Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Right People Can Be Hard to Come By

Last year I left a city where I'd lived for almost ten years.  I'd never developed a solid community there, despite huge efforts to do so. That is to say, I had a lot of friends, but they seemed to fall into two categories: I either saw them once every 9-18 months, or else they led wildly dysfunctional lifestyles.  And I saw them all the time. 

Also left a career that was floundering, again, despite huge efforts. 

I spent that Thanksgiving alone: watched that Greta Gerwig movie, checked out the sales at Target and then decided to make a move.

(Earlier that year, on the same day as the Total Solar Eclipse, an image of Cindy Lauper from “Total Eclipse of the Heart” mysteriously showed up on my phone. That was odd.) 

You Just Need Someone To Talk To

It's amazing the lack of people in your life with whom you can discuss things!  People don't have time, people live apart, people couldn't possibly 'get' you. 

Yesterday I needed to make a big decision and felt hugely frustrated as who I could talk to it about.  Some people I could have talked to were too busy doing other things.  And I needed to make the decision in a time-frame. 

With the people around me, I talked about things like accents and the Oscars, and was left to sort through the bigger issue on my own. 

Maybe that's why so many people have therapists.  I could have used a therapist earlier this week.  (Actually, my sister did end up coming through for me.  And I've sorted the issue out.) 

Setting Boundaries versus Cultivating Community

At the other end of the spectrum, I've recognized the danger in discussing things that are too personal with people.

Recently I told something private to someone who I'd just met.  At the time I felt compelled to do it, but in retrospect it seemed like something that he didn't need to know.

I don't think this guy is going to trample my vision.  But I'm worried this idea that I've let him into my space.  And how that will affect me.  When you tell people things it's like you're letting them see your private journals.  

I've come to see the danger in oversharing personal things. You can really sabotage plans if you get the wrong person in your head to shame or discourage you. 

It's a difficult line, knowing when to tell people things and when to not to.

How Do You Cultivate Community?

All this is to say that we need people to talk to, yet they need to be the right people. 

And in my experience, these people are hard to come by. 

How do you cultivate community?  And how do you decide who you let into the more private areas of yourself? 

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