Following the Heartbeats
Good morning! I’ve had a whirlwind few days with fabulous friends. I love them all and I love doing things with them, but I have a big reclusive streak as well.
That reclusive, introverted part of me is my nemesis, because if left to my own devices, I will hide at home. I want to go out and play, but often have to be pried out of my comfort zone like a barnacle.
It is important for all of us to stay connected with our real live community, not just on social media. Social media is great, but it can’t take the place of getting out there and breathing some fresh air and mixing it up with our peeps. We need real hugs, and real kiss. A real, “I love you.”
I had a conversation with someone who expressed that they just didn’t fit it, that there was something wrong with them and they would rather just be at home. I certainly identify with them. But my impression of this person is they are a joy to be with, their smile lights up a room, and everything that makes them who they are is entirely awesome and attractive. We all feel like geeks. Don’t we? We are beautiful and geeky snowflakes, all unique and lovely.
Down time or home time is important and great, but too much of it tends to lead to overthinking and over-processing. The groove of “I am weird” gets deepened.
It can be terrifying to get out and find some connection, even if you are craving it. Just do it. Even if you feel like the world would just rather you stay home. (Which isn’t true, by the way, we want you out here with us.)
Make some real dates with your real friends that you haven’t seen in a while.
With all my moving back and forth across the country, I have quite a few people I love and adore on my social media. We send each other hearts and notes and it’s all genuine and the support I feel from it is huge. When I got back to California though, I realized there were friends I had raised my children with, gone through divorces and cancer with, and I needed to do more than shoot a text back and forth. So I put time into making sure we spend time, see each other. These relationships need some real love and attention. These people are family.
Be a part of your Community
I talk to people. It may come more easily to me than it does to a lot of people, because even though I can be reclusive, I also think I am hilarious. So I talk to people in Trader Joe’s, I connect with the people who come to my classes, I make observations, find ways to connect. Flashing a smile at a stranger and getting one back just makes the day feel better.
When you are in your own space, rather than ruminating about what makes you different than everyone else, find time to rest, to nourish yourself, to keep your space in order, whatever that means to you. That time is valuable.
When you are done taking care of yourself and the dial starts to tip over into the “I don’t belong and nobody wants to see me,” that’s when you need to send up a flare. Or send a text asking someone to meet you for a cup of coffee, a glass of wine. Go to a concert, have a phone call with someone you love but haven’t seen for a while, or walk the dog and say hi to your neighbors.
The world is nuts now, no doubt about it. But, even though many of us may be introverts, we do need each other. We are social creatures and we need more than technology to connect us in a way that feeds our hearts and souls. Actually, the world needs us to keep connecting, to put down the laptops and phones and walk outside and squeeze some flesh, find another creature with a heartbeat and say hello.
Whether you are inside your nest or outside in the wide wide world, make sure you’re interacting with the real live people too.