Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Friendship In the Quiet Places

Mamakat's Prompt:  Share a lessons (or lessons) you learned about friendship from an introvert. 


I am an introvert.  Sometimes I pretend to be an extrovert, just like an animal might hide from a predator by donning a natural camouflage.  Having had years to perfect my disguise, I am actually quite good at looking exactly like someone who loves to be the center of attention, the life of the party, etc. 

My true self, however, is an introvert.

I do not seek out crowds; large gatherings tend to exhaust me.  I am not a person who volunteers to be center stage.  I would rather be behind the stage, allowing others to be in the spotlight.  I would rather be Silvio from the Sopranos than Tony.   I prefer reading and other quiet activities.  I can often be found "in my head", daydreaming something random, or lost in thought.  When I am out socially, I would rather be with either one person or a small group. Too many people talking completely disables my brain.  If I happen to meet someone new, I tend to feel awkward and tongue-tied.  It makes me act grumpier than I would like.  Yet in order to meet my friend Laura, another introvert, I did something completely amazing.

I knocked on her door.

We were moving into the same dorm for college.  I had moved back to Texas to attend college; I was rooming with my best friend from the eighth grade.  We hadn't seen each other since then, and she had become a--gasp!--cheerleader, which was completely foreign to me.  I was homesick for my friends; Montgomery Blair High School seemed to be on the other side of the planet.  That was my mopey state of mind as I walked down the hallway toward the stairs leading up to my room. As I passed one door, I could hear the music of Duran Duran's Rio. 

I stopped, rooted to the spot. Duran Duran!!!!  One of my favorite albums, from my currently favorite band!  Home!  I had not heard those notes for a month.  It was as if I had been wandering in a cultural desert and an oasis had appeared. 

I then did a completely un-introverted, whacky thing, and knocked on that door.  After I knocked, I hoped that the person on the other side of the door wasn't a whack job.

The door opened before my anxiety got to be too much,

There was a woman with dark blonde hair and white skin trying very hard to tan  She glared at me at bit, but was polite.  I told her that I had to knock on  the door because of Duran Duran.  She had brought Duran Duran back to me, I told her.  I explained that I was in the midst of a musical drought and had been draw to the songs I had heard. I finally got around to introducing myself; her name was Laura. We stood there, me in the doorway and her in the middle of her room, for about a half hour. Laura didn't talk much; I was a babbling fool.  She finally said that she had to go, but she gave me one of her Duran Duran tapes to borrow, so I didn't feel so homesick. 

We've been friends ever since. Laura is not an extrovert.  She is an introvert, like me.  But unlike me, Laura has always seemed comfortable being an introvert.  She has accepted herself the way she is, and the world just needs to get over it and accept her.  While I was trying to be an extravert in order to fit in.   Amazing.  When the pupil is ready to learn, they say, the teacher appears. 

13 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I probably should have mentioned some of our adventures together, but I signed a confidentiality waiver before I left the room with Duran Duran!

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  2. Ha! Confidentiality waver!! This is a great story of a meet cute. It would make the beginnings of a GREAT movie. I would watch it!!!

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  3. I am an introvert, but crave social gatherings. Too many people and I shut down, small group of close friends and I'm fine. :)

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  4. Is there anyway to be an extroverted introvert? Or an introverted extrovert? Or maybe I'm just crazy. Either way, great story of meeting someone! I don't think I would have had the guts to knock on the door.

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  5. I'm what some people would consider an extrovert, but truly, I'm not.
    I don't mind social situations, but I'm an observer, not an engager (if that's a word...)
    And when I say something, it's to the point. Which offends some people... alas... you can't win everyone over.

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  6. That's an awesome story. I agree when we are ready to learn the lesson, the teacher appears! I'm a mix of extro and intovert, and I don't think I would have knocked, lol!

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  7. Great story. I bet you're so glad you stopped and knocked!
    Visiting via Mama Kat's!

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  8. Quite the amazing lesson. I love the last line. Glad the lesson turned out on a good note. ~~Another introvert stopping by from Mama Kat's.

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  9. I can totally relate to this post. It is kinda scary.

    I guess it takes an introvert to know one. :)

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  10. I am not an Introvert, unless I don't know you, then I will warm up, so I don't always get to meet a lot of introverts.

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  11. Love that last line. It's perfect.

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