Folks used to call me intelligent. They usually thought I learned things quickly.

Little did they know that I was, pretty much, a learner who could grasp what I read quickly but that I didn’t utter a word of it until I’d, slowly, studied it in at least three other books.

Plus, what I did retain on each reading depended on what I was studying and whether I made the decision or it was a task imposed by others.

Some people still think I’m intelligent but they aren’t inside my head. There is no brain equivalent of a super computer in here. It’s more like some surreal landscape of fleeting forms–some thoughts, some feelings–continually morphing from state to state, living a life I don’t control as well as my mouth might make it seem.

Plus, I’m an Introvert–Big Time! Any displays of seeming smartness I may perform for folks come with large costs in physical and emotional energy.

I seem like an intelligent extrovert. I’m really an analogical introvert.

My parents trained me well for public interaction. They were ministers and I was the preachers’ son, trotted out on display, singing psalms and expounding scripture, feeling like a martyr to my Muse.

O.K., I’m gonna retreat into this quiet corner now and whisper some questions to the audience:

When you feel all is well in the world, do you absorb facts and impressions like a sponge?

Even if you have the I.Q. of an Einstein, are there times your brain seems to have had a power failure?

When you’re all alone, are there voices in your head?

If you answered at least two of those questions with a yes, you’re probably an introvert and learning is almost completely dependent on your physical and emotional environment.

Two or more no answers could mean you’re an extrovert and you could probably learn nuclear physics while it’s raining wizards and demons.

I’ve, sloooowly, learned lots of science and the above survey is nowhere near scientific. But then, I’m a poetic writer so your reaction to the questions is more important than anything called evidence…

If you want to explore what the orientations of introverts and extroverts can mean in learning and living, you should look into what Carl Jung has to say. He invented the terms.

And, speaking of slow learning, it took me about 20 years to get it straight in my head that I could write something and it didn’t have to be perfect the first time–that editing was a creative act that could be enjoyed. Plus, I didn’t even start that 20-year journey until I was 42…

The other day I met a 19-year-old woman who already had the whole routine of writing so internalized she absolutely blew me away when I watched her video. Here’s the link to my post about it.
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