"Once conform, once do what other people do because they do it, and a lethargy steals over all the finer nerves and faculties of the soul. She becomes all outer show and inward emptiness; dull, callous, and indifferent."
-Virginia Woolf (The Common Reader)
No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one autumnal face.
We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.
If you’re an introvert, you also know that the bias against quiet can cause deep psychic pain. As a child you might have overheard your parents apologize for your shyness. Or at school you might have been prodded to come “out of your shell”— that noxious expression which fails to appreciate that some animals naturally carry shelter everywhere they go, and some humans are just the same.
— Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (x)