Why did the introvert kiss the frog?
You may want to ponder this question a while — or see it for what it is:
The closest I have ever come to producing click-bait!
See I was writing about introverts and extroverts last week and I haven’t exhausted the topic.
I didn’t want you going: ‘Oh jeez, not introverts again!’, so I asked my brain to come up with something to draw you in.
And that’s what it threw up!
Why did the introvert kiss the frog?
Now brain might have been aiming for deep and existential, but I think he was just trying it on.
Anyway, this is a blog, and blog pieces are all about generating a reaction.
Getting you, the reader, to kiss that blog!
The best part of the whole enterprise.
And that piece generated a lot of comments.
Some really brilliant and fascinating observations that really made me think.
Maybe writing is the introvert’s revenge, I don’t know, but it’s just brilliant to get this kind of feedback, and then feed on that feedback.
It’s all about communication, isn’t it?
One of my favourite sports writers, nay writers, the late Con Houlihan, was far more than just a sports writer.
Houlihan was a columnist for years with the late and lamented Evening Press newspaper.
My favourite pieces of his were the ones where he would wander completely off piste, and write about all sorts, like his youth in Castle Island, in Co Kerry, in the peninsular southwest of Ireland, and the many adventures he enjoyed on his singular path to coming to write for the now-defunct Irish Press newspaper group, which the Evening Press was a part of.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Con for my college magazine, The Metro, many years ago, and it was an absolute blast.
My very favourite of Houlihan’s columns – and I am sorry I could not find the original, and can only quote from another article I wrote on the great man – was the one in which he described his very first attempts at writing.
And I quote:
“Long before I could write the word ‘cat’, I used to scribble letters to a favourite aunt in the United States. I used to “post” them at nightfall when the wind was high.
“The reason for the darkness was simple: I could convince myself that my epistles would reach their destination; it was a pinnacle of self-deception – things haven’t changed much since.
“In the meantime, I have learned to put letters together and form even such words as “mouse” but I got more satisfaction from the little missives which from a treetop I would loose into the wind in a kind of airmail.”
Houlihan goes on to talk about sports writing in general, but then at the finish, he wraps the whole thing up by deftly, returning to the image of the small boy “posting” his letters across the Atlantic:
“Most of us who feel compelled to write are lonely people; they hope vaguely that somebody out there somewhere may understand them.
“In a slightly more sophisticated way, they are posting scribbles from out of a tree on a windy nightfall and hoping they will reach their target.”
Which brings me back to our friends the introverts and the extroverts.
Like many of the people who commented on my post pointed out, we are really a mixture of the two, but probably with a strong leaning towards one or the other.
And we really need both in this world, extrovert and introvert, and everyone on that continuum between the two.
But I do feel that writing, naturally, leans towards the introverted side of ourselves.
It does for me anyway.
For the largely introverted me, and for many of you who commented last week, a huge part of our journey has been the relief, first of all, of discovering, that one is primarily introverted and is not alone, and then the joy of building on that discovery to nurture that introversion, or creative side, and give it expression.
And it has given us the confidence to avoid, wherever possible, situations that are uncomfortable to us, and to hopefully lead a fuller and a more contented existence.
Oh, the blessed relief in not being so caught up in trying to please others.
We learn to go with our own flow – whether upstream or down.
And to recharge our batteries when needed.
And then, if we are parents, we can watch and nurture our children, and try to help them work with their own natures, and come to be the very best versions of themselves.
Quite the enterprise, that!
And post a few scribbles along the way.
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