Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Well, That Explains It

I'm a person who likes to think I know myself pretty well. I'm aware of my motivations, my hopes, my sore spots. Even under stress I can more or less see what my influences are. I really didn't think there was much self-revelation waiting in the wings for me. Reading that back, it seems a little arrogant that I'd have that assumption.

A week or so ago a friend came over for dinner and we got to talking about personality types. Specifically we talked about a Myers-Briggs test I took once that revealed me to be an introvert. She was a bit taken aback, thinking that the term introvert was a bit of an unfortunate thing to be classified as. I honestly didn't think much about it. I had no significant emotional reaction to it.

But thinking more about her response made me want to investigate a bit deeper. I picked up a great book called The Introvert Advantage that has just revealed so much of me to myself. I'm actually shocked. All these little personality quirks I have that even I thought were a bit odd are suddenly explained! I find it impossible to have a conversation on a cell phone in public! I will fall asleep if I'm around too much action! I will bolt from a crowd!

I've harboured a fair amount of guilt over some of my introverted tendencies. It's definitely made my attempts at a musical career fraught with difficulty. I was never able to schmooze. The performing, however, was never a problem. When I stand up in front of people and sing I close my eyes and am able to tap into this deep inner place that is so energizing for me. Off stage and mingling with the audience? Not so much.

As The Introvert Advantage points out, it's not because I don't like people.... quite the opposite! I very much like people, but not lightly. I'd rather connect with one person on a very deep level than make pleasant small talk and 'social connections' with a group.

There is a certain relief in accepting the totalogy of 'I am what I am'. I can forgive myself for trying to do things that were not in my nature and find ways of embracing my own introversion. So, my dear friends, if I do fall asleep at your party or if I'm out of touch for a little while, please don't take it as rejection or a critique. It's just the introvert in your life refueling.




Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happiness in a Bottle

I walked into The Body Shop this morning with the intention of buying one specific thing. I used to be a very loyal Body Shop consumer in my teens and twenties. I remember loving those green-labelled bottles that could be refilled and that warm fuzzy feeling of buying beauty products not tested on animals.

Such a great font used for the original The Body Shop logo. Read about the early history here.

Over the past few years as my favorite products have been phased out, I drifted away thinking it was yet another place to add to my nostalgia list. So, you can imagine my surprise when I noticed the display of green-labelled bottles. These were not the same as before but the products... banana shampoo, passion fruit face wash and green apple shower gel were awfully familiar. Apparently these have been in the stores for the past couple of months. I had no idea!

Photo: The Body Shop

I had the BEST bath as a teenager. I readily admit I was spoiled to have my own bathroom. (Being an only child has its perks!) It was a big soaker tub set in a bay window surrounded by chintz curtains. I spent hours and hours in there, lolling, reading. So tonight I'm going to spend the evening in the bath taking a little trip back in my happy past. Lolling sounds about perfect right now.




Monday, March 1, 2010

On Being a Canadian

Yesterday's Olympic hockey win has caused such an ourpouring of nationalism here. This is not like us. We are generally quiet on the subject of our national identity, not because we don't like who we are, but often because we're a little unsure of who we are. Canadians are just Canadians and that's a hard thing to define. To see that uncertainty set aside as we celebrated the winning shot was extrodinary.

I wonder what happens now... now that we've had a taste of this collective pride? Will we go on trying to explain ourselves to the world at large? Will this feeling embed itself in our culture? Is this the start of a golden age as Canadians or a brief taste of it since our arts and cuture funding for the next who-knows-how-long has been sacked to help fund the 17 very pricey days of the winter games?

Watching the absolutely ridiculous closing ceremony number with the giant beavers made me laugh until I cried. As someone said... it was like a tourist souvenir shop come to life. So in the spirit of celebrating the Canadian sterotype here are some things that define me as a Canadian...

  • The French side of my family has been here since 1671
  • My Dad drove a Zamboni
  • I have two uncles who were Mounties
  • I donate monthly to the David Suzuki Foundation and to Greenpeace
  • I dated a goalie in highschool
  • I have fond memories of the old CBC logo, NFB film shorts and Hinterland Who's Who
  • I couldn't decide who I wanted to be more like when I was 12... Anne Shirley or Emily Carr
  • My parents were settlement managers of a small Inuit community in northern Manitoba before I came along
  • I believe in socialised health care and would happily pay more taxes for it
  • I was very upset that they changed the Hockey Night in Canada theme song and I don't even watch hockey that often
  • I play 'spot the Canadian actor' when watching movies... somehow I don't think Americans bother with this pastime
  • I have more t-shirts from Roots than The Gap
  • Although I live in a temperate climate here on the west coast, one of the qualities I most admire in people is the ability to thrive in harsh conditions (weather or otherwise)
  • Butter tarts? Nanaimo bars? Yes please!
  • I'm listening to Neil Young while typing this
  • Canadian Tire money is an important second currency to me
  • I think of distance in kilometers but I don't know my own height in centimeters
  • I said 'Eh' within the first two sentances I uttered aloud this morning

Some of my favourite corners of this place:

Porteau Cove, BC

Relaxing at Hollyhock, Cortes Island, BC

Meditation Hut at Hollyhock, Cortes Island, BC

Buntzen Lake, BC

A totem in Victoria, BC



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