Spectator Expectations

An excerpt from the fictional tales of The Diary of an Introvert..

I don’t usually enjoy direct participation. I don’t mind watching, I like passively observing the ongoings of life on Earth. But I’ve always tried to avoid getting too involved — my goal is to simply seek a more comfortable seat from which to view. I don’t like when life provides me with “busy work” or “challenges”. It’s like being in class trying not to be noticed and suddenly the teacher calls my name, “Rich, can you give us the answer?” Ugh, really?

To me, life is like being thrown into the middle of some unknown game, and a ball keeps flying at my head. I don’t understand the rules and I don’t seem very good at it, plus the other players keep fighting and yelling a lot. So I keep creeping farther and farther away, inching toward the sidelines until I can get far enough that the ball hits me less and less. Eventually I’d like to just hide behind the bleachers, peeking through.

The nice part about being a spectator is that I can see the entirety of the game more so than someone constantly pelted in the face. I don’t really get better at playing, but at least I understand more facets and nuances. It’s like being a mega-sports-fan who understands the game’s intricacies better than actual players, yet will always lack the stature, dexterity, and endurance required to excel in the sport.

And make no mistake, the more insulated I’ve kept myself, the more enjoyable life became. I participate as needed, and I do maintain a couple of important relationships. Despite what my mother long insisted, there was no shell I needed to break free from. It’s like a 275 pound, nearly 7 foot guy telling you how easy football is — some people were built for sweating and others for sitting.

I like the shallow-end of the pool, I like low-speed locomotion, I like slow meandering rides, I like being an audience member, I like sitting quietly, I like following rules and guidelines and reading instructions, I like logical assessments and carefully considered responses. But my qualities and abilities tend not to match the pace of my surroundings. And so I retreat to the stands, watching the games go by.

And I do not lament this state of affairs, dear diary — no not one bit. One cannot learn to swim while feeling the sensation of drowning. During my school years, class-time was wasted on me, as I always preferred learning in quiet solitude, studying at my own pace — and it was in this way I excelled. And so in life, it has been through semi-reclusion that I found peace, relieved of the stressors and strains of society’s churn.

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