Call Me Sentimental

Two days after I met Ruby and Ken, I went back to Nicola's and sat at the same table and ate the same Ceviche and basked in the glow of the memory. Ben and I had such a good time with JB and Ali on Saturday, even though we never rang them in the month Ben was home, we will probably get together a couple of more times this summer. And the former student I met for morning coffee, she told me it had been six years since they came to our house; her 3-year-old baby with much bijou had turned into a 9-year-old who could monopolize a conversation and go on a "find the picture" hunt by herself at the Suter, while grownups blah-blahed. Big Sister who starts middle school in Feb is a little more pensive, and prefers to address me in Japanese even when I speak to her in English. And I've been spending a lot of time at Volume; Stella and Thomas are a couple who enjoy working together and every time I see them I miss Ben, even though he's busy earning a living not one kilometer away as I ... er.... shoot the breeze and eat ice cream with Stella and Thomas. And Lloyd reminded me to not leave it so long before I visited him again.

I've been learning the difference between introvert vs shy; I was surprised some years ago when an Internet friend called me outright an introvert when, at least online, I thought I was a try-hard life of the party. According to what I've found online, I am (or have become?) an introvert, although by no means shy. Put me in front of a hundred people and ask me to talk about something I know and no problem, but before and after, give me a few days to get rid of the words out of my head.

And so we return to the tenuous relationship between anxiety/depression and withdrawal. Weaving is slow and I need all the time. Mixed media is fiddly and I need space. I have an extremely needy garden. I don't have a lot of money to spend eating out. I spend long hours in my PJ/work clothes. I read. I was the only kid for 7 years and I've learned to entertain myself early on and I like it. I'm fat and in summer I sweat and I'm embarrassed. And I am a homebody. And, you know, I don't drive so in Nelson I have to coordinate my act with Ben and/or walk 18 minutes to the hourly bus. But I think the worst part is I spend so much time questioning, "Why did I say that?" or "Why couldn't I have been kinder?" or "Why couldn't I have thought before I spoke?" or "Why did I talk so much?" So it's easier not to create these opportunities.

"They" say people, especially those with depression, should not isolate them/ourselves. I think interactions are meant to (re)position ourselves in our environment, locating our position on the map and (re)confirming where North is. I know some people don't need maps because they can organize the environment to suit them. I know some people who don't care where they are on the map or which direction they are facing. Some, like me, worry so much about the size, color and style of buildings, angles and width and right-of-way of/on roads, and even though north is clearly signposted, we cannot proceed because we worry about walking with the wrong footwear or with too big/small steps. So I'd rather sit in the middle of a white sheet of paper and concentrate on what's inside me rather than outside.

I know it's all about balance and I thought going into town as little as I can get away with was suited me very well, but now I'm not really sure. I do love good company, and adore learning. So the wondering/wandering continues.
Stella and Thomas' bikes outside their Volume bookshop.

No plans to leave home for the whole week! Grin.


  1. Thought provoking post. You never stuck me as an introvert but then maybe I was thinking of "shy". You are not shy. I don't think you will suddenly become the shy type but people change. I bumped into an old classmates (one of those extroverts who never have a problem blurting out what's on their mind) and she said..."Oh you speak now. You never spoke before." So the next thing you know, I stopped was back in grade school quiet as a mouse.

    1. No, I am not shy. And, ahem, I still don't have a problem blurting what's on my mind, chapter and verse, but part of me is reluctant to... suffer fools, and have become selective about how much time I spend with other human beings. The people may not be foolish, but some occasions are, like art exhibition openings. Just as importantly, I don't want to hurt/offend folks, and if I don't see other humans, there is less chance of it.

      You were always a quiet one, though, and soft-spoken. But I knew what you were thinking most of the time.

  2. Although I don't struggle with depression or anxiety, I, too, am an introvert. Not shy. I love a good conversation with friends, but don't put me in a typical cocktail party, or almost any party. I will feel horrible about myself and hate the entire experience. Don't ask me to go to the Women's March on Washington on Saturday - the thought of all those people is overwhelming and horrifying. But I was the impetus for a group that's met monthly since November, and will continue to do so, meditating on the peace, love, and kindness for the world. I am very comfortable at home by myself, not lonely. I am also fine being the volunteer leader of my local weaving center, as it's something I know how to do well, but don't ask me to join the neighborhood community Christmas caroling event, even though I love carols and love singing.

    We all have our strengths, and I believe as long as we recognize them and freely offer them to the world, we're doing a good job as human beings.

    1. Yes, yes, getting together with a small number, especially for a purpose, is wonderful. I try to excuse myself from large parties, even if it's something significant for them. I also understand about the role - I was never shy or introverted about roles given to me, as I knew I could perform them well, but then for those I wasn't there as myself, but as the "insert-role-name". I do admit, I looked up the airfare to go to Wellington to participate in the Women's March on Washington - Wellington version. I thought I would be so anonymous it won't bother me and perhaps I can take some good pictures of other feisty women. I don't think I'll go, but I just might.


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