakfast with my wifes and my parents. Then Christmas Day dinner at my wifes families house, usually chaotic and stressful, but strangely enjoyable. I have consistently taken the day before Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas Day off so that I can prepare (before) and recover (after) that has typically worked quite well. If I don’t get time at the house to myself for at least a few hours, I just head out somewhere that I can. I’m anticipating this year to be a little rough with my parents and brother as they’ve picked up on the distance I’ve created. I can only hope that they respect that Christmas Eve isn’t the appropriate moment to have “that” conversation and it’s left until after the New Year.

 

It’s my wish that everyone who reads this has a wonderful Christmas holiday (or quiet weekend if you don’t celebrate) and that we all take a few moments to review the year behind us and hope for the best for the coming year. I’m heading into the final weeks of 2016 with an optimism that 2017 is going to be a good year and my life will continue improving as I increase the understanding of myself and learn about our political, financial, and governmental systems.

See you on the other side of Christmas (next Monday basically).

#a-christmas-story, #christmas, #grumpy-cat, #holidays, #introversion, #leg-lamp, #scrooge

Music assistance for my brain

If you’ve been following me for a while and reading the Three Things Thursday posts (thanks to Emily at Full-Grown Nerd for that), you’ll have noticed the full album recommendations at the bottom. Whether you actually listen to them or not is not important, it’s the reason I’m doing in the first place that is important. In my acceptance with introversion, I’ve discovered that music is not nearly as much of a distraction as I had one thought, and in fact, helps me focus and concentrate on processing thoughts and feelings almost as much as writing does.

Since finding Spotify, which I now pay for (small indulgences), I’ve been finding all kinds of new music that I never knew existed thanks to watered down commercial radio. Never having been one to be offended by explicit content, I find that the music that contains it has an undertone of emotion you don’t get with edited or censored content. The service is truly something remarkable in how it uses the music you like, save, and add to playlists to then suggest similar music from various artists around the world. Just today, I found the band Hyper through their Discovery function on the desktop application. It isn’t my typical angry new metal rock that I typically listen to, but it has a very unique type of cadence to it that is mesmerizing. A running joke a few of my readers and I have is that anything we like is actually Russian propaganda disguised in normal things that shifts our mindsets subliminally. I’m onto it and just like the band, LOL

This is the first time I’ve written about how music plays a huge part of my life, but I keep coming back to it and attempt to put it into words that make sense and adequately express how it makes me feel. With my fairly wide tolerance for most music styles and genres, Spotify get confused sometimes so I’ve made playlists that are focused on one type of music and then use the “recommendations” at the bottom of the list to expand to new discoveries. When I see a lot of repeats after refreshing the list a few times, I move onto a different list and come back a few weeks later. It’s crazy how much music is actually out there and each time a song is played, the artist gets a little cut.

Perhaps the best feature that I’ve used extensively is the ability to play music offline without the requirement to have an Internet connection active. I’ve loaded up my 32GB micro SD on my mobile device with lots of offline music that I rotate on a monthly basis after adding my favorite songs to the appropriate play list. All this is done right through the app and its the same experience on the desktop, mobile, tablet, or on the website directly. They’ve done a fantastic job at making the service as seamless and spot on (pun intended) for the user.

As this wasn’t an attempt to sell you on the use of Spotify, it has become that unfortunately. I don’t get paid for referrals, I don’t even have a referral link to share. It’s up to you if you want to spend the $10/month for the service, but when Pandora is only $5/month, its hard to justify if you’re only looking at the cost. Pandora and Spotify are two completely different services. Spotify is like a jukebox you have all the control with and access to tens of millions of songs, Pandora has the same library but you’re at the mercy of their “playlist” and have only partial control with the thumbs up/thumbs down feature.

My brain is happier with me for providing it distraction free background music, sort of like my brains theme song for when it does its thing to keep me sane. I even picked up a set of premium noise-cancelling over-the-ear headphones recently that set me back a bit more than I was comfortable spending, but I saved more than I spent, so it justified the purchase. They’re sitting under the tree at home awaiting me to open them on Christmas as a gift from my wife to me. It’s easier for us to do that, really, we both just “get” what we need when we need it.

How does music fit into your routine? If it doesn’t, what does?

#brain-processing, #diversion-from-noise, #introversion, #music, #pandora, #solitude, #spotify

Holiday season relief for an introvert

It’s no secret, yup, I’m an introvert. I prefer long stretches of time where it appears to an uninformed person that I may in fact be catatonic and unresponsive to external stimuli. I’ve never drooled on myself and why should I, I’m actually rather quite busy inside my own head. I’m a calm lake, windless night, snowfall silence on the outside. I’m Grand Central Station at rush hour, a mosh pit at an Avenged Sevenfold concert, an erupting volcano on the inside. For someone who isn’t an introvert, it is hard to understand just how busy it is inside our heads and how a common affliction like Misophonia can rattle our thought process like a California earthquake (noise cancelling headphones for the win!). This will be my 40th holiday season on this great planet, 22 of which have been spent as a bonified “adult” in the eyes of the law. I can’t say with honesty that all 22 years I would have described myself as an adult, but I digress. I’m going to share some of my tried and tested methods of relief, ranked in order of effectiveness (at least for me).

