April 2, 2020

None of Us Are Quite What We Appear.... Are We?


If I mention the name, Walt Disney, what are your first thoughts? Disneyland? Disney World? Mickey Mouse? Bambi? Dumbo? "Uncle Walt" on the TV every Sunday night? Maybe it is watching Frozen for the twentieth time with a grandchild. How about being scared by the various wicked witches or the  marching broomsticks in Fantasia?

Whatever your Disney trigger, more than  fifty years after his death Walt Disney remains a powerful part of our collective memories. What he created has an amazingly powerful pull on us. Over 70 million stream through his major theme parks in the U.S. with double that entering the various Disney parks around the world.

I am finishing a fascinating biography of Mr. Disney. At over 600 pages, Neal Gabler's, Walt Disney, The Triumph of The American Imagination, covers every aspect of Walt's life, from his humble beginnings in Marceline, Missouri, through his struggles with his parents and finding his way in the world. As he found his artistic voice, the book takes the reader deep inside the development of what would transform him, and the rest of us: Mickey Mouse and animated films. 

Eventually, his ultimate creation, a place where dreams come true, begins to consume his time, energy, and hopes, even at the cost of attention to his company's film and television efforts. He becomes an American icon and has to play the role of "Walt Disney" even as his health begins to slip and the business pressures change him.

He becomes a difficult husband, harsh employer firing employees on a whim, treating others poorly, all while forcing himself to conform to the image the public expected. The public Walt Disney forced the man, Walt Disney, to change from a happy farm fellow following his dreams into the face of a huge corporation, with responsibilities and duties that began to overwhelm him.

My reason for focusing on this book and his story is detailed in the blog title: "None of us are quite what we appear...Are We?" Walt Disney was not alone in finding the forces of life and commitments changing his personality and joy of life. All of us have at least two personas: the one we show to the world and the one that only we see and live with.

We would assume that the happiest people have managed to keep those two parts rather closely aligned. What you see is what you get would be a good summary. There is no ongoing struggle to keep the two parts in sync. This is someone who has figured out a good balance.

Of course, that doesn't always mean such a well-balanced person is nice to be around. The "inside"  can a bit of a loner, someone firm in his or her convictions, and not really a big believer in compromise. The world is mostly black and white, with good and evil rather easily defined. For that person, it is possible the public perception is the same. This is not a person you expect to be the life of the party. A smiley face is not his choice for an emoji. Compromising to fit in isn't how she functions. 

Someone who has very different personal and public images might be easier to be around, but could be quite unhappy trying to protect the two realities. The face we see is happy, engaged with others, willing to help when asked. Inside, the pressures to retain a pleasant public image is causing all sorts of stresses and problems.

That person could feel used by others since he or she is always the first to be asked to volunteer.  Damage to personal relationships occurs on a regular basis. The work required to keep a private and public image separate is overwhelming at times. Celebrities and politicians spring to mind as groups that are more likely to exhibit this clash, but this conflict can occur in anyone.

What is the lesson, then, from Walt Disney's story that we can use as a check on our own balancing act? How important is it that our private self and a public self are well integrated? Which one should we change to make life more of a smooth sail than a choppy voyage?

The amount of effort required to maintain the image of the person happy to serve, never turning down a request, and willing to take on other's burdens, all while feeling put upon, taken advantage of, and unhappy with a schedule overwhelmed with the needs of others, creates a very unhealthy tension. The mental and physical strain takes a toll. 

I have written several times before about the need to say, "No," in retirement. Assumptions about all our free time (really?) and having so little to occupy us that we are glad to be asked, is one of the more important hurdles we must overcome.

Making it clear that you will not always be available, always say "yes," and agree to always subjugating your needs to others becomes a survival skill. For many of us, saying we can't do something is tough. Turning down a chance to serve in some way risks harming our public image: how others think of us.

To answer my question about changing one of our images to make things go well, I would suggest that changing the core, personal you is a mistake. If your true, inner self believes certain things to be true, wants limits on your availability to others, and does not "follow the crowd" in how you think about certain subjects, then to bury those parts of yourself so the happy, always helpful you is what others see will not end well.

What if the inner you desperately wants to serve, loves being asked, and wants to adopt five strays from the pound but people perceive you to be very private, standoffish, and somewhat rigid? Should you allow your public image to keep you from experiencing all the things that make you happy? 

