My slow path to introversion

My Dad moved us all the time.  I went to five elementary schools.  I think that there were a total of 13 different rentals that we lived in prior to buying our house, and in a universal sick thing, my brother was killed after we had lived in the house that was bought just a bit over a year.  I think that everyone’s childhood is a bit messed up, so I don’t think that I have the corner market, but I sure have changed now that I’m middle aged.

My son asked me last night how many years I have left, and having seen a Vedic Astrologer in 2008, I just told him that number and then I realized that I have fewer left than I’ve had.  I have changed the basic structure of my personality too, which certainly gives me pause.  I’ve also become less dominant in general.

I had to make new friends all the time.  So, I talked to everyone, but I also listened.  I developed the persona that I could talk to anyone, and I did.  I think that this particular trait came in handy especially when I was selling software or CDs.  (I loved that job at the record store.)  I participated in class, I did forensics, I sought some leadership positions, and in college, I realized that I was only a mediocre actor, so I began *attending* the theater instead of trying out.  I figured, at the time, that was my litmus test.  I was truly an extrovert, because I wasn’t a good actor.  It was interesting to me that contrary to most popular beliefs, actors are introverted.

I was talking with my partner last weekend after I did the announcements at church.  I stumbled a bit in the earlier morning service and found the crowded 11:00 am service much easier.  She figured it was practice effects, and I told her that while that was true, much of it was crowd size.  Larger group, easier for me to feel less pressure and intimacy.

So, that’s it.  I was terrified of deep intimacy and being isolated.  I moved to a minuscule town in the midwest for my first grad degree and if I didn’t teach that day and participate in class, I heard no human voice, as those were the days of calling cards and land lines for long distance.  I got much better at being alone, and then I got really good at being alone when I booted out my ex-husband, had my coming out affair, and many friends stopped interacting with me.  These days, I talk to a new person if I have to, but mostly I work.  On nights like last night, I miss the lanky swell of my partner’s body in our bed.  I can connect deeply, openly, and honestly with her.  But, that’s about all that I want, because I don’t want an entourage, but seek things that help my family be solid and happy.

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