Reading about introversion is so impressively soothing. Even though I know I have many talents and skills, I often forget how useful I can be, because it is shrouded in my ever growing exhaustion from constant, incessant, and dreadful overstimulation. A sweet soul told me today that she can’t think of anything I’m not good at. It made me giggle, because knowing my strengths and weaknesses, what I am and am not capable of, is one area that I excel. And I can think of a great many things that I am less than fabulous at and many more that I am absolutely horrendous at. But I did appreciate the sentiment and the affirmation. Because, especially in a week like this, I feel overwhelmingly bad at everything, and grossly behind in life, and I get bogged down with ideas of self-improvement and preoccupied with my vast mental lists of things I need to work on as a human. But these things take time. Perhaps even lifetimes! But as I live in a state of constant stress and anxiety over everything that I could be and should be because I’m surrounded by so many people who are so much, not that they are so much more than me, but namely that they are universes better at social interactions in gigantic, frequent, suffocating doses, than I could ever or should ever hope to be. And then I forget that while they may be better at these frivolous interactions that I have no taste for, I might be better at the more meaningful, thoughtful discussions on life and philosophy. Rather, not that I am better at those than them, but that I am better at those than I am at the others, and that is good for me. That is a happy place for me to live and exist. And rather than focusing on the fact that I am god-awful at these painful, dead witted, dead ended conversations with strangers, I need to focus on the fact that if I had 45 minutes with that same stranger then we might just get somewhere beneficial instead of coexisting in the artificial. And that is what it is to me to be introverted. It’s not that I hate people, or that I am shy, antisocial, anti-confrontational or frightened of big conversations, it is simply that I am energized by myself, and in the quiet I can hear myself think and I can sort my thoughts. But in the chaos, I am suffocated and drained, and I have no room for any other stimulation, because I am completely consumed in the loud noises, and bright lights and sudden, usually unwelcome physical assaults in the form of shoulder touches or unexpected hugs. Be gentle with me.