No, of course not. In this circumstance, changing the perception that people have of you to one that reflects who you really are becomes a necessity. The frustration of being unable to use what makes you the very unique person you is not healthy.

Personally, I have a somewhat conflicted inerr/outer profile. Around others I can be involved, happy to meet someone new and eager to engage in conversation. Maybe not the life of the party, but certainly not a wallflower.

The inside "Bob" is more reserved and private. Happy to be alone or with family members is my default feeling. Not counting the present situation, a day when the car doesn't leave the garage is a good day for me. Maybe that is why I enjoyed radio so much: locked away in a studio, talking to thousands of people that I didn't really see or interact with, all while projecting the image of a typical rock DJ. When the microphone went off I was just Bob again, happy to head home.

Over the years I have worked on making these two sides of me more compatible. Blogging has helped tremendously in giving me the chance to interact with others, at times even meeting readers and enjoying the time together. I have gotten better at restricting the time I am volunteering to only those activities that really satisfy me. 

But, I am still happiest with a good book, a sunny, warm afternoon on the back porch, or time with my wife and family. 

How about you? How well do your private and public selves mesh? Is there a constant conflict that causes some stress? Or, have you learned to keep the two sides of you in balance? How about right now?

Has our virus-infected world caused you to rethink how you feel about the two parts of you? Do you see a change taking place? Do you think what we are experiencing may change you?

Pandemic or not, this seems to me to be an important question to answer to really have a satisfying retirement journey.



37 comments:

  1. At a Fortune 50, I worked with a man who, within only six years, rose from CFO to CEO.

    The promotion changed him.

    He turned from being a friendly, self-effacing Iowa boy into a Wall Street shark who was eventually fired for cooking the company's books. (He had to pay a $16.4 million fine out of pocket to avoid prosecution.)

    Power corrupts.

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    1. All too often, you are absolutely correct. The lure of power, whether in money or position, is a pull not everyone can resist.Gordon Gekko's "Greed is Good" is a mindset that will lead to a disaster.

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    2. I guess I shouldn't be surprised but I am. It's hard for me to imagine that someone could pay a $16.4 million fine "out of pocket". That's some pocket.

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  2. Now that I am retired I am certainly more myself. At my core, like you Bob, I am an introvert but I found that in the working world, if you want to get anywhere, you have to present yourself as an extrovert. There is nothing wrong with being an extrovert but at times it's hard work for us introverts. Still, I became a fake extrovert and I was successful in my job but now that I can just be myself I am a lot happier. Mostly reserved and private, a few close friends, close knit family, and from time to time to meet someone new and engage in conversation. For me that's a lot better way to live than constantly trying to "connect" with some big wig or other and having to give presentations in front of hundreds to get them to "buy in" to whatever it was at the time.

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    1. After my time on the radio I became a consultant to hundreds of radio stations. That was so counter to my true personality. I was constantly meeting with others, suggesting what they should do to improve their bottom line, having to meet with their advertisers, appearing at seminars and conventions....it paid very well but left me nervous and unhappy all the time.

      Now, like you, I have managed to get the "public" me and the "private" me much more in sync. Everyone once in a while I think about expanding the Satisfying Retirement brand, adding speeches, audio courses,etc. Then, I remember how much I dislike what that would entail and am quite content to stick with the blog.

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    2. Oh man, I get that! I had to be an extrovert at work as well and it was emotionally exhausting. I could do it, obviously, and I actually did it quite well, I think, but it burned me out in a big way. So, so happy I could retire two years ago. I love a simple life.

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  3. I retired in 2017. I began to fill my time with activities and outings with my husband and friends. I worked on making new friends and trying new activities. I was enjoying retirement, but some days I actually felt overwhelmed because I really wanted to stay home and watch YouTube videos, read books, cook a nice meal, or sit on my patio watching squirrels. This quarantine is teaching me that I was getting off balance; that it's okay and even pleasant and comforting to spend more time alone doing the things I enjoy.

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    1. My wife is one of the people who must have multiple projects going on at once. She is constantly taking on a task because someone has asked or she feels the need to help that person or that cause. Unfortunately, with her physical problems, all that leaves her very drained and sore.

      The last several weeks, when she has been forced to stay home and fill her time with things she wants to do, she is finally saying that this feels like retirement to her. After almost 20 years she is starting to put herself in first position more often. Now, she gives herself time to read, work on an ancestry project, or even take a nap after lunch.

