A blogging introvert – is that an oxymoron?

So, I am an introvert. This must be understood or nothing that follows will make sense. 🤔😉. I know I’m an introvert because unreliable, potentially invalid online testing told me so. 🤯 Actually, it’s not a surprise. My entire childhood was spent with my nose in a book and my body in the NY Public Library. I may be the only kid I know who had a fake library card. Several library books had been lost in a fire in our apartment and, rather than explain the circumstances to a librarian, I got a library card using my grandmother’s last name.

Now if you’ve met me you might think I’m extroverted because I can be quite opinionated and rarely have a problem expressing it. However, I am only comfortable doing so in a familiar environment. For example, at school (once I became comfortable), with friends and at events like Readers Studio. The shared element here is that I already have a built in support network of friends and co-conspirators who know and love, or at least tolerate, me. I tend not to do well among strangers or in unfamiliar environments. So, after completing several online versions of the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory and being assessed as INFP by all of these different “tests”, I suppose that makes it official – I’m definitely introverted.

I am also a very private person. I tend not to like my personal business being shared hither and yon. Social media interactions often send me running while screaming “Ah, people!!!!” – like Gossamer, the hairy orange monster from Bugs Bunny. However, I obviously maintain a blog in which I share some very personal information with complete strangers. What the f*ck is wrong with me?!! Well, as it turns out, lots of things but not because of blogging. 😜 So, to further explores this matter I did what I often do – a Tarot reading.

I used the Lo Scarabeo Secret Tarot deck and asked:

  • What are the benefits of blogging for me?
  • What are the challenges?
  • What should I focus on with my blog?

I drew The Hanged Man Rx, The Sun Rx, and the 6 of Wands Rx. I know, look at all those reversals!

So my immediate response to these reversals is that this is truly all about me; about my internal processes and how I work through my own swampland of the soul. I don’t blog for others, I do it as a form of journaling; a way to explore the labyrinth within me. It helps me see things from a different perspective and in an objective manner. It also works for me because it doesn’t put me in the spotlight. I’ve never been comfortable being the center of attention or standing out in a crowd, unless it’s a familiar crowd. I do love if someone has gotten something useful from my meandering and tangents and let’s me know but I certainly would be uncomfortable being called out for it in public. Private”atta broads” work just fine for me.

I think I need to focus on the fact that this blog is a record of my struggles, victories and losses. I’m not trying to portray myself as a superhero, far from it. Sometimes I’m a little cuckoo and need to rant. Other times I’m thoughtful and pondering. Other times I’m outrage and frustrated. What ties all this together is that regardless if mindset, I find my Tarot deck a useful tool to help me process it all. And, if any of my processes help anyone else going through similar experiences then I’ll count that as a triumph!

#MessageoftheDay – The Hermit, The Devil Rx + 5 of Swords (Haunted Mansion Tarot)

“You feel like a voice crying in the wilderness. You’ve discovered the truth and it freed you from the chains that shackled you to the illusions promised by those in power. Now you must be willing to defend that truth; cling to it despite the insistence of others that you are wrong or mistaken.”

#ChattingwithTarot – Empress Rx, 2 of Swords Rx + 4 of Cups Rx (#WizardsTarot)

Over my afternoon cuppa @HarneyTea’s wondrous Viennese Earl Grey blend, I had my chat with the Divine (today it felt rather like Grandma Burke, my paternal grandmother, decided to pay a call). Her message to me:

What I heard, “Enough already! I get it, you’re feeling frustrated and stifled because life right now requires you to focus on being nurturing and somewhat maternal – not your favorite thing. You think your creative juices are drying up from lack of use. I call bullshit! You aren’t looking at things clearly. Open up you damn eyes and see what’s really going on. See how you can change things so your creative energies find expression. Stop waiting for things to change and make it happen! Stop letting self-pity hold you down. You already know the answer so trust your instincts.”

#TarotDaily – Page of Wands + 5 of Pentacles (#TrickorTreat)

How are you holding back? What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of starting over; of being the student again, the beginner. At the same time I do have faith and confidence in my ability to succeed at whatever I focus my energies towards achieving. I think there is still a part of me that resists drawing attention to myself; that wants to avoid standing out from the crowd. Call it the lingering effects of high school mocking and teasing.

My inability to seek support and assistance further complicates matters. I’m definitely in the “rugged individualist” camp. I know it’s short-sighted and makes things more difficult than they need to be but it’s a mold I find almost impossible to break. I come from a long line of self-sufficient, fiercely independent women. We can bear a helluva lot without asking for help. In this respect I’m my own worst enemy. So, the only thing holding me back is me and my own self-doubt and stubbornness.

