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Introspection: Aries versus Aries

March 27, 2009

Aries Indenbaum ’09

Note: Following entry is utterly unhelpful regarding attending Oberlin. Sorry.

A friend of mine was looking at one of my stories the other day and noticed something, "Your characters don't think very much, do they?"

"What do you mean?" I replied. "They aren't stupid." She's read a lot of my pieces, so her opinion matters to me. We were in the library, in the Commons. I had just started drinking my ever-constant cup of soy milk.

"No, not stupid. Just not introspective."

"But why would I want them to be introspective?" I asked. I sipped at my milk.

She paused. "Aries, most people are introspective. Most people here at least."

"But I'm not."

"Really?" she seemed surprised. Her eyebrows did a cute wiggly-thing.

"No, I plan things. But I don't really think... about stuff." I paused. "Actually that's weird. I don't. I mean, I do think. Like this milk, it could be better. They should replace Silk with Edensoy cause it's a zillion times better."

"Introspection isn't thinking about milk. It's thinking about yourself."

"But I'm pretty boring on the inside." Even saying it, I felt disinterested. I looked around. The boy next to me was reading BBC News. He looked pretty unhappy. The girl at the other section of the desk was working on a Powerpoint presentation on the Black River Watershed.

"Really? Don't you have a blog? Don't you have things to say about yourself?"

"Bloggers don't have to be introspective," I protested.

"Blogging implies introspection. It's self-reflection," she clarified.

"I am not self-reflective. Reflection clutters narrative."

She put her hands up, "It's not a bad thing. You just... might want to think about stuff. Sometimes. You don't have to, but it's good. Sometimes."

There was no more milk. Dammit, I thought.

"I have to go to class," she said. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah," I said. We hugged and she left for class.


How many happy introverts are there? Why would I want to be introverted? What could I gain? Aren't most writers introspective so they can mine the human spirit? Do I have to care about the human spirit? Do humans have a spirit? Maybe I can come up with a motto. That's just like self-reflection, yes? Is it useful to include introspection in a narrative? In a blog? Do you care about what I think (do I?) or just about what I do? Is 'show, not tell' a good rule to apply to life? Can I be introspective without being crippled with self-doubt?

Are you an introvert? Are you happy?

Can't I just have a daily motto? That's like introspection. It's a game plan. I like game plans.

Responses to this Entry

What seems to me as contrdictory is that this blog post itself seems introspective. In other words, you're introspecting about why you're not introspecive. That's weird.

Oh, and also, I think being introverted and introspective are two different things. An introvert means "a quiet, shy person who finds it difficult to talk to people," according to a dictionary. Being an introvert isn't a prerequisite for being introspective, and extroverts can be introspective too.

Posted by: Anonymous on March 28, 2009 10:20 AM

Pretty much unrelated but--
Silk is way better than EdenSoy. Hands down.

Posted by: Anonymous on March 31, 2009 10:02 AM

Yup, Silk is definitely better than Edensoy. As a former co-op food buyer, I can authoritatively say that Silk is the preferred brand (especially the chocolate flavor). But there are a few Edensoy holdouts, among those who like their soymilk to be all grainy and not-delicious.

Posted by: Elizabeth on April 1, 2009 4:04 PM

Dear 1-

Yep. I'm introspecting about introspecting. The question of "Why don't I self-reflect?" is a self-reflective answer.

You're right- introspection and introversion are two different monsters. I certainly know I'm not introverted... but introspection seems like a valid skill, one I don't really use. I think, but I don't analyze myself, or my own choices. I want to be able to do that, but I don't want to fall down the slippery slope of self-doubt and over-analysis.

Posted by: Aries on April 2, 2009 10:28 AM

Dear Elizabeth + 2,
Silk unflavored is okay, I'll admit, but Silk Vanilla is chalky and very-homogenized. Edensoy is always a delight. If by "grainy," you mean " more complex in tone and flavor," than yes! It's the next stage of milk, the ultimate evolution!

Posted by: Aries on April 2, 2009 10:30 AM

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