      Except for the natural fear we all have at the moment, she is more relaxed and seems content with the new "rules."

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    2. Thank you for your reply. My best to you and your wife.

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  4. I definitely have a private and public side that only in the last five years have I tried to mesh together. From the time I was a little kid and was told I couldn't play with another little girl because I didn't to their church to high school when a guy I went to the junior prom with was badly beaten up by his father for dating outside their church, society was telling me to hid within, that having a good morale compass was not good enough. I was only four of 96 kids in my graduating class who wasn't a blonde, blue-eyed kid of Dutch dissension and it colored my entire life.

    It saddens me to know that Walt Disney wasn't a happy man. He was certainly driven in his artwork and gave the world a wonderful gift.

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    1. He was just overwhelmed by the demands success placed on him. When your name equals the company and all it stands for, there really is no place to escape. But, as you note, he left the world a much better place than he found it. The name Disney brings a smile to everyone's face.

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  5. My personal persona and my private persona have for the majority of my life been two quite different things. Due to my Aspie traits and my later deafness I knew I was quite different from those around me but I desperately tried to become "one of the gang". I have been retired from the corporate world for almost 20 years now, and my personas finally beginning to merge. It is quite satisfying to have that happen. I am no longer afraid to admit that I am and think differently than most. I think that fact is what has brought people to my little blog of eleven years now. I speak my mind, I "have my say" without worrying about any consequences. That is perhaps the most satisfying part of my retirement years.

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    1. Blogging, or any creative outlet, does give someone the freedom to just "be me." One of the reasons I continue to read your blogs over the years is that I know you won't pull any punches. You will state what you believe without worrying about the consequences. I don't always agree, but I wholeheartedly support your right to write it.

      I also know what obstacles you have overcome and find your story and perseverance inspiring.

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  6. I was surprised when a friend thought of me as an “extrovert” who must be missing the busy life I “had” before this pandemic. I am very exuberant when I am with people and I have an enthusiastic nature in general.However, after a day out with people or at a crowded studio day with my art group I am usually exhausted. Being with people does not ENERGIZE me .. it tires me but is fun, in the right doses. I consider myself an enthusiastic introvert. When I am out with people and enjoying my activities, I am vibrant and I mingle. But I require LOTS of at home time to balance out the social days. I NEED whole days for cooking, being on the patio, reading books, and ,listening to music. I like long quiet days in my art studi,wokring on projects. But then I come out of those days and can enjoy a half day with myArt Journaliing group, getting tips on new techniques. My understanding is that extroverts GET energy from being busy and with others and I had one friend who REQUIRED to be socially busy almost every day of her life.. just listening to her wore me out . I like to have social invitations a couple of times a month for Ken and I to attend.. either as a couple of with others if that’s available.. a lot of our friends retired and moved away in the last 10 years so our social circle has shrunk. I am also very content out in nature, on a hiking trail with Ken, no words needed as we drink in the sunrises and sunsets. I have always been pretty protective of my quiet time and on occasion friends take that the wrong way.. since I AM enthusiastic in general, they don’t realize my introverted side just doesn’t want to do quite as many social activities as they do..for instance I really did not want to get involved in the overly busy preparations of an art show my art folks were putting together.I didn’t want to be in the show and I didn’t want all the business of the prep so I declined. Balancing our need for human connection and quiet time alone is certainly something we’re all getting a great lesson in lately!!

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    1. Interesting. With what I know of you I would guess you are an extrovert, someone who thrives on stimulation, whatever the source. You are creative and not afraid to try something new, like watercolor painting. You seem comfortable in both your public interaction and have no difficulty finding things to do when at home. We learn something every day!

      Balancing how and when we interact with others is essential. The virus lockdown is fine for those of us who prefer private time; extroverts, not so much.

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    2. I'm the same way. I love connection with friends and family - briefly. LOL Then I want to go home and have some recharge time.

