10 years is an aeon, on the Internet, a venue where most web sites and blogs come and go in a matter of a few years-- or months, even.
When I set out to write on these pages, I had little idea what I was doing, nor where I was going. What I did know was that there was relatively little information available about being a highly sensitive person and I felt compelled to be part of a small-- but growing-- movement to generate greater public awareness of the trait.
|"Karlsstenen," a stone age burial site in Denmark
At that point, I hadn't really considered the huge gap between being an HSP, and being aware that you're an HSP.
Aside from a couple of Elaine Aron's books, I got most of my information from a couple of HSP groups I belonged to on the web-- one of which went on to become the world's largest HSP "community," before its untimely demise. The other-- the HSP Book group on Yahoo-- is still going strong.
Much has changed, since 2002.
Although many HSPs continue to feel a little out of step with mainstream life, a far greater number of people in the general population are now aware of the concept of being a "Highly Sensitive Person." The trait-- itself-- has grown up, too, gaining a more scientific name in the process: "Sensory Processing Sensitivity." Dozens-- if not hundreds-- of articles about high sensitivity have appeared in the mainstream press.
What have I personally learned, in ten years?
Perhaps the most significant lesson-- and one I keep sharing with all who give me a couple of minutes to listen-- is that HSPs are just as individually different as people, in general. We simply share one trait... albeit a trait that often leads us down similar paths. But beliefs (which I often run into, to this day) such as "you MUST be an introverted vegan artist, vote Democrat, only wear fair trade cotton clothing, reject materialistic goods, drink organic green tea and love cats in order to be an HSP" are simply not true. HSPs come in every size, shape, color, persuasion and interest group.
It's a topic I touch on in my most recent article about HSPs, introversion and extraversion.
I have also learned that a lot of people know they are HSPs, and may even have read one of Elaine Aron's books, yet still either outright reject the idea or at least never tell anyone about it... typically to their own long term detriment. Surprisingly many people still consider being Highly Sensitive a "condition;" something they can-- somehow-- "get over," or be "cured" from. It is my hope to be able to continue to do my part to educate the world about the trait, to where we may eventually reach a point where fellow HSPs don't feel the need to "hide."
And I've learned something about myself... that in spite of my general tendency towards scatteredness, I've been able to "stick to" something for ten years.
Which makes me feel very hopeful that I'll keep HSP Notes going for another ten!