catch me if i fall

i feel as if i am a woman of polar opposites. i am fiercely strong, yet unendingly weak. i am a woman at peace,a woman at war. i am a person of introversion, a person of strength an inner depth…but i am so dependent.

i need others. i need someone to catch me when i fall. i depend so heavily on family and friends. i can’t feel alone. i go crazy if i feel alone.

obviously, i enjoy solitude. i like being physically alone. i mean mentally. i need to know i have a safety net, a web of friends. i need people who support me by kicking me with their heels to get me into a run. i need people who comfort me and life my hands in theirs and patter me with kisses and hold me like a cracked ornament.

i need people, i do. truly. does that make me a bad introvert? 🙂

i couldn’t survive alone. i dump my problems on those around me. without my friends, without this blog, without you, my problems would not get dumped, and they would sit in my head like a steaming pile of garbage, stinking and rotting and driving me out with their stench.

i am selfish.

i try to support. i try to hold others up, but my arms aren’t as strong as i want them to be, as they need them to be. i feel useless to others.

My joints are stiff with baseless anxiety.

Holidays bring out…

The best in people. Hot dogs and hamburgers, bonfires, smiles. Babies and children, swimming and rolling in the grass. Parents yelling after them. Cakes and fruit baskets. Love, family, laughs, friends.
The worst in people. Bitter stabs, smirks, rolling eyes. Children hushed, parents leading them away. Fights, thrown dishes. Tears, screams, revved engines.
The past. Traditions. Cutting the cake, trimming the tree, lighting the fireworks, lighting the jack o lanterns, carving the turkey, singing the songs.
The future. New additions to the family. Engagements. New traditions, even. New stories to be told.
Everything. If they last too long, it all comes out. 

Top 5 types of people an introvert would find easy to date

Dating is hard, even for people who actually like small talk. It can be awkward, embarrassing, and plain difficult to ask someone on a date, never mind actually going out with them. To help out with this process, I’ve compiled my top five types of people that are (generally) easy to date for introverts. And don’t worry; I talk about the risks as well. So no matter your preference, I hope this helps you find the person of your dreams! Best of luck!

5. The talkative one.

They might give you a headache by the end of the night, but the positive of the talkative date is that you won’t have to worry about filling any awkward silences. They’ll take care of that. They also won’t mind if you don’t have a story to contribute—they’ll just tell another one. You are able to relax and pitch in when you like, all while learning more about them. Be wary, though. Talkative people tend to be extroverts, and that might not mix well with you. Give them a chance, though. If nothing else, you’ll have a low-stress dinner.

4. The film buff.

Going to the movies was always my favorite date idea. You are expected to stay quiet for two hours, how easy is that? Afterward, you’ll have plenty to talk about and it still feels like you spent a lot of quality time together, even if most of it was focused on a screen. A film buff will love taking you to movies, and will chat with you about the film after. They’ll probably let you get more words in than the talkative one, but that’s okay. You’ll know what to say. The warning with the film buff is that if you end up dating long term you’ll see a lot of movies, many of which will be black and white and/or depressing and/or in a foreign language and/or you have to see it twice to “really get it.” If that makes you cringe, maybe pass on this one. If you’re super down for that, definitely give the film buff a go.

3. The food critic.

Oh, if you love food, this could be the perfect date for you. Imagine, a meal in a lovely restaurant with fine wine and finer entrees. Even if you end up not liking the person, the date will be a raging success for your taste buds. Luckily, you probably will like the date! Food critics are often rather romantic, well spoken, and appreciative of the finer things. Usually, they also like cooking, and will gladly stay in to cook you their newest creation. Plus, you’ll never run out of things to talk about once the food arrives. You can talk about meals you ate abroad, the best restaurant in your home town, cooking adventures, or even just ask them questions about how they see food. Warning: make sure they have more to their personality than “critiquing,” or they may end up critiquing you. If they have nothing positive to say about a dinner, be wary. They might simply be a negative person, and that’s no fun.