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  7. Bob, interesting read. I have mostly kept a fairly good balance of my private self and public self being in sync. My mantra throughout my working years was work hard and play hard. Hard work deserves hard play time. I was always go go go. I have taken many a personality test, and they all show me as being a strong extrovert. Being in IT and being an extrovert was a very unusual combination. I quickly determined that writing computer code all day was not my cup of tea. I enjoyed all the people contact that IT support roles offered and ended up not only spending almost my entire career in IT Infrastructure and Support, but also in people leadership roles. When I was laid off first in 2009 and then again in 2017 when I decided to not return to corp America, I had difficulty gaining my footing. I all of a sudden was cast into the world of spending a lot of time alone searching for employment, or in the latter case, developing a new normal for me i retirement. I have always looked at changes in life as being challenging, but have always believed that when God closes a door, He opens a window of opportunity somewhere else. That belief has proven true each and every time for me. Over the past 3 years, I have been able to take a step back from my over-packed work hard, play hard lifestyle, and learn to appreciate alone time more and what slowing down can bring. I was never one to learn new ideas from books/online forums as I learned best while doing. Now, I spend quite a bit of time enriching my knowledge and skills, especially in financial planning and management, by reading and interacting with other people through online blogs. Do I miss all the go go go? You bet I do. My wife and I were on the cusp of starting to live out our travel dreams and re-engaging with old friends when the pandemic hit, and for now, we are staying at home and only calling and texting people. All this social distancing is somewhat tough on us, but I feel I am more prepared for spending time alone with my wife and at times by myself as a result of having retired from my work hard, play hard lifestyle I had when working. So, I guess I can say that the door God closed for me was in preparation for riding out the social distancing needs that we, as a society, have in place today. My inner self main characteristics and beliefs still closely align with my externally facing ones, albeit I have changed some from what I was like 3 years ago due to circumstances either I chose or were chosen for me. We all change with time, but what I present externally is pretty much what you would see internally within me. I do not like conflict but will engage into it if need be. I am truly a person who likes to reach consensus but if consensus conflicts with core values that I hold as facts, then I will likely more agree to disagree and not damage a relationship over strongly held beliefs. Sorry if I rambled some on this topic. I pray you and your family are all safe and remain healthy.

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    1. I was forced into a go-go external lifestyle when fired from a job I had taken in Tucson. Two young children and wife depended upon me. To make a living I had to become Mr. Salesman, Mr. Self-Promoter, and become some who lived the next twenty-some years on the road or working all the time at home. Cores to my business, were dependability and honesty. Those have stayed central to how I live now.

      God's closing that door and opening the window of retirement was key to a better alignment of inner and outer Bob for the past 19 (almost 20) years.

      Yes, we are doing just fine. Thanks for asking.

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  8. I think many people have a misconception of introvert vs. extrovert - thinking it's an either/or, and, if someone is an introvert, they must hermit-like and socially awkward. In fact we (most) all have some of both tendencies. Many times friends have been surprised when I described myself as an introvert, probably because I'm fairly comfortable in groups of people and can actually string words together to make complete sentences. This retired life is perfect for me. I can enjoy a lot of alone time, while also choosing when - and if - to interact with others.

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    1. I believe you are right. I can turn on the social, involved animal when needed.I don't mind it, in fact, at times I enjoy that part of me. But, I couldn't spend all my time in that state. It is nice to be able to switch back and forth as the situation requires.

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  9. I am an introvert, but spent my life lecturing in front of hundreds of students daily, because I loved sharing my passion for subject matter that was new information for them. I think it is a misconception that introverts don't like interacting. We do, but we are more comfortable at home, or in a more solitary environment.

    I have always felt like a visitor to this world. I can function and interact with all, but feel as if I don't fully belong. I spend a lot of time observing the behavior of others and feeling like I cannot completely relate to their actions or perspectives. It seems foreign to me, and yet I love and participate in the lives of those who are important to me.

    Rick in Oregon

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    1. Much of your description fits me. Interacting in limited amounts is fine. But, a day full of it would overwhelm me. I wouldn't go as far as to describe myself as a visitor to this world. But, what some people do and think amaze me.

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  10. Thanks for a great post about Walt Disney, I learnt so much from it, and will have to get the book now. Interesting reading the comments too, and I am both introvert and at times extrovert. I am basically a shy person, would hate to be a salesperson and I did try once but just couldn't handle it and as for public speaking I would break into a sweat and totally lose my thoughts. I love being with my friends but find I need to limit the time spent with them. I am very happy now I am retired and can do just what I want and when I want. It does seem selfish but I find a lot of people are only interested in themselves and what they are doing and never ask about me and I don't tell people all my problems, but I do listen to theirs. I am not sure what a psychologist would think of me but I really don't think it would change me much even if I saw one. We are certainly all different and that is good and everyone deserves to be happy whatever their personality as long as they don't hurt others. Be kind and stay safe everyone.