Solitude

This is often hard to find during the holiday season as its typically a time when you see family that you normally would never want to see under normal circumstances. I love my family, but taken in all at once, in the same house, with kids added into the mix; its pure torture and a Hoover Dam spill way in terms of an energy drain. Anyway, solitude is the most effective, yet most time-consuming method for me to get back to a comatose exterior and a New York interior. While its first on my list, during the month of December it’s shocking to everyone that you’d rather spend time alone over spending time with that Aunt that makes that one dish you mentioned as “good” 10 years ago and she continues to make because she thinks it your favorite….. A man can only have so many Spinach Parmesan squares before it’s “No sir, I don’t like it.”

Passenger Staring

This is by far the easiest thing to find especially when family is 1-2 hours away from your home. My wife already knows that either I drive TO our destination or FROM our destination, but not both, so she decides upon leaving which it will be. As a passenger, I can slip into a self-imposed hypnotic trance where it feels like I’m looking outside windows that really are my own eyes. The trance doesn’t need to last long to be highly effective, but can be troubling to someone witnessing it as it sometimes appears I don’t blink (but I do.) I’ll get the tap on the leg paired with “Are you okay?” even though I’ve been like this for many years. Making sure I’m alive and dashing the hopes of an insurance payout, LOL. Depending on the time of day, this can be a highly effective recharge.

Toilet Time

I struggled with a title for this section, cut me some slack. Finding a bathroom, whether you have a requirement or not, is always a good way to get in a quick reset. In a house with only one bathroom, this is obviously harder as it almost certainly means you will be interrupted. However, in a house with more than one bathroom, the chances you can get 10-15 minutes of decompression is much more likely. While this isn’t ideal, and similar to plugging in your phone for 30 minutes, it can give you an hour or two more of energy to deal with the holiday party or family get together. The success or failure of this method will be determined by how practiced you are at micro-meditation.

Alcohol

My least favorite and often least effective, it does have an almost guaranteed benefit of making time go faster when it really hasn’t. A mildly intoxicated brain isn’t as sharp or aware of its fatigue (energy drain) and of course it’s called “liquid courage” for a reason. I’m not a drinker, so when I do partake in some bourbon or beer, I make sure to carefully monitor my intake in relation to absorbing foods to ensure that I don’t go too far down the road to drunk. This might not work for others, but for me, it does help when there are a lot of people and things going on around me that demand my observation and sometimes, my interactions. I had a few at my parents house over Thanksgiving before dinner, I’ll most likely have a few at my parents house for Christmas Eve dinner, and I’ll definitely have a few at the family get together planned for after New Years. Other than these few times in the year, I rarely have more than one drink per month, if any.

Last Resort

Throw an angry tantrum and demand that it’s time to go. While this works in 100% of the cases, the residual effects can linger for hours and even days afterward. This method is to be used as a last resort, hence the title, so use at your own risk. There is always the tried and true “I’m not going” demand that, if accepted, could potentially leave you at home with an empty house for several hours, see Solitude.

What works for you to help keep your sanity during the holiday season?

#alcohol, #bathroom, #bourbon, #introversion, #introvert, #lost-in-space, #not-going-to-family-get-together, #solitude, #temper-tantrum, #toilet

What #Introverts Want You to Know about the Typing Indicator

Yesterday I was trading tweets, DMs, and Facebook messages with my friend and fellow INFJ @TaraSkurtu. She had expressed that the Facebook typing indicator (not to be confused with the Myers-Briggs…

Source: What #Introverts Want You to Know about the Typing Indicator

I’ve been following @INFJoe for a while and have enjoyed seeing his cartoons that frame introverts perfectly in real life situations.  This one resonated with me in that I’ve kept my distance with some apps that show when the other person is typing a response.  There are times when I get a message, read it, start to respond then delete it without sending anything.  In a few cases, I’ve received a follow-up message asking why I didn’t respond when it showed I had indeed started to respond.  That indicator had forced me to reply when I hadn’t wanted to and put me on the spot.  It wasn’t comfortable, but my close acquaintances understand for the most part.

Living in an extroverted world is difficult sometimes.