2. The introvert.

Dating an introvert is plain awesome…not to brag, or anything. Imagine a relationship where you’re never forced to do what you don’t want to do. Many a date night will consist of ordering pizza and eating it in sweatpants. Campfires and s’mores replace parties you don’t want to go to. They understand your need for alone time, and aren’t offended when you ask for it—after all, they’ll need some too. It’s a match made in heaven, full of books, cuddling, and probably a cat or houseplant. There are some risks to an introvert + introvert relationship though: the biggest is falling into a routine. I know many of my favorite memories wouldn’t have happened without light persuading from an extrovert. An introverted significant other may not challenge you to do scary things, and sometimes scary things are good for us. It’s nice to stay in, but it’s also nice to go out every once in awhile.

1. The friend.

The scariest part of dating for introverts is the social awkwardness of meeting new people. So, why not skip that part altogether? Dating someone who was your friend first is always risky, but can pay off big time. You already know a lot about each other, and know you have fun together. They already know your introverted tendencies, and are possibly an introvert themselves. You don’t have to endure much awkwardness or wonder what to talk about. The first date will be just like how you normally hang out, except maybe with a kiss at the end! What could be easier than that? Sure, sometimes it’s not so simple. Rejection is scary, and if they say no it could make things awkward between you. But communication and openness can result in a fantastic relationship with someone you already enjoy being around, which is exactly why the friend is the easiest person for an introvert to date.

So…crazy weather we’re having, huh?: Conversation Starters

The weather. The epitome of an awkward conversation. It’s a trope in comedies that whenever our main character is left alone in a room with an attractive person or a stern father in law or an ex wife or an estranged son, the conversation falls to silence and then turns to…”Been chilly, lately.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Chilly, chilly, chilly…”

However, weather can actually be a great conversation starter. You can turn a short phrase into a conversation pretty quickly, especially if you live in an area with some extreme weather. 

For example, I was lucky enough to be in Florida when hurricane Irene caused NYC to evacuate. Unfortunately, our flight was cancelled, and my sister just had to get home for the first day of school.

We decided to drive from Orlando, Florida to Massachusetts.

It was terrible. We sped the whole way, down the longest empty road ever. We hit DC and then NYC  in about an hour. 

The worst part? We get on the highway, and the gps says, “Turn left in 678 miles.”

We all accepted it at first, then did a double take. 

“SIX HUNDRED WHAT?!”
Everyone has a crazy hurricane or earthquake or blizzard story. Tell yours when the conversation dies down, and have the pressure taken off rather quickly when the focus changes to someone else’s wacky weather adventure.
So much of a successful conversation is just finding a way to make your personal experiences relate. With a little practice, even the weather won’t be awkward. Try it out! 

 

Adaptable

I’ve always found one of the most compelling things about the human species is its adaptability. To live so successfully in nearly every climate in every corner of the globe is amazing in both its perseverance and its stubbornness.

I do wonder sometimes what people would do if their land didn’t feel like a part of them. Perhaps everyone would make like the retired do and move to warmer climes. I doubt anyone would look to the harsh winters and disappointing summers of Massachusetts and choose it over the consistent loveliness of Aruba, if given the choice.

But, land does matter, and so people adapt–stubbornly, wonderfully. They adapt to having an ice scraper in their car at all times, even in July. They adapt to sudden heat waves followed by a week of sleeting rain. Here, we adapt to unpredictability. Perhaps it is a side effect of living in New England that makes me equate land to weather, but it is an important thing.

Beyond weather and land, people still adapt. They adapt to long commutes, to suffocating subways, to polluted cities or quiet nights. Moving out, moving in, people being born or dying. Nothing feels abnormal if it happens enough times.

