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March 2016

The (Literal) Pain of Being an Introvert

Obligatory disclaimer: I enjoy being an introvert. I am not lonely, I am not a victim of circumstance, nor malcontent with my social life.

When I am not spending my time nerding out, writing, surfing the internet or binging NetFlix, I work as an analyst. It’s one of those things popularly referred to as a ‘day job.’

Overall working as an analyst is a good fit for me. I get to dig into details, solution, improve and innovate on a regular basis – checking a lot of boxes on the things-I-need-to-enjoy-my-job list. There are times, however, where collaboration is an all day activity. These sessions are immensely productive and results driven, which means my satisfaction level with them is high.

However.

Of course there is an however.

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The more I experience day-long collaborative events, the more I realize how painful it can be to be an introvert. For no other reason other than being totally and completely drained by constant discussion and proximity to other people. Keep in mind; I am engaged in these sessions, talk frequently, problem solve, plan, etc. etc. – these are all things I enjoy doing. And yet, as the hours drag on, I am in physical pain.

We’re talking neck/shoulder strain, headaches, body stiffness, fatigue and even the occasional nausea.

How do I know this is the product of being an introvert?

I spent 10 minutes afterwards in a room all by myself and felt almost entirely better, or more ‘myself’. There is a lot of conventional wisdom that acknowledges the need for introverts to recharge, but I’m not sure extroverts fully understand what that means. It means recovering from some level of discomfort, and if we don’t get it… well, ‘cranky’ might be an understated descriptor of what may occur.

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AAAAHHHH PEOPLE!

As an introvert, all this physical discomfort seems like a signal from my brain telling me to GTFO of wherever I am and sit quietly alone with my own thoughts. And I can tell you from my hangry episodes alone, my brain can be VERY insistent. It turns out that there is some science behind this – and it makes sense. The way our brains react to the chemicals produced during times of high interaction with others is absolutely bound to have a physical effect on us introverts.

But like many things happening in our brains, it can be nearly impossible to communicate these concepts in ways others – who don’t experience the same – will understand. It’d be like someone trying to explain their bipolar disorder to me. Or even a need to be around people all the time. It genuinely baffles me and while I understand on an intellectual level, I’m not sure I’ll ever ‘get it’.

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So I don’t blame people for not understanding the introversion that is a huge part of my life. I have a very supportive group of friends and coworkers who don’t make concessions, but accept me for who I am, and that’s pretty cool.

I do appreciate the effort others go to in order to understand weirdos like me – which is the whole reason I’m crafting this article. I’m fortunate in that I don’t often have day-long collaborative obligations where I work, but I used to work front-line customer service. And oh boy, was that not the job for me.

It started at a small bar and sandwich shop. That was okay and manageable. I knew most people, they knew me, and I got what they needed quickly and efficiently.

Then I moved onto a national chain sandwich shop, which will not be named. This job involved high-volume interactions with different people every day. Different, demanding and unforgiving people. It was genuinely terrible for me, and I spent every day working there depressed and hopeless.

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(I took a lot of naps during my time working at the sandwich chain that shall not be named)

From there, I ‘upgraded’ to a call center job where I only had to talk to strangers over the phone instead of face-to-face. This was helpful at first, but as the volume picked up and spending a solid 8 hours of doing nothing but talking to other people turned into a painful and stress-filled experience. Seriously; just the memory of it can make me break into a cold sweat.

And it’s not because I hated my job, or the company, or the customers. It was simply an over-exposure to interaction with others and very little time to myself during my work day. And ‘to myself’ doesn’t mean goofing off with non-work related activities. It just meant my entire job was to interact with other people and let me tell you… this is not the best fit for any introvert. I was good at my job, like I’m good at my job now… but it was slowly killing me inside. 🙂

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Aah, not another soul in sight. Perfect!

Shout-out to all my introvert hommies: if you’re in a depressed, discontent place in your life and you work at a job that requires constant interaction with other people, that’s probably the reason. Figure out how you can work without all the… you know… people stuff. Again, this advice does not come from a place of disliking others on an arbitrary level. Introverts just have needs that, when not met, genuinely impact the quality of our lives. Admitting it is the first step to recovery!

