in photography •  last year

Hey Steemers,

I am a dichotomy. Most of us are, in some way or another. Human complexity often results in qualities that don't quite jive with each other. Maybe you hate mess, but also abhor cleaning; perhaps you wish to reduce the carbon footprint of your diet, but find it difficult to give up meat. We all contain dualities, some of which leave us in a state of confused hypocrisy.

I'll share one of my own... I consider myself an extrovert. I love people and feel energized by boisterous events. I come from a massive Irish Catholic family. I seek social connection and do well with chaos. I also struggle with anxiety, sometimes of the social sort. This causes me to turn inward, and act in introverted ways. I want to share an entry from my journal regarding my struggle with this. Before I do, please know that I am in NO WAY saying that extroverted tendencies are in ANY WAY superior. We exist in every color on the spectrum and all are stunning; I am simply describing my own.

Journal, (9/24/17):
"I have gotten it wrong and messed it up. I have always had this social anxiety, but have failed to recognize it as such lately. I am actual chickenshit scared of people, and care so much about (1) what they think of me and (2) changing my routine to allow for spontaneity. I'm not sure why I hide or when I decided it was okay to live on snacks of socializing instead of a full blown meal. There is a creeping anxiety that surfaces whenever I come close to a social event that is out of the ordinary. I think I need to feel this and do it anyway. I thrive when in social situations- I just have to et myself there. Approach the challenge. If it makes me uncomfortable, do it. My current approach is not working. I am craving adventure and connection. I feel robotic and vacant."

All this from someone my friends have described as "bubbly", "overly energetic", and "able to talk to anyone". This duality challenges my self- understanding: how do I best take care of myself? When do I honor each side of the yin yang? I even feel GUILT when I indulge one or the other- how absurd is that?

I am here to tell you that we will contend with contrast and conflict and confusion all our lives... It can and should be a light- hearted process, full of laughing at ourselves and continuously seeking truth. Here comes the reckoning!

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