Any shy or introverted people out there? The two things are very different--I used to be painfully shy (it still pops up now and again) but mostly I'm just introverted. I need some quiet solitude to recharge my batteries and let all of my observations settle down into organized thoughts (as opposed to my husband and youngest daughter who claim that there is only one circumstance in which they prefer to be alone--I'll leave you to puzzle out when that might be). My life--with a husband that loves to be social and four children that are...well, children--provides continual opportunities to stretch myself and grow, but there are some innate characteristics that one simply doesn't grow out of.
There was a fascinating opinion piece in the New York Times today that discussed how our society tends to think of shyness as an illness. Prompted by a Zoloft ad, (that seeks to illuminate the difference between being shy and having social anxiety,) the author discusses how our society tends to disfavor introverted or shy personality traits, and points out why this ought not to be. Introverted people have played a big role in human history (from Moses to Darwin, Proust to Einstein) and yet the idea still prevails that shy people should become more outgoing. Why this may be is a whole other discussion; I'm just glad to see the issue brought to light. I'm generally not surrounded by other people who love to discuss the things they are reading, writing, or creating, so this article gave me a morsel of hope, and a renewed appreciation for the book blogging community. I'm definitely not the most social book blogger around, but I'm okay with that.
As a side note, my family will be exploring the Great Outdoors this week--camping in the Sequoias (south of Yosemite) so it might be pretty quiet around here until next weekend. Actually, I should have said "camping" because it's not like I'll be in a tent or anything. I'll be clean, comfy, and cozy in a hotel bed a few miles away from where my parents and my kiddos will be camping. But it'll be all "Great Outdoors" during the day. Turns out, I'm okay with that too.