It is this inane ability to adapt to whatever life throws at us that makes me wonder if we are meant to be a wandering species. I know we were at first, but then agriculture happened and now here we are. After the huge leap of my great-great-grandfather moving to America from Italy, my family has lived in the same 20 square miles ever since. Now, I feel a deep inner pull to leave. To adapt to somewhere else.

Maybe those who stayed in one place adapted to staying. Staying eventually felt normal to them. Maybe I’ll eventually feel that way, too.

Driving for nearly three hours every day has begun to feel normal for me. I don’t mind it anymore. I’ve adapted. Sitting in a cubicle for eight hours straight no longer makes my eyes hurt from the computer screens. I’ve adapted to these things I thought I never would, in an exceptionally short amount of time.

Let’s go back to weather for a moment. I’m sure everyone has an inkling that warmer weather makes people happier, and I believe it’s true. However, more than the cold, I think the unpredictability of New England weather has a profound effect on the population. Yes, we’ve adapted to the unpredictability, armed with layered clothing and umbrellas at all times. But it makes us anxious. Having to prepare for anything weather-wise makes us wary of other things too. Perhaps that is why my grandmother clutches her purse in the city as if it may be taken at any moment. Perhaps that is why I look both ways when  crossing one-way streets, my faith in drivers so low as to expect someone to go down the wrong way. Perhaps that is why so few of my family members have left the western hemisphere or gone below the equator. They always expect a sudden change, they expect the dangerous and unexpected due to their upbringing spent expecting a sudden snowstorm to brew from a mild morning.

When people have adapted to an ever-changing world (be it due to weather, technology, globalization…) they can’t help but feel anxious and pessimistic. Whatever is present—the sunny sky, the new iPhone, peace in the world, the economy—is only temporary, and will soon change for the worse.

We are adaptable, but some embrace that and some shy away. Some refuse to adapt more than necessary. Some don’t find it a hassle at all. Some adapt by moving, and some adapt by sitting still. No matter our view on it, it’s part of what makes us human and a huge part of what keeps us alive.

The Concept of Concerts

Check out this picture!

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 9.32.57 AM

I went to an Ed Sheeran concert last night. All the fuzzy white specks are from people shining their smartphone flashlights, like how people used to do with lighters.

Whenever these lights came on, I found myself looking more at the lights than at Ed himself. They were beautiful, like a colony of fireflies, like a swirling, breathing galaxy.

As you can probably tell from the picture, I was up in the cheap seats, and the stage was pretty far away. There was a pretty bad echo, Ed Sheeran looked like a grain of rice and, thanks to Gillette Stadium’s awesome design, it was cold and windy. Don’t worry though, it was still a lot of fun:)

Anyway, from my vantage point up in the sky, I saw the big picture. Ed Sheeran, this tiny little grain of rice, was singing, with one guitar, to 53,000 people. One person, singing to 53,000, that’s insane. He kept mentioning how it’s the largest show he’s played in the states, and the opening acts seemed surprised at the grandeur as well.

That got me thinking. There were probably thousands of concerts going on last night. Attended by millions of people. All singing and jumping and shining their phones.

What a beautiful thing to share music with other people. To hear strangers sing the songs you know by heart with the person who wrote the words to begin with.

I so rarely feel connected to my planet. I always feel like there is the worldwide community of other people, and then there’s me, in my me-shaped space in the universe. This concert was the latest in a long string of reminders that I am not alone. I am in a sea of people who feel things I feel, who love things I love, who want to recreate the concerts of their parents and make the stadium glow like the sky it’s under.

If you’ve been reading my blog for the past week or so you’ll know I’ve been feeling pretty terrible lately. This concert really helped me out. I’m not a huge fan of Ed Sheeran–my sister had an extra ticket and, hey, it was only $20–but something about his one guitar, his honest amazement at the size of the stadium, and being surrounded by other, honest-to-God humans made me feel more connected to life than I have in a long while.

Maybe it just goes to show that being surrounded by people isn’t always a bad thing.