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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.

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