In my Seminary class a few days ago, the word ‘introspection’ was presented to our class for the purpose of illustrating a point. It was a perfectly fine point and I was compelled to think about it for a while before I decided that it was like almost any other good thing you can think of: too much of it can be considered bad. Fortunately, my brain filter works just fine in situations like these and I didn’t say anything to my teacher about it. It drives me out of my mind when a teacher tries to use an imperfect example to make a point and then those know-it-all kids (I’m not saying that I’m not one of them sometimes) take everything too technically and then ruin it. When one of my teachers is trying to make a point, I just let them go with it. There lives are probably already hard enough without me trying to rip their lesson-plan out from under them. Plus, once you get to my age, you’d think we’d all be mature enough to understand what the heck is going on.

Anyway, my train of thought led me to my second word, ‘retrospection’. Just in anyone who happens to stumble upon this corner of the internet doesn’t know what those words mean, (LOOK THEM UP IN A DICTIONARY) introspection means being aware of the things that are going on inside. Emotions, thoughts, and whatnot. Retrospection is just sort of being nostalgic; looking back and being aware of the past. Having introspection/retrospection is important to humans. It’s how we are able to learn and make decisions. If you don’t have them, your life is going to be hard.

However, as with many good things, humans manage to mess these up. Too much introspection and we lose our ability to be aware of what is going on around us with other people. Too much retrospection and we lose the desire to plan for the future and not planning is usually disastrous unless you’re a leprechaun or something Irish. I am guilty of both.

My introspection is fantastic. I think I’m probably even more emotionally well-adjusted than the children of psychiatrists. I can control my mood well (though sometimes I’m too lazy) and when other people are freaking out about tests and quizzes and assignments, I’ve already moved on. Unfortunately, this emotional awareness makes it really hard for me to concentrate on things. I have so many things to be aware of and think about that I lose focus in class and miss a point (usually in classes that I’m not very interested in such as math). This doesn’t always happen because I actually find most of my classes pretty interesting and I can occupy my thoughts with things I should be thinking about, but in classes that require my attention to understand, but aren’t particularly interesting to me, I struggle to keep on task because I can spend the time thinking about other things.

My issue with math has always been that I am not very interested in math and thus I don’t pay attention. I don’t really understand math and I can’t pay attention, but I’m not sure that I can’t pay attention because I don’t understand or that I can’t understand because I don’t pay attention.

This also hinders my social skills. I know you are all surprised because it seems that I have such DEVELOPED social skills… not. It’s not that I can’t understand what is going on with people because I think I can, for the most part. It’s just that I can’t interact with people. I understand how people interact and I understand their motivations, but I fail to interact well with others because there is no time to sit back and analyse the situation. I’m not good at reacting to things (sort of like when you think of a really fantastic comeback to something someone said ten hours after they said it only more dramatic).

I’m sure people have been in a situation where you don’t know how to react to things and one of two things happen; you either freeze and look like a moron or you just start saying or doing stuff and you look like a moron. In elementary school I did a lot of freezing and then after that I decided that I wasn’t going to freeze any more (I don’t enjoy the cold… ha… ha… ha). Pretty much all my in-person interactions are just me saying and doing stuff. I’m not bad at it, but I would rather interact from afar. By afar I mean textually or by some other means that will give me enough to to figure out how to react appropriately.

I guarantee that if you interact with me on the internet where I’m just typing stuff, it’s going to be completely different from interacting with me in person. If you told me to explain this whole introspection-retrospection thing to you in person, I promise that it wouldn’t sound even remotely like I have a brain. That’s why these blog-posts are always so freaking long. I have time to sit here and think out every possible thing I could say about this topic and then I write it down.

Retrospection or nostalgia is a topic that I’ve probably talked about before. Retrospect helps us not to make the stupid decisions that we’ve already made. This can be good. This can also be bad. For example, if you say or do something stupid and then spend the next three days beating yourself up about it, you’re probably not going to be looking to the future more than desperately promising yourself that you’re never going to be so stupid ever again.

I do and say many stupid things. If you need proof, go read some of the earlier posts on this blog. If I weren’t so lazy, I’d go delete them.

Well, this has been fun…  Just be glad that I don’t write about it every time I disagree with one of my teachers or another adult that is supposed to be smarter than me.

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