the value of knowing yourself
I crave the quiet.
Even in the midst of joy and fun, I still sometimes crave the quiet. And it feels ungrateful or wrong, even though I know it is not. It is just the introverted side of me that loves to hear the rain fall on the roof, or the sound of the poplars rustling in the wind.
It is not that I do not love the voices chatting over each other. I love the people they belong to. It is just that after a few hours, I need to retreat.
When I was younger I did not understand that need. I would stay amongst the noise and I would often find myself irritated. Honestly, I thought there was something wrong with me. Big family gathering would overwhelm me. Lots of noise and conversation with a bunch of friends would feel like a marathon. Some where in my thirties I began to understand that I like the noise and the joy of gathering, but just for a little while. And I would best serve myself and everyone else if I just would go be quiet somewhere else.
It was a difficult realization to come too. In a world fill of extroverts, I have often felt like I was odd because it was all too much for me. I would get overstimulated and taking it all in would make me anxious and incredibly tired. When you take in too much you overflow. For me sometimes it would overflow in tears or irritability.
Once I saw it myself and could tell them that was what I needed everything was easier. This is the value of learning about yourself. It is not just for you. It is for the people who have to put up with you. Once I could understand what was happening and express myself, it was no longer about them, it was just me.
My good friends and of course my family have come to accept this about me. But I cannot say that this is a quality they love about me, instead they give me something even better, they respect and understand it.
It was not that people got on my nerves so much as it was that any continued amount of excitement wore me down. What is chaos to me is just a good time to a lot of people. I love order and routine and quiet, and for about an hour at a time I can handle lots of action. And then I love to retreat. And when I am ready I can return.
Knowing ourselves is not just self indulgent, it helps us become kinder and better. Our weaknesses exist and we cannot always overcome them, but we can understand them and in my case try to make some work arounds for them. I don't want to change, because this weakness of mine makes me a rug hooker, artist and writer. But I can temper it a bit and stretch myself.
The artist in me is often looking for solitude.
Time to take in the noise and translate it and understand it.
The artist in me is also looking for joy and beauty
and that is sometimes found in the noise.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick