Posts Tagged ‘maintain’

The First Step

Do you think after the first step, I'll just be able to ride on up to the next level?

Escalators courtesy TeddyBear[Picnic]/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tomorrow Night (yes, capitals) I am going out with not only one girl friend, but two!

I know, everyone is very proud.

I’m having supper with one, and then meeting the other at a bar where more of our friends are playing (they have a band).

I’m a little nervous.

I mean, it’ll be fine, totally. Except that the last time I saw the one friend, I ended up crying about the state of Dashing and I in the middle of a restaurant, and the last time I saw the other, I offended her by being, well, me, and not thinking about the words I use while speaking (another plus of blogging!).

Mostly I’m nervous because when I get around people, I get excited. And when I get excited, I tend to get a little, um, EXCITED. I chit-chat-chitter away, speaking without filter, and then I end up spilling all my secrets (I can keep other people’s secrets, just not my own), which leads to crying. I cry. I’m a cry-er.

I didn’t cry for something like ten years, and now, I cry. Most often when angry or frustrated.

But anyway, I’m nervous about getting EXCITED and crying. Again. And talking too quickly and offending people. AGAIN.

But these are my friends, right? These are my people, the community I’m trying to preserve, right? We are there to support each other, and they know me. They usually find my quirks endearing, refreshing, even… right?

But what if…?

There’s a lot at stake, and I have to trust that it will get easier. The first step is always the hardest – it’s why I talk myself out of it so often.

Deep breath. Wish me luck!

How do you get over the hurdle to take a first step? Is it easy to trust your friends? To trust yourself? What do you think?

Advertisements

How to Keep Friends: A Social Experiment, Part I

What's wrong with a little social experimentation?

Blue And Red Flasks courtesy posterize/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

OK, I’ve talked about how little I know about this here, and here.

But here comes the social experiment part. I’m going to list five methods I’m going to try to reconnect with my existing community, and I’ll let you know how they go.

1. Facebook

I’ve talked about how exhausting it is to come home after staring at a computer screen for eight hours and feel like you have to look at another one just to contact, oh, anyone… but since I’ve actually managed to blog fairly regularly lately (yay, me!), I think I can manage a couple of hours per week of skulking into my friends personal lives to figure out what they’re up to. So my goal is to go onto Facebook at least once a week, and to not only creep their lives but to change a picture, update a status, poke someone to let them know that I am alive and reaching out.

2. Engaging Phone Conversations

I’ve talked about how I hate the phone, and I do. It’s very useful as a tool, but for contact, well, it’s a cold, plastic box.

So, my goal is to move beyond my hatred, and when people call me to engage them in interesting conversation, instead of my usual “OK, got the info, gotta go” routine.

This is actually really huge because it will force me to think about my day and come up with interesting things to say, instead of feeling like nobody’s interested because if they were, they’d already know what my day was. Which, bullsh*t. Really.

3. Organizing Outings

My hope is that eventually these will become more routine so that they take less organizing and so that others maybe think to invite me out once in awhile.

To start, at least once every two weeks I will go out, for supper or drinks, or to watch the band, with at least one of my friends, and in this instance, Dashing does not count (because I would go to the moon every day for that man, it’s embarrassing, really).

4. Holiday Cards

Nothing says reconnection like the annual catch-up of holiday cards. I’ve never done them on a large scale. This year, I will, to all and sundry. I’m talking researching mailing addresses, old-school letters enclosed, stamps and envelopes Holiday Cards. I should probably start in the next couple of weeks.

5. Downtime

For a lasting change, I can’t just do a complete 180 and hope it sticks, like I’ve done before. So if I need a night or two (or five) to myself, that is OK. If I miss calling someone back, that is OK. If three weeks go by and I haven’t gone out at all, that is OK, but I should start thinking about it soon at that point.