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Introverts – or at least this one – can be in physical pain if we don’t get our alone time. Please keep this in mind when interacting with your friendly neighborhood introvert. Spend time with us, just not TOO much time. We will love you forever for it!


Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novels Children of the Fallen and Unforgettable as well as science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

 

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Hannibal, Where Have You Been My Whole Life?

Let me begin by saying this; I have a bad habit of holding out on books and shows that I have some arbitrary sense that I wouldn’t enjoy. I didn’t get into Harry Potter until I randomly read the 5th book, then went back and devoured them from beginning to end. I avoided watching Battlestar Galactica when it was on the air because ‘I was already a Star Wars fan’ – as if you can’t enjoy more than one space opera in your life. I thought LOST was silly and nonsensical until I caught an episode during my second shift job in college and was left with my mouth gaping open in ‘WTF?!’ – you know, in a good way. So you’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now.

But, in usual fashion, I held out on the show Hannibal. I had a lot of reasons. For instance, who wants to watch a show about cannibals?

Well, you do, if you enjoy amazing visuals, unending plot twists and genuinely decadent dialog with an interweaving story that is always referencing itself.

Recently, for whatever reason, I randomly agreed to watch this show with a friend. It is one of her favorite shows and I thought I was doing her a favor by agreeing to survive the 3 season run. As of last night, I have already begun re-watch #1. Allow me to explain why.

Hannibal

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You have to start with this guy, even though the show does not. Hannibal is introduced as a psychiatrist who is asked to help the FBI. Played by Mads Mikkelsen, Hannibal is proper, polite, cultured and extremely intelligent. I have now watched all of the Hannibal movies, excluding Red Dragon (you’re on the list, don’t worry), and I have to say, Mads is my favorite. Unlike Hopkins, Mikkelsen is a quieter, less boasting Hannibal. He is still living his life, unburdened by imprisonment and constantly curious about what will happen next as he’s pulled into the trusting arms of the FBI, and Will Graham – an FBI special agent that immediately snatches the attention of our favorite cannibal.

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The Hannibal character is introduced in such a way that while you know – by pop culture references alone – that he is bad news, yet he is still somehow charming, witty and intelligent. I often found myself second guessing where the show was going, or where it intended to go because they did not set up Hannibal to be a villain from the onset. Well, they did, but they didn’t.

That is why this show is so amazing.

The Premise

The TV show is, from what I understand, a kind of reboot of Thomas Harris novels – where producer Bryan Fuller took the concept and themes and re-imagines them with stunning artfulness. Many of the mostly male cast from the book are transformed into female characters in the show – something I rather enjoyed from the Battlestar reboot, as well. New character dynamics form based on the change, and the intricate relationships, motivations, intentions and plans that evolve from those dynamics are, and I realize I may be using this word a bit much, stunning.

The initial premise is this: Will Graham is pulled back into the field by Jack Crawford – despite the protests of therapist Alana Bloom, who is intrigued by Will, but can see how his empathy makes him susceptible to outside influences. Putting him in touch with serial killers is, she believes, a bad idea.

So Jack ignores her but assuages his guilt by hiring Hannibal Lecter, a referral of Bloom to evaluate Will.

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Hannibal is immediately enraptured by the man who seems to understand serial killers, but isn’t one himself.

Forget about the serial killer aspect – which there is much of. I have openly admitted that I am not a fan of gore, and that remains true. That said, however, this show makes killing an art – something I never really thought I’d say. This show has the highest stakes of any show I’ve ever watched in my entire life. At any moment – any, it could all be over for the characters we have learned to love.

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You don’t ever want to see this. This… this is bad.

The premise uses the relationships so carefully cultivated in the narrative to weave a tale about a constant game of cat and mouse. It is so subtle, but so deeply wound into the pit of your stomach as you watch. Never has a show held me in a level of suspense for as long as this one, and never have I enjoyed it so much.

In my post-Hannibal depression haze (you know the one, after you binge watch a show that has now become a big part of your life), I was reading up on Hannibal discussion boards that those who watched the show while it aired had a hard time maintaining that sense of suspense. I implore you to go back and binge watch. You will not regret it.

