This morning, I walked to the post office to check my mail. Sometimes on “off days,” there’s still something in my post office box. Even though it’s a small town where I live, I was surprised by how quiet things were. Then, one of the reasons I moved here is because of the quiet.
And as these things happen, I’m currently reading, Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking, by Susan Cain. When my younger niece posted a link to Cain’s TED talk on her Facebook page, I clicked it and watched, and then requested her book from our local library.
Now, I’ve known that I’m an introvert for almost thirty years; and have read I-don’t-know-how-many books about temperaments. And ever since my contemplation of suicide incident, I’ve been consistently reading some sorta self-help book. Of the books I’ve read lately, and of what I remember of all the books I’ve read about introversion and the like, Quiet, has been explaining myself to me, best. Beyond mere therapeutic assurances that my low tolerance of stimuli, my need for quiet and space, and my difficulties in speaking out and speaking extemporaneously are “normal” and “okay,” Cain is showing me why these traits exist, how they’re literally hardwired into me. Further, moreso than I’m remembering from other books, she’s showing why and how these same “troublesome” traits have positive and essential values, i.e. their real, necessary and crucial roles in this extroverted world I’m often struggling to find my place in.