In this post I’ll probably do my fair share of touting my own horn a bit, so bare with me me; it’s not unmerited.
All my life I’ve been fairly introverted. I really only had one or two close friends at a time as a little kid – friends in the sense that there were only really one or two other people who I would drop what I’m doing to go hang out and interact with. The majority of my childhood as I remember it I had spent mentally within myself.
Now being in my twenties and having garnered a very special, close, and moderately sized group of friends, I do like to talk about this part of me every once in a while if the topic of deep introspection comes up; as it often does in groups of friends who feel close enough to want to discuss the heavy topics of life. And when I would explain myself to others I’d find myself claiming to have “first born syndrome,” as I like to call it, or that it’s “because I’m a Capricorn.” As the first kid of my generation born into a large family of close cousins, I can tell you that we’re a rare breed. Throughout life I’ve noticed similarities in the first-borns of each family I’ve come to know. Quiet in groups, dry humor, and a reserved persona are our gifts. In fact, my mom was also a first-born and we’ve always understood each other perfectly. We’re so blatantly the same person that I can confidently read her energy just by being in the room. And here’s where I get weirdly spiritual: delving into the study of astrology – which I’ve come to whole-heartedly accept as something to be taken as true as it is mysterious – I’ve found that I was born into the second decanate of Capricorn, which is like saying I have the strongest traits of Capricornality. Capricorn is the steady climber, the father figure of the zodiac, the gentle leaders who don’t get muddled up in the troubles of others but who are always there for those who need them. The symbol for Capricorn is the seagoat, who represents the juxtaposition of the dreamy, vast ocean of the unconscious and mysterious internal self with the earthy, powerfully oriented and realistic external self. We were born old, and we age backwards. I’ve come to genuinely believe that there are parts of my composition, merely by birth, coupled with my upbringing that explain why as a little kid I reveled in observing others from afar rather than joining them intimately. It’s this kind of introspection that has molded my beliefs about what makes a person, and that it is in fact both nature and nurture that make us who we are.
So why the long-winded post about little anti-social Anthony? Because I’ve just watched a video by this goddess of a woman, Susan Cain, who explained the need for introverts and their quiet, calculated contribution to the world. She explains that we live in a society that loves big charismatic personalities, and parties of people doing outrageous things, fast-talking attention whores, and quick-paced lifestyles. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t mean to come off as this boring, quiet, lonely person who twiddles his thumbs all day. Even the sturdy Capricorn can be the life of the party when surrounded by the right people who are also fun-loving. If your energy is inviting and the mood is right, we can be the ones dancing on tables and making everyone laugh, it’s just not our default setting. This can be crippling for all the kids out there who have beautiful memories of just sitting on the lawn and gazing at the striations on the blades of grass, who have spent childhoods collecting odd things or filling boxes with seemingly useless “tchotchkes,” who would rather spend a day in the backyard smelling the tomatoes and basil growing in the fresh dirt than in a giant theme park with lots, and lots, of people.
If you’re like me, then you should watch this video and thank this woman for speaking out for all of us who’d rather just write about it online.