Deep breath in.
Deep breath out.
i was reading some things about personalities; about my personality type and needs and wants and habits and tendencies and all that sort of thing. i know there’s a level of generalization and everything’s on a spectrum and all that jazz, but in general, i feel like the descriptions of my personality type are pretty right-on with my own introspective perceptions of myself and my needs and my interactions with others.
one line in particular hit a chord with me right now. it said that my personality type is so externally focused that it’s especially important for [us] to spend time alone. it went on to talk about how there can be numerous challenges to that because my personality type tends to be focused more on the needs of others vs. self and that when alone, there is a tendency for harsh self criticism, and as such, time alone is often avoided.
i think what struck a chord with me is that recently, with all of this studying and just the logistics in my life i’ve felt very isolated in a lot of ways, both physically and emotionally, and yet, as much as i crave interaction, as much as every pause in my studies leaves me reaching out for someone - anyone really, i have this strong burning desire to spend some serious time alone. like completely alone. not in my house. not in a cafe or on the train. but atop a mountain or bluff or on a boat floating in the middle of a quiet body of water. just me. perhaps a journal or some paints, but no schoolwork, no books, no correspondence to catch up on or applications to fill out. just me. and the world. and probably a snack because i’ll inevitably get hungry.
i think of moments in my life of…je nais se qua…glimpses of enlightenment perhaps, (though i’m not narcissistic enough to even fantasize i am enlightened), and as much as my relationships and interactions with people bring me joy and make me feel truly alive and whole as a human, i’d say the vast majority of those moments were spent in no one else’s company but my own.
i think that need or desire is actually a big part of why i came out here 3 years ago. too bad med-school has a tendency to get in the way of quiet-by-yourself-in-the-desert time and unfortunately i don’t see an opportunity for that in my foreseeable future, but, i think that even acknowledging that desire, that need, within myself helps me to have a better understanding or perspective on some of the extra tightness in my chest right now.
sometimes i forget to breathe
and my chest feels all tight
like someone’s squeezing me
for a little too long
and sometimes i just need to cry a little bit
to just let big wet drops of me tumble out of my eyes
and down my cheeks
and onto my chin
and sometimes i remember
is hard work
and sometimes it’s ok to get tired
and to stop for a moment
on a flower
to catch my breath