Quietly Spirited

Guest Post By Carissa Reid

If asked a few months ago how to describe myself, “spirited” would not have been at the top of the list. “Reserved,” “focused,” and “creative” would have been the first few words. “Sensitive” would make the list, and “perceptive,” and at times, “intense.”

Now I understand that many of those words fold into a definition of a spirited person. I just happen to be quietly spirited. If you’ve just met me, you wouldn’t immediately notice my personal brand of excitability. I’m the quiet one standing just behind my more extroverted friends, riding their exuberance through gatherings and parties, or I’m the one in the corner seat, observing from a distance, choosing my time to engage.

I am a universe in a box

But quiet doesn’t mean inactive. I look like the quiet type, sitting in the corner of the room, but I am a universe in a box waiting for the flap to open. I’m observing, noticing group interactions, overhearing conversations, considering my opinions and responses if it happens that I join the discussion. Ask me about my thoughts and you might end up with an account from history or a philosophical idea or a spiritual epiphany I’ve had, because I’ve been thinking on it for a while and I’ve followed all the lines of interconnection during my mental cogitation. By the time I’m asked to speak, I’ve already reached an end point.

Which is why I often have a hard time joining discussions. How do I go back and fill in the hours of thought that went into where I am now? The words come out rushed, stumbling over each other in their joy to be free. I speak too loud, too quickly, too pointedly. And suddenly I’m not the quiet one in the corner anymore. I am the driven, focused, almost obsessed eccentric who has made the leap from how the Seattle Seahawks are doing at the beginning of the season to the dangers of fans at European football games.

Then, cowering under blank stares and uncomfortable smiles, I make some excuse and retreat to my corner, packing my universe back into its box, and return to quietness. But inside, I’m making new connection and sooner or later, some unknowing person will ask an innocent question and the box will burst open again.

Maybe I shouldn’t call myself “quietly spirited” but “deceptively quietly spirited.”

Photos courtesy of Guy Holzman Photography

Carissa Reid

Carissa Reid is a writer, crocheter, blogger and has recently started her own proofreading business, offering proofreading services to writers and bloggers. She blogs at CJaneReid.blogspot.com. Information on her proofreading services can be found at CJaneReid.com.