The introvert stuck inside of me hides, quietly dormant among the late night conversations, the coffee house rendezvous, and the obligated social situations of a forced geniality that I find hauntingly poised, as though I am two people leaching off of one still, yet seemingly unaffected host body. Although, among this lingering sentiment, I also find the extrovert I could have been if only my intimate reservations would allow me to speak the way I mistakenly portray the world around me. This is suddenly realized when I hear that still quiet voice in the back of my chest, pulling at my heart strings, aching for me to talk to those around me and relate to them in a way I do not wish to. I chuckle to myself when reading Paul’s words, “For I do not do the good that I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep doing” (Rom. 7:19). This is undoubtedly humanity explained to ourselves; unabridged, internal genuineness.
My Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde are further scrutinized when I’m among close friends, as I seem to burst with vigor and dialogue at times, while at others I find myself quietly convened among these closest of allies sipping on coffee or wine (and longing for the latest book to have crossed my path). This is a mood brought on, not by boredom, but by the common heart of recognition in one another’s good company and the familiarity that it brings. There is an imbalanced spirit at work in my life that neither ebbs nor flows, moves nor stays. I long for the courage to speak when the time is right and for the foresight to bring along an easily tucked away paperback.
This tension cripples me even more, in the form of entertainment, as I distract myself from the life I could be living if I had only cared enough to be a part of it. Do I have a story to tell that others will one day look back at with fond memories or will I be remembered for my complete and utter dullness? Will I be known as the man that could have been or the soothing, convivial being (with, what Michael Yaconelli called, Dangerous Wonder) who lived fully, despite a lopsided inner self. I long to live with a rampant playfulness, unafraid of outcomes, so focused on living—really living—that both of my inner selves can thrive, gently gregarious, in perfect unison with one another, to ebb and flow to the beat that God desires for the world to see.