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    1. If the way you live and interact with others leaves you happy, then you have found the right mix. Walt Disney started on a path in a way that certainly made him happy and stimulated. The pressure of success, however, and living up to an image was when he got into trouble.

      Eventually, he pretty much walked away from the movie and animation side of things and focused all his time and love on Disneyland and the idea of EPCOT, which opened several years after his death.

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  11. Yeah, I've heard that Walt Disney was not quite the wonderful, happy-go-lucky person we were led to believe. Yet, I don't think it's a necessarily problem to show different parts of ourselves in different situations. After all, we act differently when we're with our spouse, our kids, our poker buddies, our work colleagues. But I do agree with a recurrent theme in your blog, that one of the great things about retirement is that it gives us the opportunity -- if we've never had it before -- to become our true selves, the very unique people we were meant to be.

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    1. Walt Disney left a mark on the world that will last forever. Even though he spent his last several years in some turmoil, overall I would imagine he would rate his life as quite a success. Who could ask for much more.

      Be true to oneself is a famous quote and very true. That is the path to satisfaction and joy.

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  12. I have never been able to decide if I am an introvert or an extrovert. Maybe depends on the situation.

    I taught elementary school, so was around kids all day. Saw adults now and then throughout the day. I loved it!
    I was a Camp Fire leader, church school teacher and busy all the time. Summers were for family time, and with 4 kids was again busy.

    We retired and I really thought I would volunteer. Animal shelter, never happened (got a bad dog bite last summer and now would not be around dogs I don't know). Maybe at a school, nope not even interested.

    Turns out I am probably more of an introvert, and really prefer being home with my husband and son (he came back home to go back to college) and a few close friends.

    My home and public personality were pretty similar (other than I probably grump more at home). That was never really much of a conflict.

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    1. Maybe your introvert character developed after you retired. You describe a satisfying life before retirement when you needed to be outgoing. Now, with different priorities and extra time and freedom things have shifted so another part of you is coming forward. Being an extrovert and then changing to more of an introvert is probably quite common.

      The key is you know what you don't want to do (dogs who bite!) and what makes you happy.

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  13. That could be true. I was pretty much an introvert in HS and college, so may be I have returned to my "roots"
    You are right about knowing what I want to do (like no dogs who bite, or even dog's I don't know. Which is quite a change from a massive dog lover before the bite) and what I do not want to do makes me happy.

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  14. I understand that the "Free Trait Theory" is a fairly new theory in the field of psychology, and it may relate to some of what is mentioned above, both in your post, Bob, and in some of the comments. People can, quite successfully, act out of their normal personality and character traits for work that is important, people they love or something they value highly. For example, even though I'm an introvert, I regularly presented highly rated training seminars in the banking field because that responsibility fell under my job description and because I truly believed in the value of those training programs. That was not the real me. The real me was holed up in my hotel room at the end of the day with a good book and take-out. Another example might be an introvert who accompanies a spouse to a class reunion, and is remembered as the life of the party. (My fellow introverts will understand the price paid in both of these examples.) On the flip side, another example of the Free Trait Theory would be the extroverted husband or wife who spends a week in a secluded mountain cabin because that vacation has always been on his or her spouse's bucket list. The theory underscores our willingness to step outside our comfort zone for the greater good - however each of us defines it. Without outside influences (which are considerably lessened in retirement), I believe each of us would revert to our true personalities and act accordingly.

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    1. When we act out of character: The Free Trait Theory. Fascinating, Mary. I have never heard this term before but did a quick Google search after reading your comment, and there it is.

      That explains a lot of why and how we act in different situations. Being an introvert in this situation and an extrovert in another is perfectly natural and doesn't mean we are putting on a false front. Rather, we have the natural ability to "be" what is appropriate for a particular situation in which we perceive a personal benefit.

      The Free Trait Theory makes everything much clearer. A big thank you, Mary, for letting us know about this.

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  15. As you and others have mentioned, I was in a job where extroversion was key to success. Sales & marketing take their toll over time, though. I love being around people, but at the end of a work day, I just wanted to be alone and in silence. Now that I'm retired, I find being around people to be energizing to an extent, but I also really like having fewer social obligations. That said, I'm REALLY missing seeing people now that we're all locked down. I did a group Zoom gathering this morning and it was really uplifting.

