Innately solitary, introvert or claustrophobic?

Just talking off the top of my head.

This morning in the Health & Science section of WaPo, there was a photo accompanying an article on mindful meditation, something I’m not capable of (along with not really understanding what “being present” means).

The photo made me instantly anxious. Placing myself in the photo, sitting in a group of people like that – No.

I don’t do groups, of any kind. Physically or mentally or emotionally. No groups. No teams. No crowds. And don’t touch me without permission. Seriously, don’t.

On the other hand, I am most comfortable, and prefer, to work and be, with another person. Just one. I do one-on-one very well. I like one-to-one. I’m good at one-to-one. More than one, and I’m uncomfortable.

I don’t know if that makes me an introvert. I know I am claustrophobic and I am somewhat solitary in that I crave aloneness but I also enjoy being social.

When a photo can cause anxiety, can you imagine what the reality might evoke?

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I hear you but I don't comprehend

I never noticed it when I was in high school but when I got to college I realized that I don’t comprehend information which is conveyed by speech.  I hear the words well enough but all my brain processes is ‘Blah, blah, blah, Fluffy”. I’d walk out of classes muttering “Just give me the reading list, and I’ll show up for the tests”.

I dislike being read to. I can’t, obviously, deal with audio books. If I don’t read it then I don’t comprehend it; I don’t learn it; I don’t absorb it.
It’s like what Mrs. Forlano said in the 6th grade – if you write a word 3 times then it is yours. When I had a big important test my study method was – re-write all of my notes. I would take a day off from work, hole up in my apartment and just write. It would make me crazy when I got to school and all the kids would be in the hall quizzing each other – I would have to walk away and hide where I couldn’t hear them. 
I don’t think I do this with social conversations but when I am talking on the phone I’m automatically taking notes. 
Everyone learns differently. For me it is reading. And hands to brain. Show me, don’t tell me. Once I do it myself then it is learned. 
So my question to you is – How do you learn?
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After yesterday's post I realized

I have a theme, so to speak. An unconscious drawing to the idea of love so encompassing that two become one.

My very favorite poem of all time is John Donne’s The Legacy  It is about a man who loves a woman so much that when they part it feels like he dies. And as he “dies” he wants to send her his heart but when he reaches into his chest to get his heart he finds, not HIS heart but hers.

In yesterday’s poem, it ends with a similar metaphor:
                     “than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
                      so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
                      so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.”

I am not, on the surface, a soppy romantic, soulmate sort of person. Indeed, if you ask me, I will say there is no such thing. There is no such thing as one perfect romantic partner. There is perhaps, a set of traits that fit and complement a person and any number of people can have those traits.

I do not think I need another person to ‘complete’ myself. I’m complete as I am, even without some of those traits that some might deem more worthy/positive/useful. With all my plusses and minuses, I am still, to my mind, a complete person.

For whatever reason, I have always been adamant that, while having a compatible romantic/life partner is a very nice thing, it is not necessary to my life, my happiness or my well being. And it isn’t, not for me, but I understand that it might be necessary for some others.

And yet, somewhere in my unconscious, there I am drawn to the very romantic notion of two-become-one; that there is no boundary, no separation, just an all encompassing love.

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