Friday, April 18, 2008

Sobering realization

Some people actually read this.

I know what you're thinking: "Duh! I do!"

It just seems strange to me, is all. I keep having this experience where I'm trying to tell a story and the person I'm talking to says, "I know, I read that on your blog."

I can't decide whether that means I should stop blogging or blog more and forget about having actual conversations with people.

Which reminds me of another sobering realization I had recently. Stop me if you've heard this, 'cause I've told this story a couple of times recently. HA HA! You can't stop me! 

Anyway, my big revelation recently was that I'm actually an extrovert. I've been saying for 12 years that a big part of why I left ministry was that I was just too introverted for the job. False. Big lie. I'm really an extrovert. Which probably explains why I'm talking about this on the internet, even knowing that some people are actually reading this.

So I was talking at lunch a couple of weeks ago about the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory, because some folks in the group had just done a leadership training session discussing it and other ways of understanding the different personalities that interact on a team. And we're talking about the important distinction between being sociable, congenial, affable, friendly and all that, on the one hand, and being an extrovert on the other. The key thing being what recharges your batteries—extroverts get energy from being around other people, while introverts might do a great job of putting on a social face for a while but need to retreat and be alone to recharge. And we're talking about how we're all relatively good at the social face—we go to conventions and talk to fans and keep up the energy as long as we can, but then we go back to our hotel rooms and crash and need to be alone before getting up the next day to do it all over again.

It wasn't until a couple of days later that I realized that wasn't true for me. When I'm at conventions, I dread going back to my hotel room and being alone. I'd stay out all night if I didn't have to sleep. I write my novels in Starbucks, for crying out loud, because I feed on the energy of the people crowding the place (and the free-floating caffeine in the air). I need face time. Extrovert.

I left ministry, in large part, because I hate conflict. And when I do feel, even now, that I don't like people and I want to be alone, it's usually because there's some kind of conflict situation I want to avoid. 

I can be shy sometimes, and it's not always easy for me to keep conversations going. But the inescapable reality is that I'm a total extrovert. So that pretty well rules out going whole-hog on the blog and giving up on face-to-face interaction.

Speaking of faces, let's talk about Facebook. I joined Facebook because an old friend from Ithaca invited me, and then I had about four friends, all good friends from Ithaca. Then I did the address book thing and found lots more friends, and increasingly, people are finding me. I find it interesting that a lot of the people I'm connected to on Facebook are professional extroverts—people in brand and marketing, for example, for whom networking is a professional requirement as well as something they do naturally in their personal lives. I've never thought of myself as someone like that, but with this new-found realization that I'm actually an extrovert, it begins to make sense that I'm connected to these people. 

But now Facebook is a source of guilt for me. I have 26 requests of various kinds that I don't know how to respond to. Some of my friends are really close friends, some are old college friends, some are people that I worked with years ago and knew kind of in passing. (I love you all!) I don't know what to do with Facebook. It's out of control. I'm considering quitting it entirely, rather than feeling guilty about the people I feel I'm slighting in some way by not responding to their invitations.

Speaking of beholders, did you see the one that's in Seattle?

Hey, I call it Random Musings for a reason.

It turns out I do not, in fact, know anyone in Chicago. But I did talk with Joe from ENWorld and Shawn from The Analog Gamer. Lucky Bill Slavicsek, though—he's on G4 TV!

Speaking of Bill Slavicsek, another great session in his game last night. We're a hair away from 5th level (this is Baredd, my paladin who died a few weeks ago) and getting started on Thunderspire Labyrinth. I also had a great time in Mike Mearls's lunchtime game yesterday—a really fun encounter with a trap and some skeletons. (I put a thing on my Gleemax blog about the character I'm playing in Mike's game.) It reminded me of something I told folks when I sat them down to run one of the adventures at D&D Experience in February: "This is still D&D. You can still try anything you can imagine." It's that whole flexibility thing again. 

Speaking of flexibility, I need dinner.

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