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The Reality of Community

Posted Jan 31 2013 12:15pm

I've been wanting to come here to just write for quite some time- not so much that I would actually sit down and do it. Until today, of course.

I'm not sure when I'll sit down to do this again (maybe tomorrow, maybe in a month), so today I'm just going to write. I hope that it all ends up making sense, but if it doesn't, please ask questions if you want. I will answer as best as I can.

It's the last day of January, and the yoga habit I hoped to get back to didn't stick (maybe after sick season?), but I am still eating mostly vegan. I intend to keep up with that indefinitely.

I've been thinking for weeks now that my next goal needs to be something along the lines of "write and send a card every day." With an actual message. Nothing online counts. It's a goal that's kind of evolved into "connect with someone every day." Phone calls, visits, and cards all count. A goal like that sounds so obvious when written or said, because hello? We all need connection with other people. It's surprisingly easy to go through a day without really sharing myself or really listening, but I'll tell you- life is so much richer and better when I'm willing to be vulnerable and make those connections.

Oh, that word. Vulnerable. Ugh. It means I am just myself, no pretense, no excuses or apologies. And it's scary because it's an invitation to accept or reject.

I'll tell you what- sometimes I'm pretty good with the whole vulnerability, openness, confidence thing. Oh, but sometimes? I'm not sure how to adequately explain what happens in my head, but I'll tell you that the past couple of months have been a roller coaster for me emotionally. I love my life, but then some days I would annoy myself so much with my own second guessing and unwillingness to just be myself that I was pretty sure no one else would want to be around me, either. I would hole up. Stop making real, technology-free connections.

That is not a good thing for me.

In my marriage, my husband is the outgoing one, but I am the extrovert. I feed off of real life connections. When I don't have that, I kind of wither and  become a less and less  healthy version of myself. Not, not good.

Lucky for me, making real-life connections only requires a little effort (and doesn't actually require spending a lot! My most expensive outing recently was less than $2, I think).  I just have to ask for what I need. I ask people to come over or if Nolan and I can visit. I ask one of my willing family members and meet a friend for coffee.

So, as much as I am a writer and I so love this space, most of my working life out recently has been happening as I go. In other peoples homes, in coffee shops, while playing, that kind of thing. Much of life happens in seasons, so I know I will be back on a more regular basis. But this is where I am today.

We are all burdens. Wonderful, terrible, lovely, obnoxious burdens. It is the reality of community. -My husband, in response to the "but I don't want to be a burden" excuse for not making connections

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