21 April 2009

Why I need people.

The Year of Reading and Writing is going well, {more details to come soon} and I'm currently reading my 9th book in 2009: Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Yes, I know...I'm probably the last person in the world to read it, but I'm actually glad I didn't jump on the Donald Miller bandwagon five years ago with everyone else. If I'd read it then, it certainly would have felt more radical and revolutionary, as my thoughts and beliefs align more closely now with Don's. But now, the timing is just perfect. It's speaking exactly to where I am right now. It's giving order to some of my tangled thoughts that I've had trouble putting into words.

Blue Like Jazz is reminding me how much I need community, how much I need people. I'm so introverted {an INFJ, the rarest of the personality types...oh dear...} that I can even border on reclusive at times. I know I need a lot of alone time to refuel, but I also realize that being reclusive = not good. We were created to be with people. God shows Himself through people. We can never truly be successful...or happy...living a life of complete isolation.

So this part of chapter 14 meant a great deal to me...

"I am something of a recluse by nature. I am that cordless screwdriver that has to charge for twenty hours to earn ten minutes use. I need that much downtime. I am a terrible daydreamer. I have been since I was a boy. My mind goes walking and playing and skipping. I invent characters, write stories, pretend I'm a rock star, pretend I am a legendary poet, pretend I am an astronaut, and there is no control to my mind.

When you live on your own for a long time, however, your personality changes because you go so much into yourself you lose the ability to be social, to understand what is and isn't normal behavior. There is an entire world inside yourself, and if you let yourself, you can get so deep inside it you will forget the way to the surface. Other people keep our souls alive, just like food and water does with our body." - Blue Like Jazz page 152

"There is an entire world inside yourself..." That is exactly how I have felt for so long, yet it's a feeling that's been incommunicable to me. It's why I can become frustrated when my idealized world is not realized; it's why I can become frustrated with people who are too practical.

It feels like my soul is being stifled to harness that imaginative part of me. I say "harness" because I don't think it should ever be completely cut off, but I do hope to find more balance. Creativity and imagination are what make me an artist; they are what make my outpourings unique from others. But I must never allow these gifts to be misused as an excuse to not allow others into my world, or to not take time and emotional energy to pour into other people.

See...this is why I read. There is nothing like finding inspiration in another person's story... and then knowing that somehow, in some way, it was written just for you.

7 comments:

Madi said...

Oh! Your last two paragraphs made me cry. Thanks for sharing your creativity with us. I love reading your writings and buying your creations.
BLJ is a great book. The "Naked" chapter was especially difficult for me, but in a good way. I totally fell in love with Adam, and, having never had a boyfriend before, it changed how I looked at boys and dating, and what I wanted for marriage. It helped me finally realize that God has made someone for me.
I finished reading BLK exactly 1 year before I met Morgan. And now we're getting married in 2 months!

The Morginskys said...

i'm an INFJ too! well, i am borderline I/E.
anyway, great insights...we JUST read that book too! also, your last post....flesh flowers are my FAVORITE thing. they seem extravagent and indulgent and i LOVE it!

kristian and katy said...

oh, we really are kindred spirits! i am SO like that cordless screwdriver- ha! what a good example.
i haven't read this book yet either. maybe i should pick it up soon. thank you for sharing.
you always have such beautiful thoughts.

Lauren said...

you'll laugh...but i'm an INFJ too! i always think it's so funny, b/c while it *is* the rarest of personality types, it appears that us rarities are drawn to one another- i have *quite a few* INFJ friends. (and it doesn't surprise me in the least that you are among them ;) )

Mandy said...

I like this.

I can't remember my results, but I want to say I was pretty close to being an INFJ as well...I think I was borderline I/E and N/S, but I understand you. And I understand the whole "world inside of yourself" idea from living by myself for the past 5 years. I'm afraid it's making me a more reclusive person...

amy said...

Well you aren't the last person on earth to read it; I haven't, but will now! I'm an INTP--while not the rarest, still pretty rare for a woman. I'm sure the blogosphere is rife with us introverts--it allows us to be social without, well, being social!

Found you via the "Small is Beautiful" group. I'll be back...

stephanieamber said...

There was so much hype about that book... after I read it, I sat down and thought "what's so great about that.. I've thought most of that before." and realized that was the beauty of it - Don put into words the things I'd spent time pondering in my heart, and he somehow did it in a way that was easier to understand than if I'd tried to do it myself. I'm reading "Searching for God Knows What" right now.. and I really like it.