Michelle Sieg

Alone with my thoughts. Or am I?

By - Apr 16th, 2010 04:00 am

http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidw/ / CC BY 2.0

I spent last Sunday morning and at this fantastically loud and crowded local brunch hangout. The smell of fried potatoes and maple syrup intertwined with a hint of Tabasco — all of which filled my senses and reminded me that my stomach was empty.

Quietly, I sipped caffeine alongside the other bar-top loners because that’s where I felt most comfortable. From that vantage point, I had not only the clarity to begin writing this story but also the ability to see some of my traits as a human being. Like the woman on Weight Watcher’s who religiously tracks her progress, I constantly weigh and measure (and more than occasionally obsess over) what’s going on in my head.

One of the truths I recently accepted is that self-reflection is somewhat of a hobby for me. The only trouble is, it’s an inclination that very few share. In fact, this part of my personality is embraced by some, rejected by others and completely misunderstood by most. Still, it’s something I feel I must do.

I imagine it’s the same as how some people feel the need to shop, cook or collect things.

Me? I collect my thoughts, which isn’t always easy. It’s a big commitment to track them down, tame them, give them a home and care for them. When I curl up with them at night, they take up a lot of space, but I’d feel lonely without them.

Just as I was beginning to think all of this makes me unique, I met a young woman who seemed eerily familiar. This time, I was out being social — sharing the bar, food, drinks and stories with friends. The banter of businessmen was all around, the NBA playoff game was on the big screen and our order of crab cakes was on its way. Yet I noticed her immediately… a young woman who arrived by herself. She sat down exactly where I would have, if I’d been there alone (which just happened to be next to me).

With her she had a book, a pen and, undoubtedly, her thoughts to keep her company. As we struck up a conversation, we covered many of my favorite things – art, intellect and writing for starters.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been that woman, arriving alone but connecting with those around me. Sometimes it’s a blessing, sometimes it’s a curse but it’s always best when I can combine thoughtfulness with company. This week has brought a nice balance of time to myself, and time with others. As I finish this story, sitting alone on a plane, I’m satisfied knowing that while I may be part of a rare, introspective breed, I’m certainly surrounded by good company.

Categories: Unscripted

0 thoughts on “Unscripted: Alone with my thoughts. Or am I?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Michelle, I share your love of thinking and writing in the company of others. Some of my best “head work” is in the company of others, whether we’re talking or not.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi Sue, it’s great to hear from a fellow social introvert. I suppose a lot of us writers are that way. Thanks for reading!

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