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    1. I can relate to being with other people, even if I am not interacting with them. A movie, dinner in a crowded restaurant, even a baseball game or concert sound so refreshing right about now.

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  16. I met Walt Disney in 1966, when he was Grand Marshall of the Pasadena Rose Parade. My dad was the Officer in Charge for several years on New Year's Day at the Naval Reserve Center in Pasadena, CA, where Grand Marshalls and other celebrities got off at the end of the Rose Parade (first stop: the bathrooms!). I remember Walt Disney being very reserved, and my dad said didn't want to meet *anyone* that day, but our dad managed to get us in for a few minutes. I have no recollection of what he said to me - just remember him sitting in a chair and walking up to him (I was 11 years old) and we spoke for a very short time.

    I'm an introvert, but grew up in a family of extroverts - I don't think they every knew what to do with me or why I didn't "fit" with the rest of the family. High school was also a struggle (outside of classes) because of the demands to be sociable and outgoing. The only person that I felt understood me was my grandmother, also an introvert. She got my need to be on my own for long periods of time, and made no demands on me to be or get involved in things or even with her. We were happy to read or watch TV together. I did join things at school from time to time but was generally miserable. I've since taken the Myers-Briggs test several times and am always an INTJ, with the introvert score always extremely high.

    Funny though, I ended up becoming a teacher, and had no problems getting up in front of classes of adults or college students to teach English - I loved the subject, knew it well, and could relate to my students' fear of being "strangers in a strange land." I had fun teaching and established warm relationships with many of my students. With my teaching peers though - not so much. The dynamic was so different and I've often thought about why and still don't have an answer except that as a teacher the boundaries were very clear. I never had to "prove" myself. Blogging has been a another great way for me to meet people, either in real life or through correspondence and comments. My blogs have let me "be me" in an unforced and easy way, and expose myself on my own terms. I have been very fortunate to have only had to deal with one negative commenter over the years (either that or I have an unbelievable filter!), and I have been blessed to form deep long-term friendships with readers I have met in real life. It seems to be a great solution for someone like me who hates parties or other social functions, and would prefer to stay home on my sofa with my family or a good book. Blog readers develop expectations though , but feedback from various readers helps me deal with those, and there's no pressure to go further than I'm comfortable with.

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    1. You were able to post a comment! Maybe Kaua's has a special Internet connection to Phoenix.

      Meeting Walt Disney, even in the quick way you did, is special. If I could go back in time he is one of the people I would most like to spend some time with. His creativity and energy in his earlier days would have been fascinating to experience.

      I wonder if you felt any changes in your personality and introvert, extrovert ways after all the travel you and Brett have done for past year or two. Being in different cultures, having to communicate with people and live in ways that aren't inherently familiar must cause at least some adjustments.

      Yes, that one hateful woman you have had occasion to deal with on the blog is an outlier, and luckily people like her are few and far between on our respective blogs.

      As you settle into your new life back on Kaua'i I hope you find island life is pleasing. Amazingly, after a year of struggles my radio station is still on the air. It was starting to find its footing until the virus upended commerce and advertising. Fingers crossed!

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    2. A correction: I was 13, not 11 when I met Walt Disney.

      It was pleasant meeting and chatting with people from all over while we traveled, and easy too, again because expectations were different. I am coming to see that what and how others expect me to be plays a large role in how I adjust to social situations. I will always be an introvert, but am more successful and happier in situations where a certain role, attitude, etc. is not required nor an expectation.

      Using Chrome for my OS versus Safari seems to be the fix for commenting on Blogger.

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  17. Bob, during my career, I always maintained a gap between my public role and my private self that at times was uncomfortable but that also felt necessary. For example, my work required me to be a role model for young people, but my private self was a scruffy dresser and sometimes swore. As another example, when I was an administrator, I had to publicly support the directions decided by the team, even though my private points of view were not always in alignment. Writing my blog under an alias rather than under my real name was one way that I protected a space to speak my mind. Since I have retired, I have been gradually starting to bring the disparate selves together. It is a relief to no longer have to be constrained by the social expectations put upon someone in a leadership role, although I have noticed that the “leader” within emerges when needed, e.g., when called upon in volunteer activities. The downside is that the groups and volunteer organizations I am part of are eager to make use of my skill set, when I’d rather spend less time leading and organizing, and more time writing, painting, walking, gardening, etc.

    Jude

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