I went out for coffee after morning worship with three classmates and it was said that I normally don’t go out to lunch with the group. Another classmate defended me — although the observation wasn’t antagonistic in the least — and said that I have had lunch with the group before. What impressed me was the perception by at least one person in our group that I tend to isolate myself. I think there’s a lot of truth to that. It’s how I’ve lived my life for so long, it’s my default setting.
No one except my immediate family believes me when I say that for most of my life, I have been painfully shy; it has taken me years of work to get to the point where I share things openly. For some odd reason, I still feel inadequate in academic circles. I never have enough time to put into the reading and writing, like an outclassed boxer whose only hope at victor is to engage his opponent in a series of jabs, return to his corner and hope he is still standing by the end of 10 rounds.