For our prompt of “Beach” today, my mind wandered to a little hermit crab. Perhaps it’s because this is Friday night and I’m heading into the weekend, thrilled to be spending that time hiding at home. In the case of a hermit crab, of course, this home is purloined from some sort of scavenged mollusk shell. Being an introvert at heart, I tend to get a bit reclusive at times. I sink into my own thoughts and imagination and tend to shy away from large crowds. What I adore most is a bit of truly special and quiet time spent with the people I love. I don’t care for large events with throngs of people, and am quite happy just staying in my own little shell. When I was younger, I actually loved going to parties, but only because I knew I would always find that other person like me with whom I could sit and chat throughout the evening. While everyone else talked to everyone else at once, that evening’s newfound friend and myself would have a much more personal conversation. In truth, I love talking to people, but only if the conversation contains a bit of meaning as I’m perfectly worthless when it comes to “chit chat.” That skill of talking while saying, and indeed revealing, nothing much at all. So, these days, I do just stay home much of the time.
A few years ago, I had a very social friend who asked me to go out somewhere and then qualified the ask with, “or are just going to be a hermit like usual.” The way he said it made it seem like my own proclivities were somehow bad and his were somehow superior. It made me wonder about what’s “normal” and what’s considered a bit odd or eccentric. This friend was extremely social and always attended the latest and greatest parties or charity events du jour. To me, the fact that we were actually still friends more than proved that I’m not truly anti-social by any stretch. Yet, the fact that I turned down nearly every one of the events I was invited to, labeled me a hermit. I would ask him silly questions like, “who is going to be there?” to which he would respond, “everyone! who cares?” That’s when I knew for certain we were wired a bit differently. I don’t have any desire to show up to a crowd of anyones… I just want to see and chat with “my people.” The ones who understand me and have something in common without forcing the issue with idle chatter and strangely forced banter.
The thing about being an introvert, that an extrovert doesn’t always realize is that our energies work in reverse. While my friend soaked up every human body at a party as a source of pure energy, I instead, would be zapped of energy by the end of the night. Unless, of course, I found that someone who would sit off in the corner with me and have a real conversation. When that happened, I would return home exhilarated thinking parties are the most amazing thing in the world and, really, more people should attend them! These days, I’m getting too old to be invited to those sorts of parties and too wise to bother with most of them in the first place. I now go wherever my heart tells me to go next. I don’t worry over what I should or shouldn’t do or anguish about some social grace I’m defying anymore. I just DO what feels most like me. Yet, my heart does have an odd little secret wish. If I could just spend a few minutes one-on-one with each of you who read and enjoy my illustrations and stories, it would make me the happiest guy on the planet! I already know, you’re definitely my kind of people. The ones I would find at those parties, making the evening absolutely perfect. It’s not likely possible, of course, as nearly all you live in different places and well, continents, but it would be a dream come true! A chance to come face to face with my own inspiration would be the best thing of all, even for a little hermit.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Yellow Ochre, Vermilion, Cobalt Turquoise, Terra Cotta, and Cobalt Blue. Lamy Al-Star Safari Fountain Pen with sepia ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Send me a note with a link to this post, and I’ll add it to my shop!