Monday, May 3, 2010

Who Are These People?

I've reached an age where the layers of my life are starting to blur together.

It may surprise those who have met me to learn I am an introvert. I have this on the authority of the Myers-Briggs personality testing tool I had to take for both degrees, so I'm pretty sure it's accurate. According to this test, introvert was defined in a way that made total sense to me. An introvert is someone who is more comfortable inside her head than outside it. That is me.

I do not measure my life by the events that include other people. I generally measure it by what I was reading or watching at the time. Age 6 to 12 was Star Trek/Doctor Who/Anne McCaffrey. Age 13 to 15 was The Dark Crystal/Quark/Lord of the Rings. Age 15 to 19 was The Money Pit/Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy/1000+piece puzzles. I know people were around during those times but very few of them made an impression on me. Even fewer are still part of my life.

College was when I began to realize other people could be interesting, but I was unprepared for paying attention to them. I did learn some memory skills that have served me well during the years, but I was still in the habit of finding one person and using them as my bridge to life outside my head.
The problem with using someone else as your memory is you lose that part of your life when you lose that person.

As I've gotten more involved in FB connecting, I'm "finding" people I know I should know but I don't know why or how I know them. The worst part is, I think a few years ago I would have been able to remember. Now I can't.

Am I getting stupider? I suppose it's possible. I did watch that 15 minutes of Teletubbies one time. I'm sure I lost IQ points doing that.

In the years since college, I have tried to pay more attention to the world outside my head. It isn't easy. I am quite fond of my own mind and spend a great deal of time there (Caissa and I do share this trait). But I have learned the outside world can be interesting, too. One Christmas I gave The Flash a journal and encouraged her to use it (I'm sure she hasn't) because I see those same introvert traits in her. Quiet as she is, some of her questions have convinced me she runs deep, and I hope she shares Aunt Robynn's ability to learn from the mistakes of others. It is a far easier way to live.

Last night I pulled out my high school and college yearbooks. It is amazing how many people I used to walk past. What happened to them? How many keep in touch with each other? How many are dead? How many are parents or grandparents now?

An extrovert would go out and look them all up. Being an introvert, I'll just wonder. Being a writer, I might make up some stories about how their lives continued after our paths diverged. Being stupider thanks to those Teletubbies, I'll probably forget all about it after I publish this post.

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