Tuesday, August 09, 2011

What, Another Orbit Already?

This weekend I took a road trip to an undisclosed location to celebrate my 42nd orbit around the sun and to get away from the office and people in general. It was a good trip. Father Dan has three basic criteria for any tourist destination:
  1. Something to do
  2. Somewhere decent to eat
  3. A decent saloon to have a quiet drink after the above
It's a good mix, and my undisclosed location provided all three. I'd forgotten how crucial getting away to somewhere different has been important my morale--heck, my sanity! The more I give this INFJ thing thought, the more I wonder if I'm better off away from people. This introvert needs quiet, downtime, and a time and place to recharge.

I've always been this way, actually. It used to baffle my friends how I would willingly take myself to dinner, a movie, or even full vacations (Europe? Three weeks?) on my own. I'd go to parties for a couple hours and then disappear after a couple of hours without making any sort of announcement because I didn't want to kick up a fuss--I'd simply had enough. Perhaps I still baffle people that way. So what? I'm not tied to someone else's idea of a good time if I'm given the choice, nor am I going to accept the premise of someone's pity just because they feel bad that I "don't have somebody." Last time someone gave me the pity speech and asked why I wasn't married, I answered, "Why? I'm happy." My response to them was as incomprehensible as their compassion for me.

This is not to say that I hate people as a rule (I don't) nor do I always prefer to be alone. But solitude is my default. I've lived alone for eight years or more now. I suspect that this will only become more pronounced as I get older. It baffles me, a little, that introverts pair up at all. We're often paranoid about others' demands on us and protective of our personal space and quiet. Kinda reminds me of the joke, "How do two porcupines make love? Verrrry carefully."

What the heck, I get enough talking/socializing at work, and the social talk is often ABOUT work, which is about the only thing I get animated about anyway. And if it's not work, it's about intellectual/philosophical stuff. If someone is interested in small talk or gossip or what's on regular TV or in the movie theaters, they are going to be incredibly bored around me, because I don't talk about most of that stuff. Part of that is me. Part of that is the effect of my parents, aunts, and uncles, most of whom talked about their jobs after work. I always assumed that's what grownups talked about, and I wanted to be a grownup when I was a kid. As a result, I didn't relate to my peers well, and sometimes still don't. Whatever. If I'm happy, I don't really expect others to "get" whatever's going on in my head, so if you don't, you don't.

Quoth Arthur C. Clarke: "A well-stocked mind is free from boredom."

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