I seem to live my life from the outside in. Is that weird for an introvert to say? There are so many aspect of what I do that go the other way: my work and ideas and beliefs seem to come from an inner source. But living works differently. Being in the world is something I find myself doing– Heidegger would say, I’m thrown into it.
When it comes to what I want to do in the world, I begin at the furthest point: the distant future, the world as a whole, science and necessity. Here I apply my values and my ideas and my work, to come closer in. I want to help build an biocentric future, so I read and develop skills. But when it comes to applying those skills, I work on what’s at hand. I organize everything my time around doing things– digging into technical issues and finding problems that need solving. In that, I work with people, constantly. I don’t choose those people, but I do love them. They’re the people at hand. I organize projects with them, and get inspired by them, and attend endless meetings for them.
All of which, as an introvert, can seem like a huge waste of time. I find my time hemmed in by meetings, sapped by emails, dispersed to coordination.
I was chatting with a friend– let’s call her Polecat– about people who do everything with other people. I didn’t realize she was talking partly about me. It’s another way of living one’s live from the outside in: as a character said in Waking Life, “The advantage to meeting others in the meantime is that one of them may present you to yourself.”