I was a quiet kid. Spent most of my time reading books, as shocking as that may be. Sure, I could get loud and boisterous when I wanted to; my brothers and I were famous for yelling at each other when we were fighting, which happened pretty frequently. But, on the whole, I was a shy, introverted individual who spent most of his time lost in his own thoughts.
It’s kind of bizarre, therefore, that so many of the things I enjoy doing now are performative. I mean, I spend my days teaching, which is 90% performance, 10% planning, and 5% knowing when to pick your battles (those may not add up right; I teach history, not math). In my free time, I’m either drawing, writing, or playing music, all of which I end up putting up on the internet somewhere (or sending off to my publisher so she can get books made out of it). It’s like, in order to balance out my natural inclination to be withdrawn and isolated, I’ve chosen to put this massive chunk of who I am – my creativity and my effort and my enthusiasm and my dreams – out there where anyone can criticize it however they want. I don’t know if I’m just masochistic or what, but it’s a little odd.
I’m still a rather quiet person. I can spend hours not saying a word, or hours talking non-stop, depending on my mood. For instance, on the morning I’m writing this, I’ve said maybe two dozen words since I got up. I may end up talking a lot more when my students come in, or they may spend the period working quietly and independently on their assignments.
All I really know is, you have to watch out for the quiet ones. We contain multitudes.