Actual Reality Live a Quiet Life

Actual Reality. Live a Quiet Life

I’ve never been one for crowds, as in being in them has caused me to suffer panic attacks. This became apparent when my family visited Disneyland at a crowded time of year. Everyone had fun, including me, but when I returned to the celebrated amusement park a couple of years ago, it was during a quieter time frame. I have fonder memories of that trip but was still glad to go home.

Maybe, like me, you have outgrown your childhood shyness but still don’t quite know what to do with yourself in a social setting. I usually make like a wallflower until I work up the gumption to jump into the fray. I then enjoy myself, but it’s an exertion. If I stay too long, the restless urge to be somewhere else overwhelms me.

You might never know this about me, should we met in person. I have been described as reserved and also as outgoing. Which is true? Neither or both, depending on how you look at it. I’ve made peace with myself over being an introvert. I’ve even come to appreciate its benefits. I will never be the cool Mom or the life of the party, but I am a thinker, a reader, and an observer.

The trouble for me in today’s rapid culture is that everyone seems to be in one long social gathering, a party that goes on too long. It’s fun but also a little draining for someone like me. Engaging at a social site has the power to break my routine and throw off my day. As a writer who needs to interact with readers, I have to be online regularly but I limit the time I give these sorts of activities. I’m willing to miss out on my virtual life in order to live my actual one. Hmmm…maybe I could coin a phrase for non-internet time: actual reality.

In my opinion, the world has gone a little crazy with the need to belong, to express, to matter. Humankind has remained constant about this. It’s what our ancestors wanted, too. What has changed is our ability to slake these thirsts. It’s possible to join groups, write updates, and receive caring feedback from people we’ve never met in person.

We are all having an uproariously good time, but how much of it really matters? Here are some questions to ponder: Do I know my neighbors? Has my extended family heard from me lately? What books have I lost myself in this year? Am I getting the exercise I need?

Social media doesn’t always lead to happiness. Sometimes, we have to unplug to live a quiet life.

Live a Quiet Life by Janalyn Voigt | Old Bohemian Homestead

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Written by Janalyn Voigt

Janalyn Voigt

As an author I love to escape with readers into creative worlds of fiction in three genres: medieval epic fantasy, historical fiction, and romantic mystery. My aim is to make this website an immersive experience for readers. Care to join us?

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2 thoughts on “Actual Reality. Live a Quiet Life”

  1. Hello Janalyn. I just wanted to say that this article and your experience as an introvert resonate with me on a deep level. I know exactly what you are talking about and how it feels. I think my experience probably mirrors yours closely. I recently bought a book by Nancy Okerlund, “Introverts At Ease: An Insider’s Guide To A Great Life On Your Terms”. I haven’t read very far in it yet, but it is validating to read that someone else experiences the same sensitivity to crowds and over-stimulation, the panic attacks and the need for a quiet life in which to create and “be” present without as much pressure to “perform”, if that makes any sense. I’m hoping to bring something enlightening away from what the author shares. In developing my characters, I read about different personality types and did some tests, in particular, the MBTI, or Myers Briggs Type Indicator to refer to one of the sixteen personality types as developed from the work of Carl Jung. I tested several times using tests developed by different people and every time, my personality type came up as an INFJ, apparently one of if not the rarest personality type. The first letter stands for (quoted from Wikipedia) – Introversion preferred to extraversion: INFJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extraverts gain energy).[9] If you are not already familiar with this personality typing, you may find it very interesting and informative, and it may give even greater depth to your characters. As I am brand new to this site, I apologize in advance if this is something you already cover. If you want to explore it further, just Google INFJ and read what Wikipedia says about all the personalities and how the whole theory works. You can explore all the other information that pops up on Google, to your heart’s content.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your insight and experience. I was really encouraged by your article. I look forward to exploring the rest of your site.

    Have a great night.

    1. Hello Alecia! So nice to meet you. Thanks for connecting us.

      I haven’t read very far in it yet, but it is validating to read that someone else experiences the same sensitivity to crowds and over-stimulation, the panic attacks and the need for a quiet life in which to create and “be” present without as much pressure to “perform”, if that makes any sense.

      That makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for mentioning the book you are reading. I hope you’ll let me know what else you glean from it.

      I’ve heard of the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator but have never taken the test. Studying the different personality types does sound like a wonderful resource for a writer to tap. I looked up the INFJ personality type and, my goodness, it sounds like me. I suspect we’re kindred spirits.

      The website is transitioning with a re-branding that finally captures what I most want to say and give. The new tagline, helping you live your story, captures my primary goal as a novelist and also my practical and inspirational focus on living well and leaving a legacy. I’m still interpreting what that will look like at the site, so suggestions are welcome.

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