Saturday, August 20, 2011
I find that when I am left to my own devices, I don't interact much with people.
I would categorize myself as relatively extroverted, or would have, since I have strong interaction skills and enjoy - thrive even - off interacting with others. However, I have come to understand that my state of rest and recoup is to be alone - alone even without Dylan. To putter, read, write, meditate, do yoga, walk, photograph. If this state goes ignored too long - if I am traveling and always a guest, teaching a lot, or "busy" with work (a student of mine prefers and suggests using the word "full", which I appreciate), I get cranky and funky and my ability to socially interact shuts down. This is my self's way of reminding me that I have limited resources, though mine are higher than most folks I know. I have to take that down time before it takes me down with it.
I am learning to limit interactions more before I shut down, disappear, drop out, as my best friends know me to do - not be in contact at all, even the nurturing kinds of contact I need. That state is a last ditch effort and does not benefit me the same way that "planned isolation" does.
Looking over my blogroll upon returning from Europe (as Dylan calls it "catching up with the internet"), I found this link to visuals interpreting school kids interacting all day at a school in France. I was prompted to notice that my first response was a hypothetical shut down - remembering what it was like all day, every day to be at school, with people, having to interact to survive socially. I am sure I had more of it in me then, but I shudder to think what that would be like for me now, especially as occasionally I do teach in "regular" school settings and am overwhelmed even by just a few hours of being a teacher, much less a student, in those situations.
It's August and the kids are raring go to back to school. Some of them are bored, thinking vacation has gone on too long. Some are agitated and annoyed that it ends at all. My own "school vacation" of sorts is just about up - my weekly classes begin again on August 29. Large swatches (relatively speaking) of time alone have reminded me to make sure and set aside that time for myself even when it appears to not be present at all. I did it in school in little ways - drawing, sitting by myself, going for walks. I can do it as an adult, so that I thrive with my students while also keeping my quiet self alive and happy.