Can you take a compliment?
Do you brush it off with an old-fashioned "pshaw" or do you look the giver in the eye and take it in before replying, "Thank you"?
Admittedly, I raise my hand - a bit sheepishly - for the first category although I have been trying to retrain myself for the past few years to be gracious enough to join the second instead.
Because such kindness means the world and is rarely given lightly - these invisible yet steel solid gifts.
Can you imagine then, my quandary to be inundated with many kind, thoughtful and heart-felt compliments all at once? I have never been on the receiving end of such an outpouring in my life.
I didn't exactly know what to think or how to feel. Overwhelmed doesn't begin to express my inner state. Blown away? Yes. Overjoyed? That too. For a few days I had to retreat a bit into my shell to sort out my emotions in quiet.
"Of course," some of you wrote in emails, "you deserve this!" and I would try not to furrow my brow and nibble the inner corners of my lips.
I was so moved while reading your comments on my previous post that I often spilled over into big sloppy tears and hiccup caught breathing. I am hopelessly sentimental and an over the moon romantic. You all know this by now and fed me the best bonbons for both of those senses. But I also know that you meant every word. Oh my goodness.
So I hope that you will forgive me if I haven't responded personally to each of you, as I like to do. I hope that I will eventually. But for now...slow down the pace, sip time...weren't we just talking about that?
If I have learned anything in the past few days, it is that there are a lot of kindred spirits here and that makes me feel...delighted...but also hopeful and excited too. Trust me, if you have been something of an outsider all of your life (hello, fellow INFJ's), it is a realization that is nothing short of beautiful.
So please, please, accept my gratitude, as profoundly deep as the trees.
You know, when I was acting, I wanted specifically to be a theatre actress, not to do film or television work, because I was fascinated by that ephemeral magical dust that floated back and forth between the audience and me during a performance. It was such a complicit exchange and based on a form of faith. Even while laughing, especially so. And I have missed that but realized earlier this morning with a ping that I have found another form of that with you, here. The distance may be wider but the proximity is somehow the same.
All of these thoughts were floating somewhere still out of reach while walking the dogs yesterday morning - actually they still are, who are we kidding, I am just tugging delicately at cobwebs here - but the light was just so with forms and details jumping out to grab my attention under the cover of the clouds. "Well, get back out there then," I thought, nodding inwardly and outwardly towards the collective you. I grabbed my camera, wrapped my scarf tighter around my throat then headed out the door to discover, capture and now, share. Just a little bit.
I have said it many times before already but thank you all for being here. I am looking forward to continuing down ces chemins sinueux, together.
To listen to:
PS. For those of you who were curious about the personality test that I mentioned, it is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which you can read more about here and the actual test that I took can be found here. Happy trails...