This part is the trickiest, because while it is important to take time to oneself, for a hermit like me, it can be oh so tempting to live there. But friendship is a two-way street and I have to have faith that once my friends know I want more time with them, that they’ll be happy to oblige. I have to give them the chance, and trust that they’ll come through for me.

Those are my five, for now. By no means is this a comprehensive list, but I think it’s a pretty good starter list.

What do you think? What would you add/take away? If I manage to achieve these goals, what should be on my next list?

The Point

Yeah, I'm definitly one of the spokes on the dented wheel

Broken Bicycle by Cecelia/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

OK, confession time.

I was a bad girlfriend.

I don’t mean that I was unsupportive or abusive, or even that I didn’t listen to him (I really hope none of those are true!). I had unrealistic expectations. Ridiculous expectations, in fact. It all comes back to this, doesn’t it?

I know that I am not a hub of any social network. I’m barely a spoke, these days. Dashing is a hub. He is one of those people who naturally draws people in, and manages to keep them around. People call him, book him for gigs, want to spend time with him, want his opinion, his perspective, his presence. I know I do.

For me, this is magic. I know it actually takes a good amount of work on both parts, but from the outside, it is magic. For someone unskilled at maintaining a community, it is awe-inspiring magic.

So I think some part of me thought that I could learn this skill from him. Or that it would rub off on me somehow. And when that didn’t work, and we’d been together for awhile, I think I began to think that if we just got married, if we just lived together, if he declared me family – then I would be part of the hub, too! I actually think this may be the source of a lot of our issues – my feelings of loneliness, inadequacy, and desperation to move foward (because it’s better over there, it has to be, right?), and his feeling pressured and like he couldn’t give me what I wanted.

Well, of course he couldn’t. No one can, except me, and I don’t know how!

This is not a new thought.

The realisation that I was unconsciously doing this to him, to us, is new, but the knowledge that I suck at maintaining friedships, and that no one can fix it but me, totally not new.

It’s actually part of why I started this blog. To figure it all out. To put my thoughts out there (semi) cohesively.
See, I’m kind of a hermit. Or I go through periods of hermit-like behaviour.

Part of this is that I newly suffer from anxiety, of the kind that avoids crowds and loud environments. And part of it is that I carry a good amount of shame around with me. I very recently figured that part out.

See, I try to stay in touch, but then people don’t call back. Or I organize a party and people don’t show up (true story!). So then I stop calling and reaching out, because if people really wanted to be my friend, they’d call, right? They’d show up, right? They’d do some organizing and invite me places, right?

So then I think, I’m not worth it, they don’t want to talk to me because I stopped acting and sold out to a corporate overlord for drugs and money. They don’t want to talk to me because our communal event which forced them to endure my presence is now over and so they can go back to their real lives, which don’t include me. They don’t want to talk to me because I’m not cool enough, I speak too loudly, I’m too opinionated, I’m offensive, I get too excited at the prospect of hanging out – maybe I smell…

I don’t think I’m alone in thinking this. In fact, I think one of the keys to it all is that maybe, just maybe, love is all about giving.

Maybe nine times out of ten you feel like you’re the only one  participating, for the payoff of that one time when you get contacted. Maybe it’s always a struggle. Maybe they’re not calling you because they’re so wrapped up in wondering why you’re not calling them.

To Dashing, I’m sorry. Clearly, I have a lot to learn yet.

I thought we could learn together, but maybe these are lessons best learned apart. Maybe.

To the rest of the world – what do you think? Do you ever feel this way? How do you combat it? Do you never feel this way? Are you a ‘hub’? How do you do it??

Student living and me.

Just life. But through the eyes of a Blue-eyed History student.

Offbeat Empire

Niche lifestyle network

@offbeatfamilies

Redefining family: the archives

Offbeat Home & Life

Where awesome lives

Exploring community through thought and experience...

Tanis Miller

Exploring community through thought and experience...

Offbeat Bride

Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides

FreeRangeKids

Give Our Kids the Freedom We Had