Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Introverts Unite!

I came across this article, Caring for You Introvert, by Jonathan Rauch, on a friend's blog today, and I thought it worth sharing. If you have the time, I would recommend reading it.

I learned a lot about both the friend who posted it (who is very much an introvert) and myself (yes, I too, am an introvert, it turns out...). I mean, I've kind of always known I was introverted (my family always called it "shy" though), and just last week I did one of those Jungian (based on the theories of Carl Jung) personality quizzes that told me I was introverted. So this isn't really news to me, so much as further realization of how to qualify myself. While I definitely have introverted tendencies, I am not an extreme introvert, because I do relish prolonged social interaction, and I don't really need time to recuperate from being around people in the same sense that the article illustrates. I have to say though, it was kind of eye-opening to read this, because for years I have tried to make myself more "outgoing." I've always thought that I needed to be louder or talk more or just be more exciting. Turns out, not being those things isn't a defect, it's just ME. 

I've been battling with myself because I have moments (actually quite a few of them) when I just don't feel like being around people because it's too much for me to deal with on a given day. Here I was, thinking that made me a jerk and a bad friend for not always wanting to "hang out" at the drop of a hat, when really, I just need some quiet time. I'm not trying to be a hermit.

That's the whole thing, I think. I LOVE PEOPLE. I love being around people, especially my close friends. And I love talking, when we're talking about real stuff. I am terrible at small talk - I hate it actually, which is probably why I'm generally awkward at meeting new people. I like new people, I just never know what to say!

Okay, enough analysis. Here are some of the quotes I found particularly enlightening (some of them I simply found entertaining) if you don't want to read the whole article.

"Introverts are not necessarily shy. Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not."

"For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: 'I'm okay, you're okay—in small doses.'"

"...many actors, I've read, are introverts, and many introverts, when socializing, feel like actors."

"As [Calvin] Coolidge is supposed to have said, 'Don't you know that four fifths of all our troubles in this life would disappear if we would just sit down and keep still?' (He is also supposed to have said, 'If you don't say anything, you won't be called on to repeat it.' The only thing a true introvert dislikes more than talking about himself is repeating himself.)"

"Female introverts, I suspect, must suffer especially. In certain circles, particularly in the Midwest, a man can still sometimes get away with being what they used to call a strong and silent type; introverted women, lacking that alternative, are even more likely than men to be perceived as timid, withdrawn, haughty."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

This is the Score

I wish I had taken my camera with me yesterday, but the venue didn't allow cameras, and I didn't want to leave mine in the car, so I went without. Sadly. But then, I would just be torturing you with random pictures of people in a car. 

The three-hour + drive to Bend, OR was well worth it though, let me tell you. For my birthday, my brother Colin bought tickets for us and two friends to go down to the Death Cab for Cutie/The Decemberists show at the amphitheater. It was a great birthday present, even though I had to wait 2 months after my birthday to have it. Good things come to those who wait, right? 

Anyway, we got there halfway through the Decemberists' set, which was unfortunate, because I had never seen them live before, and it also meant that we missed the first band, Mates of State. I had really been looking forward to seeing them live. :( Moving on though, we were there in plenty of time for the real reason we had gone. And it's an understatement to say that I was not disappointed with Death Cab's show. After seeing them twice now, and having seen a few of my other favorite bands live, Death Cab is by far my favorite band to see live. Their performance quality is amazing, their songs sound just as good, if not better than on their studio albums, and they just seem like really down-to-earth guys. Totally professional, too.

Even though they just released a new album (Narrow Stairs - which is fantastic, by the way), and they played quite a few of the new songs, they also played all of my favorites from their earlier albums, and some that I hadn't heard before (I'm still missing their earliest material). 

Basically, it was a great show, I had fun with my brother and our friends, and I would do it again every few weeks if I could.

Also, on the way home, Colin was playing this amazing album that I hadn't heard before. He told me that it was Chris Walla's solo album. So, if you're a fan of Death Cab, or even if you aren't, you should check out Chris Walla's Field Manual. (Chris is the guitarist/keyboardist/additional vocals guy in Death Cab.)

Alright, time to go watch a movie with the family, so that's it for now!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


No matter how much planning you might do for something, it will never turn out exactly the way you expect it. This is not always a bad thing, contrary to popular belief.

Speaking of Plans, I'm on my way out soon for the Death Cab for Cutie show. I am so excited, but definitely more wound up right now than I should be. Everyone is running late, as usual. I don't know why this should be an issue for me, because I am almost always late. But since I have to be ready and waiting for everyone else to show up here, it makes me nervous. Hence the blogging. I'm ready, for once, and just sitting around.

