Saturday, December 7, 2013

Connecting and disconnecting

  • A song, "Janie," by Alien Folklife, touches me.  Tears stream down my cheeks.  It's a tale of a girl who always feel she's not good enough.  When she is little, her sister dies.  The mother grieves all her life, and the girl feels inadequate because she can't take away her mother's grief.  I don't know where it comes from for me.  I have no reason for it, but I have that feeling too, that I'm never good enough. 
  • They have social events at work.  I go because I know it's expected of me.  It seems like torture.  With bewilderment, I try to grasp that some people actually want to go.  The same bewilderment I feel that some people like going to the mall.
  • At parties, people say they are going to leave, and then they are just blah blah blah talking for the longest time.  When I leave, I leave.  
  • Outside of work, my group gathered for a meeting as another group's meeting was ending in the same room.  Happy to see the people from the other group, I went over and talked with them.
  • With a different group that I'm a part of, I like the people and they seem to be welcoming to me, and yet, I tend to feel out of place.  It comes out in my body language -- I move klunkily.
  • When I was six, I took ballet lessons.  I moved klunkily.  The teacher wrote a note saying that I should get out and play outside with other kids.  I could run around outside just fine, it was just ballet lessons that made me stiff.  People think I'm not comfortable in my body.  It's not my body that I'm uncomfortable with.  It's the people around me.
  • I had lunch with a friend.  I chatted readily with him.  It left me feeling energized and happy.  
In the song, Janie's mother's grief prevents her from taking delight in Janie.  When someone takes delight in who we are, we blossom.  When we spend too little time around people who are delighted by us, we wither.  All  my life, people have told me that I'm intelligent and wise.  That's not the same as delighting in who I am.  People treat me like an encyclopledia.  People talk to me, but they are just talking to the surface of me.  They make small talk.

Once in a while, someone looks at me and sees a soul within. When it happens, it is like a rare moment of sunlight in a land of darkness.

Why does it happen? What is it about certain people that makes me feel a connection with them? What is it about the vast majority of people that makes me feel out of place?  I think I feel comfortable with people who speak with directness.  I'm comfortable with people who are quirky.  I'm comfortable with people who assume that I have my own wishes, as opposed to people who try to reform me into what they have decided is for my own good.  I seem to connect with men, rarely with women.

I cherish those people who have seen past the encyclopedia that most people treat me as, who have spoken to my soul.  I am thankful for the people who have given room for my playful, silly side to emerge.

It's not what I need to feel whole.  I feel whole in solitude.  But connection with others is where I blossom into joy.

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