All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.
We can all sit in the audience and watch the scene play out. What we see happening on the stage in front of us. And some of us, we watch the stage, but we can also see behind the closed curtain. The ‘behind the scenes’ of the act.
And what may look like a drama on stage can sometimes be quite a comedy backstage. What may be a comedy on stage, can sometimes be such a tearjerker behind that curtain. Perhaps more dramatic than on stage.
I never feel so much as a fool as when I’m playing one.
I used to tell my mom, “I’m so tired of playing dumb. Playing pretend.” But then again I was always a bit of an obscure person. I was the kid who in first grade, sat in the lunchroom looking around, not understanding how kids could miss their mouth, getting ketchup all over themselves.
You’ll probably never see me in a group of women shopping. In fact I could probably count on one hand the times I have gone shopping with “girlfriends”. I was never that girl that dragged other girls with me because I needed to go to the bathroom.
I was the girl, who in seventh grade decided, all “those” boys don’t matter because I won’t be marrying them anyway. (And I didn’t *wink) And you’d say how do you know?
So you stop saying, “I know…” or you learn to not say it.
You learn to disregard, to disengage, and to dismiss what’s not pertinent to you.
You learn to say no. Without guilt. Without explanation even. Saying no to events and “stuff” on a calendar is not a “no” to a person or people.
I’m pretty used to it now. The most common question I get is, “do you get enough adult conversation?” And I mumble and jumble and to some I try to explain but it’s pointless. Most people will not understand. Unless they function just like me, they most likely will not understand. There’s nothing wrong with adult conversation and “adult” time or whatnot, but for someone like me, being surrounded by noise, the kids, juggling many things at once…to me, nothing is better than no adult time and no adult conversation. Ha. I like coffee dates, and get togethers and social “stuff”. That is all to its own. But for me to recharge, to quiet my mind, to think and feel whole again, I need to be by myself. Everything else is draining.
I tried “explaining” myself only to make things worse. Imagine telling people “Oh, I do social life only because I’m a Christian.” It’s more so after having kids of course. But the truth is, it’s true.
(Silly how that always happens. You try to fix a misunderstanding and it only gets worse. Time has always been a better “fixer.”)
in my current season of life, I’m not much for play dates, for joining every new group, for going to every “meeting” but I still invite people. I still sign up once in awhile. Why? Because it challenges me. Because sometimes it’s good for me. Because it takes away the self centered mentality. That self focus we can so easily fall into. Although like I said, it always depends on what season of life I’m in. Some seasons of life you can have more on your plate and still be balanced (and sane). Other seasons of life- you need to say “no thank you” and pass the plate to another. And sometimes even to withdraw…
(I think some people don’t understand themselves even and then wonder why things get so chaotic. We don’t need to be the ones to take it all on ourselves.)
You can tell people, “oh I’m an introvert,” or in my case, “I’m an Infj type personality.” But there’s so many exclusions and exceptions. It’s not what defines me. Because I have a Christian worldview, and a Christian outlook on life. And I’ve had years to hone on certain “skills” and work on letting go of those deemed negative. Like perfectionism for instance. And there’s things that God has changed in me…
I’ve also trained myself to get out of my comfort zone. To do things differently than what’s natural to me. Just like you can train a taste pallet or train yourself not to fidget. You can train your body or mind, your habits and behavior. It’s different than when God changes your heart. It’s more like not becoming complacent or getting so comfortable you never budge in life.
So I’m super thankful for my husband. I can tell him anything, I can explain and he’ll get it. I can show him how dot 89 connects to dot one, and he doesn’t think I’m strange. Sometimes you want to talk to someone… without having to explain it all.
Because explaining is exasperating.