#TarotDaily – The Star Rx + 8 of Cups Rx (#AllHallows)

What is waiting within you to be realized? What is your next step?

So! I got the High Priestess again. Clearly she has a message that I’m either ignoring or not understanding. Looking at the image on that card I’m struck by the sense of hidden knowledge; wisdom being contained until I’m capable of understanding and embracing it. It’s as if the High Priestess and her Crow are speaking to me but I don’t recognize their language.

The Star Rx is pointing out that I need to look inward. In order to learn the High Priestess’ language I need to understand myself. The truth is she isn’t blocking me from finally learning what she hides; she’s protecting me from more pain. Although I present myself as though the pain and trauma of my past doesn’t hurt anymore, I’m lying to myself. If I want to heal and move forward then I need to truly release that pain and not just ignore it.

My next step is to stop trying to walk away from my emotions. I can’t run fast or far enough to escape it. I need to face it head on; stop treating my sometimes brutal past as a punchline. The reality is that I did survive but there are scars – physical, emotional and psychological. They may not be visible anymore but their energy lingers.

#TarotDaily – Hermit Rx + 3 of Wands (Toscano)

TarotHunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • You’ve gone as far as you can on your own. Finding partners to help find creative ways to utilize what you’ve learned might be the next best step.
  • A candle burning in isolation offers light to no one. Let your light shine by finding creative outlets to express yourself.
  • Okay, you’ve howled in the wilderness; explored the darkness alone; stumbled along in your quest for self-knowledge and inner truth. How about sharing with the class? Bare your soul and let others learn from and build upon your experience.

#TarotDaily – 9 of Coins + The Empress (Grand Luxe)

Tarot Hunter’s Silver Bullets:

  • Wealth and possessions may not cure life’s ills, but it can sure make you feel more secure & protected.
  • Be cautious of letting your possessions, wealth & status isolate you from the world around you. Sometimes a palace can be a prison too.
  • Open yourself up to other worlds, experiences, and viewpoints. Let yourself be more vulnerable and less protected by your things. At the end of the day, possessions provide cold comfort.

#TarotDaily – 9 of Wands Rx + The Hermit Rx (Hudes)

TarotHunter’s Salt Rounds:

  • You don’t need to take on this challenge alone.  Allow yourself to find help and support from others who care.
  • Your defenses may be well-developed and serve a purpose but they also isolate you.  Be open to alternative paths and methods
  • The image of the rugged individualist is often self-defeating and illusory.  SEeking help when needed does not imply weakness.  In fact, being able to ask for assistance may show a strength of character and willingness to be vulnerable and exposed that the “rugged individualist” fears.

The shadow side of The Hermit’s Journey – madness at the fringes of the mind

Greenwood Hermit

 

For some reason today I’ve found myself pondering the energy of The Hermit. I can certainly see the challenge of forging ahead and searching through the unknown to find a path. However recently I’ve begun to see a shadow aspect of The Hermit – the madness of solitude. I’ve come to realize that solitude can provide one with an opportunity for deep insight and self-discovery, or it can push you past the breaking point. It can produce a situation where madness licks at the edges of your mind because the solitude has become unbearable. There have been times recently where that kind of madness has brushed against my mind.

Secret Forest Hermit

It has made me appreciate the sense of isolation and aloneness felt by caregivers of various stripes from stay-at-home parents to those caring for ailing family members. When the circumstances are such that socializing or time alone are just not in the cards, that’s when the wings of madness flutter close. Social networking can help relieve some of this sense of isolation and aloneness but it really is not substitute for human interaction.

Thoth Hermit

Of course I speak from personal experience. My life over the past few years has been a long example of the madness of isolation. In caring for my in-laws, a situation has been created in which I am usually alone with no adult interaction (as much as I may love my in-laws they are not capable of adult conversation at this point). I rely on phone calls and instant messaging to keep in touch with friends but sometimes it’s just not enough. Even when I’m talking or texting with friends I’m still in the same crazy-making environment.

Wildwood Hermit

Perhaps madness caused by isolation is also initiates creativity. I have certainly had moments when I become very creative trying to find ways to alleviate the solitude. History is littered with tales of creative geniuses who isolated themselves in pursuit of their goals. There can clearly be times when isolation and solitude produce a positive result but when it is the result of external forces I have a feeling that is when madness comes to call. The relentless, oppressiveness of forced isolation can push us over the edge. We might indeed be exploring uncharted territory and forging a new path but eventually all our efforts at distracting ourselves and alleviating the aloneness fail and we’re left lost in the woods with no recourse. Howling at the moon may be fun with a pack but when you’re alone in those woods you can feel a prickle of fear as worries of impending madness assail you.