“In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.” –Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”

I’m an outgoing person. I really am. But sometimes I want to be alone. Don’t get me wrong, I love hanging out with my friends and when they’re around, I’m cool with that and I don’t wish that they weren’t. But the other day I went for a walk around campus to get some air and there were people everywhere. They were walking in all different directions, talking on cell phones or other people. It sounds so unreasonable, but they were disturbing my peace. The only quiet place I could find was the little chapel, and even there I felt like I was intruding or hiding. Sometimes I just want to be alone with my thoughts and myself but there are always other distractions. I thought about going to the library but there would be people there too. Then I considered a bike ride, but I wanted to be able to sit and think. I didn’t want to have to be in motion in order to be by myself.

It certainly is a problem, and one that I’m going to have to figure out in the next few days. As the year goes on, I’m sure that there will be many times that I want to be quiet and still and alone without distractions. But right now I don’t know what to do. I love my room and my roomie is awesome, but she lives here too. I can’t very well say, “Hey Jude, do you mind leaving for about thirty minutes or so, so that I can be alone? It would really help me out. Okay? Thanks. See you in a few.” I mean, how bitchy does that sound? And that’s not what I want anyway. I’m really looking for a quiet, out of the way place outside of my dorm. I should probably go explore the library and find a corner to hide in way down on the lower level. Or find a nice sized tree to hole up in. I don’t know. Maybe it’s emotion, maybe it’s just restlessness. I feel the need to be still but so far the only place I’ve found that is in motion.

I’m so used to being able to be alone whenever I need to. At home, I didn’t share my room, so I could shut the door whenever. If that didn’t work, I could go on the porch or out in the backyard or under the crabapple tree in front of the house. I could take a really long shower and then spend another hour in the bathroom painting my toenails and pumicing my feet. It didn’t matter. There were lots of places to hide and be alone.

I’m probably just procrastinating from all the work I have to do. I probably should go for a bike ride. Then afterwards I would be glad to be around people or I’d finally feel comfortable sitting still. Yoga would probably help too. I’ve figured out a plan for yoga, so I’m feeling pretty good. Still restless, but other than that, I’m golden.

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence. ” -Max Ehrmann, “Desiderata”

Once again, I’ve also come to the conclusion that I am a loud person. It’s true, I admit it. I am loud. And proud. If you can’t take responsibility for who you are, then you will never be able to be true to yourself and defend your beliefs. I take responsibility for my loudness. I am ENFJ, an extroverted, intuitive, feeling, judging (but not judgmental J) person. I get my energy from being around other people. That’s when a little switch in my brain flips and I’m on my top game. It’s cool. I know I’m extroverted. I know I’m outgoing. I know I’m loud. It’s part of  who I am.  I’ll do my best to stay within a normal decibel range if you make it known that I need to shut up a bit.  But if you don’t call me on it, and express your thoughts, I won’t know and I won’t be able to do a thing about it. I’m not really willing to change myself for others, unless there’s a really good reason, but I am pretty willing to adjust, if presented in a friendly manner.

Senior Retreat helped me  a bit by helping me find silence. Afterwards, I understood that silence was good. But that doesn’t always mean outer silence. For me, it was more of an inner silence. After retreat, I better understood how to quiet my thoughts and find my inner silence and peace. There I can sort out some of the noise and move into the real person behind it. This is not to say that I’m hiding behind my outgoing personality. On the contrary, I’m more likely to hide behind quietness. Whenever I’m quiet, people ask me if I’m all right. If I were looking to be recognized, I’d be quiet. Everyone expects me to be loud but no one expects me to be quiet.

Over the past couple years, I’ve learned how to adjust my decibel range. I’ve also taken my fair share of jibes. I’ve cried because I can’t be quiet and I’ve laughed at the top of my lungs. My loudness is part of who I am. I don’t expect everyone to like me. It’s cool if they do, but I don’t like everybody or everything about everybody, so why should I expect anything different from other people? I am a nice person. Once you get past the sonic boom, you’ll get to the silence. And then you know that you know me.

Well, that was fun. Lots of words and I’m not sure that I said anything worth saying. But hey, now it’s all out and I feel much better. Much calmer, much more peaceful. Read “Desiderata” at http://www.fleurdelis.com/desiderata.htm and you’ll see what I mean.



“The secret of seeing is to sail on solar wind. Hone and spread your spirit, till you yourself are a sail, whetted, translucent, broadside to the merest puff.”

-Annie Dillard


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