Aloof. I get that word a lot. I’m not sure I like the connotation because I am not a snob.

I am a cataloging librarian. This means I work behind the scenes, mostly away from other humans, and provide kickass indirect service. I thrive on having long, uninterrupted stretches of time in order to do my work. Loud noises rattle me; public service drains me. I am learning that I don’t enjoy “expository activities” very much, not even writing (although that is more comfortable than speaking). When we have a department meeting, I try to read the agenda beforehand and think about what I might want to contribute. If new topics for discussion arise, I ask if I can e-mail my response to the team after the meeting. Fortunately, most of my teammates understand me or at least have become accustomed to me.

Resources like Quiet Revolution help grow my confidence to live my life as myself. I don’t apologize anymore for my habits, and I don’t volunteer my help for frenetic tasks. I hang out in cafes, not bars or clubs. I meet with my friends one-on-one or in small groups. I watch movies privately on my iPad because having to talk about them with other people afterwards ruins my internal experience. I leave plenty of free space in my weekend schedule. I wear headphones and earplugs. I say, “No,” proudly and often. I walk around my city. I take my time. We all deserve to live happily on our own terms.