Apr 16

The Highly Sensitive Introvert

Easter 1974

I am seated in the blue dress, a highly sensitive introvert.  As a young girl, I felt strange.  Wherever I went, I could sense the energy of a place, of a person, and internalize it in ways both positive and negative.  I was a deep thinker, and filled with wonder.  I was present, but not present, as evidenced in this photo.  I spent so much time in my own mind experiencing something apart from my reality, or perhaps conversely even a heightened experience of my reality.  I picked up on things others didn’t notice, see, etc. When it became too overwhelming, I rerouted someplace else in my mind.

There are very few photos taken of me that diverge from this dreamy faraway look I have.  I can remember so vividly where I would go internally, even if it was just meditating on dust motes in the light.  It was a peaceful place.  It took me away.  So did my imagination.

I have a daughter most likely on the spectrum.  I can relate to her in a way I never could have had I not been a highly sensitive introvert.  And I value her experience, which may not be a part of the typical, but may just be a place the typical cannot get to, or understand.  It has value of its own.  Beauty reaches us in many forms, if we are open.

 

Jan 09

Happy 2015

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The new year offers so much promise, and hope.   As I awoke on New Year’s Day, I found the hibiscus plant I transplanted inside during the fall had bloomed in a trio.  To me it was a positive sign for my small family of three–that this year would be beautiful.  It was also a reminder to take stock in the little things, as they often render the most peace.

Honestly, I was quite pleased to discard of 2014, as it wasn’t the most inspiring year of my life.  It involved a lot of stress, fatigue, and uncertainty.  I am devoted to finding strategies to reclaim control of my life, and harness the energy I can in the body I have (I do have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).  As an introvert, it’s imperative to find that perfect balance.

I am wishing health, happiness, and promise to my introverted following…and lots of glorious solitude time to recharge so as to appreciate life to its fullest.



Dec 04

Long Meditative Walks/Hikes

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As an introvert, the one most restorative tool I use is a long, meditative walk.  I have walked/hiked in some very picturesque settings in my lifetime, and I hold those memories close to me.  But as long as you have nature at your disposal, there’s always something to admire, and appreciate.  I walk in my residential community and focus on the trees, sky, flowers, etc around me, not the houses, or the people.  I absolutely need that silent time to commune with nature, to free my mind, to just “be”  in order to reenter my life situation and even speak (which, let’s face it, as an introvert sometimes speaking words in and of itself is exhausting).

To an extrovert, I may look like a lonely, solitary soul.  I see the looks of pity by fellow “pack” walkers.  Inside, however, I feel richer than this beautiful landscape.  I am alone, happy, and at peace.  I am nurturing myself so that I have the energy to nurture those I love to the best of my ability.



Nov 27

Love & Gratitude

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On Thanksgiving Day especially…love and gratitude for life’s colorful sunlit blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow introverts, and to those who love them! 🙂

 

Nov 20

Beginnings…

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Here I am just days after my daughter’s birth.  I am tired, but utterly transformed.  Life will never be the same.

As an introvert, I worried before this day that my life would end.  The freedom of being “me,” and everything that comes along with that–the need for solitude, space, creativity–all of it would now be clipped.  In the days after Summer’s birth, I didn’t have time to think these thoughts.  And even if I did, they wouldn’t be present.

The only thing present was a driving force to love, and to care-take, and to give of myself in a way I never had before.  Someone once told me, “Becoming a parent is a selfish act that makes you selfless.”  It is true.  A child doesn’t ask to be brought into your realm.  But by his/her very presence you become a better person.  You take a giant leap to let go of the self that you struggled so hard to craft and hold onto in lieu of a self that will love with ferocity, unconditionally.

And the things you fear that you will lose will still be there, perhaps not with as much freedom.  But, in time, all will return.

 

 

Oct 25

Balance

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I am in love with nature.  Yet, oddly, I’ve never been a gardener.  My mother is.  She has a gorgeous garden surrounding her yard on the Hudson River in New York.  This past summer, I enjoyed an extended stay, and I spent most of my time in her backyard admiring her garden, and just being…still.

I came home and decided to make my backyard an oasis.  I bought plants–and whereas usually I killed them in record time–I now tended to them as if they were my children.  I watered them, fed them, even talked to them.  It was spiritual time–introvert time.

In planting and tending to them, I realized nature is very much an introvert.  It needs that perfect balance between light and dark, rain and sunshine, being and doing.  Whatever you do today, take the time to be still, and within yourself.  Be you.

 

Oct 20

Self-Portrait

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It has been quite some time since I’ve written a post.  I have needed to be inspired.  And who to inspire me more so than my daughter?  Recently, she created this self-portrait in school.  When asked to describe herself, she had one word–strong.  I felt relief.

My husband and I have been on a journey of uncertainty for three years.  It began at 18 months when the words didn’t come.  It turned into three years of varying potential diagnoses–autism, dyspraxia with sensory issues, selective mutism, expressive language disorder.  To us, she’s our endless Summer–the little light of our life.  No label can define who she is, or her true potential.

Regardless of diagnosis, it is apparent she is an introvert.  I can understand and respect her on a profound level since I am one as well.  We haven’t needed words.  But the words are coming now, even if she is still the most beautiful puzzle.  And to know that she feels strong, it’s everything.

Love is strong.

So is my daughter.



Feb 27

Lineage & Introversion

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I am an introvert.  My dad is an introvert.  My grandmother was an introvert.  And I have a few siblings that lean towards introversion.  One could make a case that introversion is part of my lineage.

My grandfather was an extrovert–a colorful, zestful, life-loving man.  He liked to talk, and laugh, and play music.  One was drawn to him as soon as you entered my grandparents’ home.  I miss him.

But the fact is everyone called their home–grandma’s.  It was grandma’s because she was the quiet love behind the louder love.  She was a force, and a nurturer, and a beauty.  She spoke softly, but felt deeply.

In my later years, I was privileged to enjoy a deeper relationship with her.  I’d bring her coffee and her favorite chocolate, and we’d talk, and laugh, and commiserate.  Two introverts in a peapod.

I miss her.  I miss the quiet love that came my way whenever in her presence.

The greatest gift of introversion within a family is that you are understood without the need to unpack a single word.



Feb 13

The Introvert’s Forest

woods path

An extrovert may glimpse this path and see loneliness mixed with impending danger.

An introvert may glimpse this path and find deep serenity, the danger being not taking this path.

While this may be a liability in terms of safety, as an introvert I find the most isolated places the most comforting.  In fact, walking at night and seeing houses lit up, at times I feel more at ease on the outside looking in, no matter how late at night.

I wouldn’t encourage such risk-taking behavior, but I have to admit I cater to it from time to time.  I feel exhilarated alone outside at night, in tune with something larger than myself that allows my thoughts to breathe without vocalization.



Feb 08

Hibernation

20110112_1Introverts hibernate.  And in the winter season, they may hibernate more so.  After all, with the holiday season comes a rush of activity and social interaction, and it may culminate by the new year into a massive burnout.  An introvert may need time to withdraw and recharge.  At least, I know this one does.

And so I apologize for the lapse in entries.  In realigning myself for 2014 and tending to other writing projects, the blog has gone to the wayside.  But I am going to do my best to post at least once a week.  My hope for 2014 is if there’s anyone out there feeling misunderstood as an introvert, these posts bring comfort and solidarity.  And if there’s anyone out there that stumbles upon this blog and loves an introvert, it brings answers and understanding.

Happy 2014 to all!



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