The Imagery and Score

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The cinematography is top notch when you consider this show aired on Basic Cable. The colors, the transitions, the artistic balance of life and death. It is genuinely hypnotizing at times, and is constantly paying homage to the genuinely good horror in the world, like the Shining. I can’t tell you how many times I was watching this show and was completely blown away by the artistic shots, perfectly timed to allow you to reflect on the mind-blowing revelations or suspicions that coalesced from the scene before. The score was so immersive that it blended perfectly with every scene and helped to transport you into this high-stakes universe of cat and mouse.

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The Cast

I could go on at length about how amazing this cast is – from Jack (Morpheus from The Matrix), the FBI Behavioral Science Director at the FBI and his wife Bella (Zoe from Firefly), to Will Graham the Special Agent with a unique empathy disorder, Alana Bloom – Hannibal’s mentee, Abigail Hobbs – the surrogate daughter of Will and Hannibal, and Bedelia – Hannibal’s enraptured but fearful therapist. Freddie Lounds the tabloid journalist, Frederick Chilton the menacing psychiatric director, Margo Verger… even Mason Verger, the at-odds siblings that lead to Hannibal’s first genuine brush with danger.

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The character development is phenomenal and no one, and I mean no one, is the same at the end of this story as they were at the beginning. They’re all changed, and it doesn’t happen all at once. It’s gradual, and steeping like a slow kettle to boil.

As you can tell… I might have ventured into the realm of “Fannibal” – and I guess I have to be okay with that. I get it, I get how this show has captured so many people’s interest. And despite being 1000+ words into this article, I still find it hard to explain, exactly, why this show is so damn good.

I guess you’re going to have to watch it yourself and let me know.

The first two seasons of Hannibal are eligible for Prime streaming on Amazon, and you can purchase the third digitally, which I did. Because I had to know what happened. #noregrets


Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novels Children of the Fallen and Unforgettable as well as science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

32 When Facing a Dragon… – Some Nerd Girl Original Webcomic

Coworkers, amirite??

Check out all the SNGCs here and join us every Monday for a new original SNG Webcomic!


AlexAlex is our resident Webcomic creator. He grew up in Puerto Rico, but didn’t reach true Nerdom until he came state side when he was in middle school. He’s been drawing since he was five, but has only started posting Webcomics in the past year. You can check out his amazing and original work at tapastic.com/gomezalexj.

8 Nerdy Jokes Everyone Needs In Their Lives

1. How do you organize a space party?

You planet

2. At atom walks into a bar. Says to the bartender, “I think I’ve lost an electron.” Bartender asks, “Are you sure?”

The atom replies, “Yes, I’m positive.”

3. How many surrealists does it take to change a light bulb?

FISH!

4. There are 10 types of people in the world.

Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

5. Helium walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve noble gases here.”

Helium doesn’t react.

6. I would tell another Chemistry joke but…

The good ones argon.

7. Did you hear about the guy who got cooled to Absolute Zero?

He’s 0K now.

And my personal favorite…

8. There are two kinds of people in this world.

Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.


Jokes provided by…

SandySandy is a writer and maker from Perth, Western Australia. She keeps busy with homesteading, horticulture, football, martial arts, games, code, tinkering, DIY, fussing the cats, and drinking tea. She blogs long things at sanlive.com and tweets short things at @sandysandy.

 


Barb2Barbie O’Havoc has been considered a nerd since the first time she pissed someone off for having a weird opinion. Since then, she’s been spending her time indulging in the surprisingly expensive habits of reading trashy vampire novels and hitting people while playing roller derby. Both of her main hobbies have led to a love of terrible puns, much to everyone’s dismay.

Barbie O’ also loves coffee and local restaurants, and occasionally rambles about both on the Johnstown Food Blog.


Eve2Eve is the founder of Some Nerd Girl and the author of urban fantasy novels Children of the Fallen and Unforgettable as well as science fiction novel Colony One. She has been writing since the age of 13 and has been flying her nerd flag for the past 16 years. Fandoms include Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. Basically if it has ‘star’ in it, she’ll give it a shot.

 

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