I'm not a very introspective person, and in fact am aggressively extroverted, both in my interactions with people and in my writing. But I'm in the mood for a bit of self examination today.
I've generally steered away from writing about my personal life at all, much less my emotional geography. For some reason though I feel like talking a bit about how my environment affects me. I'm not sure why I have this impulse today. It could be that the rain has put me in a bit of a melancholy mood, or maybe it's some sort of primitive attempt at self therapy.
At any rate, I pay for this blog so I might as well use it from time to time.
In a cultural sense spending most of my life in the same set of southeast Atlanta neighborhoods has made me a fish out of water. Everything around me is constantly in flux, while I really haven't changed all that much. I'm the same somewhat absurd, overly talkative, bull-in-a-china-shop character I was in the 1950s and 1960s growing up here. As the demographics of the neighborhood went through all the various shifts it was fascinating to me, so I stuck around and had a constant stream of often awkward encounters with the increasingly diverse characters here.
Since the shelf life of my embarrassment over miscues and culture clash is very short, I've managed to doggedly continue to wander around introducing myself to people and chattering away like a monkey on amphetamines. I don't mind that. I'm in my late fifties and the likelihood of me changing much is very low.
Lately, though, I have been examining my priorities. After my wife passed away I dealt with the grief in the fashion of extroverts. I began doing intense physical activity (doing 10ks until my knees started suffering, then shifting to cycling, swimming, and dancing). I also began over committing myself to various forms of neighborhood activism. It got to the point where I was in constant activity, doing nothing particularly well since I had to do a lot of things rapidly during the course of each week.
I've needed to draw into my shell to some extent, and I've already begun cutting back on volunteer commitments and have been making another attempt to get my house into livable shape.
Well, that's my introspective post for the year. I'll return to my usual eclectic mix of urban Atlanta posts now.