Normally, around this time of year, I’m muttering about crowded cafés, shops, streets and roads. Not so much this year! For a couple of weeks now I’ve been smiling happily, feeling warm and giving… I suspect it has something to do with the art sites I frequent. When people are being people around you, having their quirks, weaknesses, concerns and their strengths (largely the creative process, or at least the desire to do well at it) – it gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling!
When folk come along and add your work to their favourites, that doesn’t hurt either… all sorts of people, from teenage girls to 65 year-old guys in Finland. You have something in common with them and so you’re no longer thinking (for example) that older people play Bridge rather than get on the net, or that younger people are an alien species who lurk on street corners. When I was 16, if I’d known other 16 year-olds who were keen to share their passion for drawing, painting or photography with me, I’d have been delighted. Who knows what difference the internet would have made to me at that age?
Getting back to my recent resurgence of love and goodwill to all humankind, a possible factor is that phenomenon I mentioned in an earlier blog post: when I don’t do something very much, I glide through it with ease. If I was going to town every other day, I’d be a lot grumpier than I am now.
A couple of days ago, Mum asked me why I was grinning. I told her I got a new comment on my ‘introvert bloggers’ post and was thinking about how disastrous it would be if the internet collapsed all of a sudden. “Imagine life without it,” I said.
“Aiee!” said Mum, then (after a pause), “introverts have a warped view of life.”
Pushing away the niggling thought that I have a tendency to ‘think’ myself into tight corners, I said “but you’re an introvert yourself.”
“Yes – I’m an introvert.”
“Though you have lots of friends and sit on all those committees.”
“When I was your age, I wouldn’t have been able to give speeches and talks, but it’s not so bad now. Anyway, we can’t let idiots run everything.”
“By idiots… do you mean extroverts?”
“Er… more or less. There’s usually a balance.”
“Extroverts go out and do stuff without thinking, while introverts think about things so much they don’t want to do them?”
“Something like that.”
A stray memory surfaced in my mind just now. I was working on a large poster with a friend in art class at school. It was beginning to grate on me that she was so bossy; she would say “do this” and we did it all her way, though I was a better artist. I found I was scared to touch the picture without permission. Further back in this post I was complaining that I couldn’t share the fun of artwork with friends (apart from the odd scribble with felt tip pens), but what was going on here was not sharing.
One day I decided it was my picture too, and I was jolly well going to put some dots in. Of course they looked terrible, and if I’d been in my right senses I would never have bothered with them. When my friend saw them, she got very cross and painted all the dots out again, and I didn’t object. She was completely unaware, I think, that I hadn’t put the dots in because I wanted dots… I’d put them in to assert myself a little.
This is doubtless one good reason why introverts and extroverts don’t always work well together. If someone you know at work or school is acting mulishly, throwing senseless spanners in the works, it’s possible that something similar is going on. If you don’t want me to break out in a rash of dots, don’t boss me. (Ahem).