This post has nothing to do with productivity, but I keep laughing whenever I look at my Office quotes desk calendar, so I think I'll share the quote of the day with you.

"Productivity is important, but how can I be productive if I have this one little thing in my brain that I cannot get out? And that one little thing is a soft pretzel. So I'm just going to have my soft pretzel and I'll get to work, and I'm going to be super-productive. Look out for me!" -Michael Scott, The Office

I actually understand what his logic is here, which is funny, because Michael Scott is NOT a logical person. I often find myself wanting to be productive, but feeling completely distracted by something else, and I think, "okay, if I can get this other thing out of the way, then I can take care of the things that I really need to be working on."

I have no clue if that even makes sense, but that's just the way it is. 

Friday, May 23, 2008

No Sunlight

Everything is so serious in my life these days, and that bugs me. I mean, I'm twenty-two. I should be having more fun than I am! 

That isn't to say that I never have fun, it just seems like I spend so much time acting like an "adult" that I kind of forget that I'm not that old. I love laughing, but I definitely feel like I don't do enough of it. There isn't always enough to laugh about.

I'm not being cynical, just honest. I think what I might really need is more sun. Trapped up here in the Pacific Northwest is starting to have a really draining effect on this Southern California/Arizona-raised girl. That's not to say that there aren't some things I like about living here. I just relish every second I get to spend in other warmer, drier, happier climates. And those moments are few and far between it seems. 

Fresno, CA in one week for the cousin's wedding. Now that, I am looking forward to! Family and SUN. It doesn't get much better. 

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Amongst the vending machines, and year-old magazines...

I'm thinking about music's connection to the soul. I know, I know, I am completely random - but the longer you hang around here, the more you will continue to figure that out. :)

Anyway, I'm listening to Death Cab for Cutie's album Plans and thinking about how much of an impact this particular album has had on my life. I mean, it's hard to explain, but these songs helped me get through a really tough time in my life a year and a half ago. My grandfather was dying, in a painful and sad way, and my family was trying so hard to hold itself together, and things were, to put it lightly, a bit of a mess. I honestly can't say what I would have done if not for my family, and my faith, and my belief that my grandpa was a born-again Christian - a disciple of Jesus Christ. That was my one happy thought during that time. I know that I know that I know that he is no longer in pain, and he is with his Saviour. How can I possibly know this? Because he lived his life loving people the way Christ loved, and when he prayed for us, his heart was just right there, being poured out and proclaiming Christ.

I loved my grandpa. And I still miss him every day. And it's funny, because I wasn't thinking about any of this until I started Plans on my iTunes. There's definitely a connection between music and memory. I have no doubt about that. And there are some songs on this album that just make me smile and sing along. And there is one, "What Sarah Said," that makes me cry to this day because of it's paralleled lyrics to my life when I first heard it. 

So, that is my vignette for the day. I'm particularly excited for Saturday, because I'm going with my brother and a couple of friends to Bend, OR to see Death Cab in concert! It will definitely be a good time. More on that later.

Thanks for tuning in...if you did.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

On Books

I'm wondering if I am the only person bothered by the fact that C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia were re-arranged and republished in the new order after Lewis' death. I can't possibly be the only person who wishes that they could have just left well-enough alone.

Maybe it is just me. But I can't help but be struck by how wonderful the books were in their original order - like the children, we as readers were strangers in a new world, trying to piece together the parts of a magnificent mystery. Sure, the books are a tatch more logical when put in chronological order, but Narnia isn't just about the history of Narnia. It's a look at growing up, discovering faith, learning how to apply that faith when you aren't a child any longer. I love how we move through the journey of learning those things and then having to return to the everyday world of home, first with Peter and Susan, then with Edmund and Lucy, later with Eustace and Jill, and so on down the line. I  realize that we don't meet all of the characters in order, but it's the timeline of putting the world together in little bits that was so fascinating for me as a child, and even now as a young adult. 

I loved that The Magician's Nephew was book 6. You spend all these years learning about Narnia and the children that have lived there and visited there, and then you get to go back by a happy accident (or is it a carefully planned adventure?) and see how everything came to be before everyone else got there.

That's my two cents. At least they left The Last Battle where it was! :)

For anyone wishing to take the journey through Narnia in the original order, please read the books this way:

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Horse and His Boy
The Magician's Nephew
The Last Battle

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

starting over...again.

It is my personal challenge to be real and honest. I would have thought that by this time in my life, that would be a much easier task to accomplish than it is.

I'm not sure why I created a new blog here when I already have one up and running, but I guess this one is more of a test for me. Can I really do this? Will I commit to actually making this something? I suppose all we can do is wait and see.

Girl, meet words. :) An excellent start.