Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Paris daydreaming, Reading and Introverts.

Greetings from Paris! The weather is as expected -- cloudy, rainy, with the smell of champagne wafting through cobblestone streets.

Okay, you got me. I'm just sitting at Java-now-Safai Coffee in Louisville with a double espresso in a tiny cup, staring out the window at a potholed street drizzled with the torrential rain that is most definitely not found in Paris -- a slew of work laid out before me, rather than a quill and ink and a half-written novel. When I write the comparison, it sounds depressing. It's okay though. It's not Paris, but it's okay.

I have been reading a lot lately (mostly thanks to an anonymous blog reader who is responsible for replacing my broken Kindle -- thank you again!!). Yesterday a student, when I asked what she was reading, replied, "Oh, I don't read. I really don't like to read." I wanted to tell her to never utter those words again. I wanted to take her to the library immediately and find just the right book to remind her that other worlds await. The perfect book awaits.

My GoodReads list isn't impressive. My reading list is lengthy for a mother (26 books this year so far), but a shadow of my pre-parent self. It's also full of what my dad would refer to as "baby books." For example, I just read a Sophie Kinsella book. I'm neither proud nor embarrassed. It took me away, and it made me laugh. 

I've also recently read Quiet at the recommendation of an extrovert friend. The book was good, but it was completely obvious to an introvert (I would recommend it to any extrovert trying to parent or grandparent an introvert). It talks about the American/Western extrovert ideal, and how introverts have had to learn to survive by flipping some inner switch and pretending to be extroverted. Hello-ooooo! How do you think I have survived in my career this long??! I remember the exact moment when I figured that out. I -- the introverted only child -- was playing by myself at the swimming pool, and I worked up the courage to take a deep breath and ask some girls who were doing amazing flips off the diving boards if I could play with them. It worked (we were friends for years), and I still take deep breaths and channel that little girl before entering a room full of people. It's not great that our culture admires the extroverts and thinks the introverts are weirdos who need to conform (so many family battles could be avoided if this changed), but hey, we learn to survive.

On that note, David pointed out while trying to learn the guitar recently, that the reason he could never play an instrument is that he it requires too much alone time. (Is that really a thing??? Too much???) He said I was able to get the 10,000 hours practice as a kid because it was not punishment to sit by myself and practice the piano. He preferred team sports.

Speaking of, oh, what I wouldn't give for a couple of hours by myself with nothing else to do but practice the piano. But for now, I'll stick to the late-night mid-morning reading. Gotta beat my GoodReads Challenge, after all.

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