I find myself drawn to women’s stories. Not extraordinary, epic stories. Just the little ones. Stories about every day life, what happened, how they reacted, and the feelings of those moments.

In reading women’s stories, I am always drawn like a magnet to the experience of intense emotional focus that some people feel. I am a woman of intense feeling and I am often physically affected by my emotions. It has taken me 30 years to come to a place of full acknowledgement and acceptance of this as a reality that will last, not a phase to be overcome with stoicism and a focus on other people which were the convenient solutions others would have had me use.

The reality of being a wife and mother for me is intense. The emotions are strong and flow through me, affecting what I am physically capable of doing and what I am mentally capable of focusing on. The strong emotions and my dominant introversion combine to keep me always in need of quiet and calm, nature and nurture.

I do not have much time for people. I do not have much time for noise. I accomplish the tasks that require people and noise and then I retreat back home, or to the woods. I turn on the music that expresses what’s inside or curl up with a book where I can find connection and release. I give of myself to my two boys and have little else to give to anyone outside this little family. With such strength of feeling on the inside, everything else must be peaceful.

When I encounter stress – traffic jams, anger from people with expectations I cannot meet, scheduling conflicts – I get a tunnel vision that pulls me through the necessary tasks that will allow me to finish the necessary so I can get home and be with my boys, my books, my cat, my quiet. If I have excess adrenaline I walk or run the paths through the trees until I am able to be still again.

I’m in a place of peace with myself. I do not want to change any of this. I want to accept it, live it, and be everything I can be within this reality.