I'm neither an introvert nor an extrovert, and probably more the latter than I'd previously thought. I take pride in my friendly, open-minded nature; I thrive on human contact, connection and conversation. Small talk, though, is not my cup of tea - it just gets in the way. TL;DR: my conversations don't stay at such a superficial level for very long at all.
I love to learn and to teach. Disciplinary boundaries are irrelevant, they all interrelate. I've got a bit of the collector in me, knowledge, words, books. Otherwise, I'm not too terribly into material possessions beyond what I need/can use.
I see my "purpose" in life as to change the world somehow for the better, to touch the lives of others and to make some difference for the better. Change the world one life at a time.
I grew up without any religious exposure or indoctrination, except for attending a Quaker kindergarten in Philadelphia. While I'm no longer an atheist, I don't believe in a "God." It's not the wrong answer, but the idea of a "God" is the result of asking the wrong questions. Very recently, I've come to accept the fact that without knowing it, my beliefs, such as they are, is closest to Non-Theist Quakerism, and I wouldn't argue if you called me one.
I'm an optimist and confident that, no matter the challenge, I'll meet it. Somehow. I'm a realist, and yet I dream; success in transfiguring reality in the image of a dream happens more frequently than would seem probable, even possible. My life has hardly been what one would call "ordinary." I'll spare your poor ears for the moment, and leave it at this: I've oh so many stories I could tell (I'm also a story-teller and wise-cracker (whether I'm a "wise cracker" is up to you to decide (also, I'm a big fan of nested parentheticals))).
While I hope my attempt at a self-summary made you laugh, don't take that to mean that I'm anything but sincere in being on here. A relationship or a new friend, that's what I hope might come of this.