#anxiety, #communication, #introversion

A year later and I’m a happy introvert

I’m working from home today and I’m already on my fourth cup of coffee.  My Keurig isn’t the newest and the coffee has recently not been as hot as it should be, so I tend to drink it down rather fast.  I have my personal laptop playing Spotify in the background.  It’s playing the new Flaw album that came out only a few weeks or so ago and I’m amazed that they’ve kept the sound they had from 2001, yet making the new music relevant and fresh.  I’m in my basement office despite the house being entirely empty; daughter is at school and wife is at work.  Only the dog and cat are here to keep me company, but neither of them like the basement if I’m honest.  Like they know it’s a hole in the ground with a heavy two-story house sitting on top of it.

A basement is where you put the things that you don’t want normal visitors to see in your home.  The place where things are taken to be forgotten or stored for the next time it is appropriate for them to be taken back out.  The place where you can hide from the normal stresses and problems of the world if only for a little while until it is time to ascend up the steps.  I often see the basement as a pretty damn good metaphor for how my life is lived and conducted.  The basement is the place I go to remove myself from normal life and descend into a world of my own making, where my decisions are my own and thusly, I own the decisions I make.  Normal problems of life don’t follow me down here and in most circumstances, they don’t return until I’m ready to face them again.  In the past, I’ve spent hours and days in a figurative basement I created in my own mind shutting out everything except the most critical of things.

Fifth coffee down.

It is only now, while I’m sitting in a literal basement, that I finally see the potential for damage that my own descent into introvert holes can create.  There are people in my life that need me to be present in both physical and mental capacities, people who depend on the idea that I’m engaged as much as they are in the circle of life we’ve created together.  This was something that I did not truly understand until I wasn’t a member of the circle we created, where I had to be invited and even ask if it was okay to enter again.  A personal journey into my own life, as I now understand, required that jolt to the system that not being at home last year forced me to take.  At first I was a reluctant passenger, not wanting to admit that I was the cause, not wanting to admit that I had a problem.  In reality, I did have a problem, I was the cause, I was to blame.

After a few weeks, I knew that something had to give.  I had to learn that in order to get what I needed to stay out of the introvert hole, I needed to force myself through situations where I was uncomfortable.  Force is such a strong word.  Perhaps instead of force, I needed to choose to be in situations where I was uncomfortable in order to get into situations where I could retreat into solitude.  The people around me, the closest ones, needed to understand from me why this was a necessity.  That is exactly what I did, finding all sorts of online blogs that I could share with my wife to help her understand my introverted nature from her extroverted point of view.  We were, from the beginning, like oil and water, but I know now that is okay.  It’s okay to not be the same and see the world differently because that is what makes us unique and complimentary to each other.  We’re suited for different situations that, in turn, makes us together prepared for every situation that one or the other shares taking the lead on.

I’m okay with what has amounted to a continuous journey of learning.  Nothing is absolute and nothing is ever a problem that can’t be overcome.  The amazing thing about all of this is that not only had my wife given me another chance last year, but, together we have worked to get to a mutual level of understanding we can both be happy about.  We have started to, through actually talking (go figure), recognize the signs in each other when support is needed vs. solitude; taking charge vs. just observing; talking vs. listening.  We are by far not the perfect couple.  I’m scared of the perfect couple, it’s not natural.  Perfect couples, to me, are like sleeping volcanoes that will at some point blow up and decimate everything and everyone around them.  My sister-in-law is the Queen of bottling things up, creating pressure, and then to explode suddenly over something that essentially is trivial at best.

Sixth coffee down.

After a year of discovering with my wife at my side helping, I’m now in a good place where I feel that problems are recognized and talked about before they end up causing a larger problems.  We both talk a lot more now than we ever have in the past and it took us almost losing our marriage to understand why this is so important.  In a time where people get married and divorced at ever-increasing frequency, I’m happy with the fact that we decided together to work through our differences and adapted to our marriage at 16 years and stopped treating it like we were at 1, 5, or 10 years.  Marriages fail, in my opinion, because one or both participants failed to adapt to the change that marriage demands.  People get older, wiser in some instances, and therefore, it is logical to assume that a marriage needs to change in order to accommodate and stay strong.

I will always be an introvert.  My wife will always be an extrovert.  We understand that somewhat now.  We are cognizant of the fact we’re different people who need different things; sometimes not at the same time.  She gives me the time I need when I need it to regroup, collect, and process my thoughts.  I give her the time she needs when she needs it to connect and feel included to our lives.  We decided together to put the effort into our relationship despite the bumps and road blocks that life inevitably throws our way.  It wasn’t an easy lesson for me to learn personally as I have lived my life for more than 35 years clinging to a mindset that avoided life.  Enlightenment, to me, is understanding how you want things to be around you, but knowing that you’re not in control of anything other than your own actions.  The acceptance of that fact is what makes us choose to do things that aren’t what we want to do, but rather what we need to do in order to live.

#basement, #enlightenment, #introvert, #marriage, #reflections, #understanding