so when you decide whether you're an extreme introvert, do you measure it by your actions or by how much fighting you have to do with yourself before you act? :)

being sick has definitely affected my outlook on life, but I don't really know how to quantify it beyond that. I always need a little time for perspective to sink in, though -- after I survived the five-month battle with acute kidney failure (the most dangerous thing that's happened to me as a direct result of my autoimmune disorder so far), my doctors were thrilled by how fast I recovered but I felt that my body was almost completely beyond my control. I wasn't happy to be out of the hospital so much as I was overwhelmed with a feeling of futility -- not about life so much as about my physical existence. and I did turn that around, by starting to play soccer again and taking my physical therapy seriously for the first time ever and slowly coming to understand that my metabolism would really never be the same... but it took a while. I definitely don't have as much confidence in my body as I did six years ago, but I have a much greater appreciation for the things it can do.

that was a sort of indirect response, and it wasn't intended to be, but my third-to-last day at work is probably not the one to start skipping out on morning meetings, so off I go. :P
by rabi on 8/22/2001 08:00:50 AM | bang on

I've often wondered how Rabi does it. How she manages to have such an exuberance and sense of wonder towards life, despite dealing with a chronic illness. Ryan and I were both wondering that, over smokes and bottles of ale on Plymouth Beach a couple of weeks ago (God, it feels so odd to type that sentence, but it's true. What a world.) To me, she seems to see a different, richer, more fascinating world than I do on a daily basis. I often pay lip service to the same thing, and I have something like it in rare, transcendent moments, but I can't seem to find a way to sustain it or call it up at will.

I'm sure you have asked all of the same questions that seem to be holding me back, and then some, but you don't let the lack of answers stop you from diving in and getting the most out of life. From an outsider's perspective, reading your last couple of weeks of posts, I think I can guess why. You've obviously paid a heavy price of sorts for your vision, one that I likely wouldn't wish for or be able to endure. If you've been disabled for a time, or can talk matter-of-factly about going flatline, you're probably much less likely to take life for granted. And much more likely to have a sense of urgency and purpose from moment to moment.

I'm not saying that that's the only reason, because I'm sure it's not, but I'd venture to guess that you've been shaped by those kinds of experiences in ways those of us who are lucky enough to have avoided them can never quite grasp. Actually, I'm not quite sure what I'm saying. Maybe it's that I shouldn't beat myself up for not being able to call that up at will, or that I should work on appreciating the small wonders of moment-to-moment existence more rather than brooding over the big problems and questions that might never get answered. I'm beginning to think that the answers have been all around all along, if I could only have meandered around a bit, stopped to look at the trees, frolic with the rabbits, and hear the birds sing, rather than concentrating on mapping the best and shortest route through the metaphorical forest.

Oh, and getting back somewhat on-topic, I wouldn't qualify Alison or Ryan as introverts really. They seem more middle of the road to me, with Rabi and I falling somewhat on the introverted side, but not near the extreme or anything. Andrew and Rob (if he's still here. If you are, speak up man!) I don't really know well enough to tell, not having met them in meatland yet. Personally, I certainly need people, but I can do without them for periods of time, and I do need respites of time alone, or I start to go batty from social overload. Social interaction is most definitely far from effortless for me, but I also think it's an effort supremely worth undertaking, fwiw.
by Jared Dunn on 8/22/2001 02:54:19 AM | bang on

rabi, i think in that picture you look like a girl i know at artiste named brandi. ever since we met brandi over a year ago, my friend ryan and i have been calling her "new friend brandi," even though we never hang out with her, and we think she's weird. so, to me you look like new friend brandi.

non-serious is good. i also think we should fix the comment system. i'll get on that, after i finish scanning and optimizing 150 sodding london photos. you guys better appreciate my photos, okay? this is taking me forever.

i also don't really think i'm an introvert. i'd place myself more in the middle of the spectrum; i like being alone and i love living alone, but i do seek other people out a lot. i think the reason it's been easy and fun for us all to talk to each other in life is because we automatically have something huge in common, something we can talk about at length without running out of opinions or things to say. and from that initial commonality, you can jump off into talking about anything you want, and it all stems from there. yes?

by alison headley on 8/21/2001 09:33:55 PM | bang on

Eh, nobody, except perhaps for Yahoo, and he doesn't blog here(though he probably could if he would just ask one of us).

Anyway, I just sayin we should be more conversational here, serious or no.

And yes, Ryan is tall as the day is long. And you look downright ghostly in that picture. A weird trick of the flash perhaps? I dunno, I never think I look like myself in pictures. At least, whenever I know I'm being photographed, it always turns out horribly. I've never been able to purposefully control my expressions very well for some reason. Whenever I try to smile for the camera, it comes out as this forced, horrible caricature of a grin. I've just always been bad at putting on a mask, be it for harmless reasons like school pictures, or more nefarious ones. I'm a lousy liar, and I'd make an even worse actor, no doubt. Anyway, if you're ever going to photograph me, make sure you suprise me. Those usually turn out just fine.
by Jared Dunn on 8/19/2001 02:29:52 PM | bang on