Lately I've been wondering if I've grown too old to care how many times a day people make note of my quietness (among other such things). Does it bother me any more?
Maybe I'm numb to it now, but it still happens as much as ever. Really, it's crazy.
Most recently, after I asked about some colleagues overseas, questioning whether they were excited about taking on a new project or not -- because, to me, they appeared irritated -- I was told that, yes, they were very excited, and that it's just a cultural thing. They're like the Japanese, I was told, very reluctant to express themselves. And then another colleague chimed in and said, "Oh, so, they're very much like Zeri."
Or, when I decline to join colleagues for lunch outings (which -- to be fair -- I do try to join in on every so often), someone will joke about how much I dislike them or about how mysterious I am. My colleagues like to propose ridiculous theories regarding my taciturnity, such as me being in the witness protection program, or that I'm an undercover agent, or worse things.
Most of the time now, I embrace these images. Let them enjoy my introversion. I do.
But, now and then, I hear people talk about other so-called-introverts, and I'm reminded about why I should care. I still hear people say things like, "He started out as an introvert, but then he overcame his shyness whenever he chose to." And then I cringe inside, because there's nothing to overcome. There's nothing to improve. And I want to rant... but I won't.
Such things remind me that I'm not too old to care. As much as I embrace my introversion, and as much enjoyment as I (and others) get out of it, there are still too many people who see it as something to be fixed.
As I grow older, it bothers me less too. Now I recognize that my introversion is kind of cool, like a secret only shared with a select few. It's amusing what the others assume. When I was young and insecure about it, I was called conceited, dumb, cowardly. Now that I don't give a flying f*ck, I'm more often called mysterious, contemplative, moody. It's odd. My introversion used to evoke irritation or pity, and now I just confuse people. ha! The introversion is the same, so my confidence level changed how people perceive me? I'm not playing the victim anymore? Funny how trying to hide makes one more visible. Or is my present invisibility only perceived because I no longer have the need to hide? Stop distracting me, Zeri! I must get back to work!
Elaine, such a philosophical comment, and some of these topics I'm sure I could discuss with you at length. I still find it odd, for example, to encounter others who've gone through such similar experiences. It's even hard to believe, and funny, because -- while growing up -- I didn't realize there were others.
Your other statements start to delve into psychology and are very existential. Fun stuff. :-)
Thanks for giving me something to ponder.
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