So, this is my life.

And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

a quiet place

my apartment is very quiet during the day. this might surprise those of you who have spent time at my place, either with me or with my roommate. when you were here, i'm sure the place was far from quiet. maybe someone was screaming at you, "Do you need another drink?" maybe the television was blasting a Real Housewives episode, while Shaunice cooked something or devoured an entire bag of Dove chocolates. most likely, when you were here, speakers were blasting the latest embarrassing pop tunes as people hustled to have a few drinks before going out.

home isn't like that during the day.

there's often a whir of laundry machines, and occasionally some quiet music playing in one room or another. of course there's the neverending pitter patter of keystrokes on my laptop. if you had vampire-grade hearing, you'd notice the sound of pages turning, pages of books and magazines. otherwise, the place is silent. nobody calls during the day, except maybe my ma -- but she usually only calls at the crack of dawn, or she texts me "Wake up!" as the sun is rising (no joke, she did that Sunday morning at 7:29 AM. i was so mad...) the tv is always turned off, until it's time for Oprah or until Shaunice comes home to watch her many crime dramas OnDemand. Atticus sleeps all day, so he's not making a peep.

i'm thinking about this quiet all around me today because i read an article this morning about extroverts needing serious quiet time. if you knew me in law school, or any time vodka was around, you'd know that i'm quite extroverted. those Meyers-Briggs type personality tests also tell me i'm an extrovert.

side note: i find myself wondering if bloggers tend to be more extroverted, considering there's a certain level of exhibitionism in blogging, or more introverted, considering that blogging entails a lot of interaction with a computer screen and some strangers identifiable only by screen names and URLs. hm... thoughts?

back to the topic at hand -- according to the article that i read over coffee this morning, extroverted people need serious downtime to remain sane. the author suggests that the downtime may even need to be more "down" than the average person's downtime. idly watching television won't do. coffee with friends won't do. silence and isolation may be necessary for the extrovert to center him- or herself.

while i was still at that terrible law firm, i would aim to arrive at work 30 minutes or even up to an hour before everyone else. i needed some quiet time before everyone would trudge in, weighed down by the oppression of a terrible commute to an even more terrible job, bringing along with them the weight of the world and stinky flavored coffee from Dunkin. that time in the morning was my quiet time, and often the only quiet time i'd have during a long day. at 8 AM, nobody was blowing up my Blackberry yet; nobody was talking at me about a stupid sportsgame the night before; i didn't have to make small talk with a partner about the upcoming weekend. for a little while it was just me, in my office, breathing and sipping coffee.

i forgot how much i valued that time, probably because these days i have so much more of it. one of the blessings that i try to remind myself to count during this sabbatical is the quiet time that i have every day. to sip coffee, to read some of your blogs, to leisurely dust the bookshelves i dusted yesterday*. all the while enjoying the quiet of this place.

let this serve as a reminder to you busy, social extroverts that you need always to take time for yourselves. you might need to take a walk without your iPod blasting in your ear (something i've been trying to do on occasion, and it's somewhat difficult), or sit on your couch with a coffee or glass of wine but without turning on the television, or sit on your bed for a few minutes in the evening without texting anyone or playing with your Wii.

gotta take a little time. you gotta find a quiet place, otherwise you might go crazy.

*yes, dusting is a hobby, rather than a chore, for some people... specifically, people in my family. don't judge.

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