Completing my 4th Tough Mudder was a lot of fun. The body soreness is relatively low compared to 2 of the previous 3, which is great considering that age and injury only seem to be moving in a singular direction: upwards. More than that though, big events like the Tough Mudder serve well in reminding me how many people there are in this world and how similar their stories may be to mine. I know that people exist, each with their own unique story, it’s just a fact that goes largely unappreciated in my mostly solitarily spent day-to-day life. I care deeply for the other humans on this planet but do so with an almost non-existent sense of community.
There is an introvert inside of me that enjoys being left alone for long periods of time, desiring to not become a part of other people’s dramatic stories. But an extrovert also lives here, the part of me who wants to strike up a conversation with and learn the stories of all of these other Mudders. Where did you grow up? Have you ever been in love? What is most important to you in this life? Like news reporter, I want to engage these people on a meaningful level and then disappear from their lives forever. I want to intimately feel the impact of their journey, to assimilate their life-learned lessons in with my own. Although our beliefs may vary greatly, we are all in this relative time & space together, pretending people do not exist is nothing short of manic delusionalism.
As a 30-some-year-old introvert, I’ve learned that the number of relevant relationships I can have in this life is finite. Too often have I treated this fact as a reason to shut emotional doors on people. Is it possible for me to engage and let go, listen and leave, to love and let be?