I love people. I love going out, listening to music, making new friends. The vibe matters, but overall, I love being around positive people. I have a lot of friends who are introverted and I am on a mission to understand their view more fully. I can be introverted at times, but I am often taken by distractions. This is why I "switch to the observer" so often now, intentionally. To listen. To learn. To delve into the flow and mechanics of social scenarios, and not just watch and play on the surface. Surface fun and scintillating the ego has its place, mind you. There's no question. But diving deep...does too. And to have the proper balance, we must work in both. Inside and out. Above and below. Surface and depth. Spirit and humanity.
I became the fly on the wall, nursing my IPA, keeping to myself. It was amazing to me. I was in a crowded bar with live music, surrounded by people. Some were in conversation, if they already knew each other or if they came together. And many were lost in their phones: the convenient escape for the antisocial introvert. Or they were shy, perhaps. Or maybe... maybe it's more than that.
Maybe we've created a culture so disconnected from itself, that we've forgotten how to communicate. Authentically. Organically. With our voices, our body language, our eye contact. Simple smiles. These days we can offer a sincere smile and it can be mistaken for flirtation. I get it, I've been there. Many of us have. Our world is so starved for genuine compassion that when we find it, we want to milk it, we want to hover close to the source that we've found. But really, we need to find it within ourselves. It's already there. We need to learn how to open ourselves back up, trust, communicate, share warmth and kindness...and hold on to these values as our world faces great changes.
Here's an example of the awkwardness that I experienced, being the Introvert: I see someone who looks like the older brother of a girl I went to high school with, but I'm... not... sure. And so, I sit. I wonder. I search the annals of memory within myself for recollections of his face, to be SURE, that it's him. Why? My mind started coming up with social experiments and questions... how to solve the problem. The Extrovert says... just go talk. Duh. But I was seeing this experience through the Introvert's eyes.
Here's the cold, hard truth that we need to remember, introverted ones. He's a person and I'm a person. There is absolutely no reason on Earth why two persons can't have a conversation. And yet... humans have become so introverted and antisocial and self-judging that we no longer know how to converse without a chaperone. We get stuck within ourselves, thinking and processing and analyzing... and never acting on our thoughts and emotions. This is a vicious trap to stay caught in.
How did we get here?
(PS, it was him. I couldn't stand the staring and wondering thing so I stood up and introduced myself and simply asked. The direct route is always easier, we just make it harder in our minds. We had a nice chat before I scooted home.)
The lesson? Just talk to people. Seriously. Most are good, and are probably wondering how to start a conversation with you. Let's just be kind and talk to each other. We're mostly all the same. :-)
Hi. I'm Stacie. If you want to know me, ask me questions. It's not on Google. ;-)
Portions. We are greedy Americans and we need enormous portions. We need value for our hard-won dollars. I get it. I do. However...
I try to eat at home, often, I do. But some days I get lunch out and bring it home. Today was such a day. This salad... Cobb Salad, a favorite of mine was stuffed so damned tight into that plastic thing, that there wasn't room to mix, toss, chop, cut...or anything.
Yes. Life. How often do we cram so much in? Work. Family. Obligations. Shopping. Holiday parties, gifts, pictures, cards, traditions, visits. Keep everyone happy. Just keep shoving it all in there, who cares if you can't move or stretch or relax. You can carry this much, so you will.
I refused. I dumped my tightly packed and miserable salad into a large stainless steel bowl. Where the green leaves could relax into themselves...unfurl and unroll in all their aliveness, with curds of cheese evenly and beautifully scattered, coating each piece of lettuce. The slices of egg, dispersed throughout, allowing the cooked yellow yolk to crumble and meld with the rest of the items in this bowl: the bacon, the turkey. I allowed the salad to be...a salad. A glorious combining of disparate ingredients, together, in one bowl. Harmony; interspersed and delicious. Not cramped, tight, stuffed, imprisoned in a small plastic cell.
Be free, salad. Be free. Although for you, time is short, as you will be digested in my belly.
But for a fleeting moment, you were loose and wild, mingling and mixing, shaking things up, in the great big bowl of Life. Which is really the best that we can all hope for.
Mix it up. Wild and loose. Get dressing over all of your leaves...