The rain falls. Soft at first and the gritty earth crunches under my boots. My dog runs ahead on the trail leading away from our house, oblivious to the wetness. This is our usual route and our walks usually last about twenty minutes. That allows me plenty of time to think and enough time for her to pee and chase a rabbit or two. As the rain comes, the tap tap of raindrops on my coat keeping rhythm with my steps, I wonder about my purpose, my fears, my beliefs. I wonder why I am the way I am.
Normally I don’t think such deep thoughts on our walks. Instead, I am usually preoccupied by the more mundane subtleties of life - what to make for dinner, when is a good time to plant my tomatoes, do I need laundry detergent on my next trip to Wal Mart.
Other times, I let my mind be free to enjoy the present, like the hawk soaring overhead, wondering what it sees, what it does, and where it goes. I think about the sun as it rises, as it sets, and the stars in the sky. Sometimes I am able to clear my mind and think about nothing at all. I covet those times as the silencing of voices in my head is a rarity.
Today, however, my thoughts are heavy and I don’t know why. I suppose it might be because I have been talking about retirement with my husband and I will be going to a retirement seminar in a few weeks. Big life changes are soon to come and I don’t know if they’ll be good or bad. The unknown terrifies me.
My head explodes with thoughts and emotions and then I start questioning my entire life and it is an endless cycle of fear, confusion, excitement, hope, gratitude and regret. The same issues I wrote about in a previous blog posting are still present and those feelings have only intensified as retirement grows nearer.
As the rain continues to fall, I am thinking about why I am the way I am.
I have very few friends and I only stay in touch with them through social media. We rarely hangout and I don’t make an effort to do so. Sometimes I wish for a more active social life, but when I am out, I am full of anxiety and wish instead I was home.
I don’t like crowds, parties, or gatherings with people I care nothing about. I am content to be alone as I prefer the thoughts and conversations in my head to those insignificant interactions I have with others.
My husband is my best friend, yet he knows that I like, that I need, my quiet and alone time. He understands I feel deeply and need a moment to reset myself or else I will become too overwhelmed with the incessant noise and chatterings of the world. He gives me my space and I am thankful he understands what makes me me and I love him because he accepts me for the way I am.
I label myself an introvert, but I don’t necessarily like labels as that is a restrained and superficial description of who I am. I am an introvert when I am with people, but an extrovert when I am with myself.
I don’t need to be the center of attention, to walk into a room and be the first, and loudest, one talking. Actually, I don’t need to talk at all. I am content to remain in the background listening, watching, and learning.
I have never mastered the art of idle chit chat and any attempts at it leaves me exhausted and irritable. I don’t need conversation to enjoy someone’s company and very few people understand that. People think I am rude, stuck-up, always in a bad mood, or even too intense, but I am none of those. I am simply a quiet personality who lives her life internally rather than externally.
I wonder if I don’t have friends, because I trust no one. No one knows the true me, because I do not readily share myself with others and what little I do share, is subjective and comes only in bits and pieces. I don’t trust people to take what I am saying and feeling and hold it sacred. The few times I have divulged a part of myself, I have found that my beliefs have become lunchroom gossip and I have been ridiculed in some fashion, because someone wants to make themselves appear better by disparaging me. It is easier if I keep the gate to my soul closed and locked.
It seems I am sharing a great deal of myself in this blog, but that is the purpose of all of this. When I expose my inner most feelings through my writings, I don’t have to see a person’s reaction when I tell them I do not believe in God, or that I dislike children, or that I pretty much find the majority of humankind to be a waste of space.
I do not have to hear the condescending tone in their voice as they ask why I don’t have children or see their mocking eye-roll when I say aliens exist and the moon is hollow. Writing allows me to share myself and feel like I am having some kind of interaction without suffering through all the meaningless crap that goes along with interpersonal relationships.
I have been on my walk for almost half an hour. I am wet. My dog is soaked. I say “house” and she runs towards home. As she reaches the garage, she turns and waits for me. With a wagging tail, she shakes off the rain and seems to smile as I kiss the top of her wet head. I still don’t know why I am the way I am, but I love my dog and she loves me and for now, that’s all I need.