Saturday, December 29, 2012

On Being a Mole-Person

I can convince people I'm normal. Normal in this sense means extroverted and social. Our current society values highly people with big personalities that are charismatic leaders. I can go long stretches of time where no one suspects I'm anything but that smiling, energetic student and teacher with a propensity for being silly and loud. This is certainly a part of me. I have a great teacher voice that quickly puts any group of any age straight in line and I use it sparingly enough that it works to its maximum potential. At a gathering I can be outgoing and engage people in conversation. I've taken psychology so I know all the salesman techniques. I can be persuasive and manipulate people pretty effectively when I chose to do so. I don't have a hard time analyzing my innermost personality on the internet because I am confident that my strong character can withstand the pressure of publicity. I am an excellent public speaker. That is bragging, but it is also confirmed by multiple sources. Those are all traits of a real extrovert. I would characterize myself as someone who is assertive, talkative, expressive, enthusiastic, and easy to approach. That doesn't settle it, though.

I also have a lot of characteristics of an introvert. My best present this Christmas was a computer game I am slowly playing through the ragequits. When on a vacation (like now) I stay inside playing games, watching YouTube, reading Science Fiction, and just generally being a nerd. My brother witnessed this and said, "you are the best person I know at doing nothing." I thanked him because I take it as a compliment. Being self-contained is somewhat about birth order and it's somewhat about innate personality. Whatever it's about, being able to sit by myself completely entertained with only an internet connection for consecutive weeks has served me well over the years. When I was quarantined after my heart transplant it was the only thing that kept me alive. Anyway, my quiet nerdiness is something I've made peace with. It's something I'm even a little proud of. I am internally aware, independent, and I enjoy solitude. Consequentially, I could easily be categorized as an introvert.

The categories don't really matter of course. They are constructions like almost every category, but I'd really like to know. Like Susan Cain describes it is not a dichotomy either. You can be a little bit of both ( That's what I want for myself because I believe working on your own is where deep thought comes from. I want to harness any creativity I have and bring it to the world, but working together is where ideas grow. None of the things I really love were made by a single person sitting and meditating on a hill or in their basement. They are colllaborations executed by hard-working teams that are typically led by an extrovert. I like the ideas guys- the introverts and the action people- the extroverts. I want to be both.

I want to know myself well enough to share my current true self with the people around me. I don't know if somebody I fall in love with will be an introvert or an extrovert, but I can guarantee we'll have a lot in common. On the first day of psychology last semester my professor said, "The idea that opposites attract is just a lie. If you want to know who you will marry all you have to do is look in the mirror. The truth is that most couples identify with the same race, class, experiences  and values." 

So if my husband enjoys any of the following I won't be surprised. I might even be a little  extra in love
  • Nerdfighters
  • the Yogscast
  • Video Games like Guild Wars
  • Orson Scott Card
  • Physics
  • Shakespeare
  • Biology

because I enjoy them too. We could be nerds together and go to the library. ( If you know this person send them my way

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