Day 21: Friendships

It’s been a while since I have written anything and a bit longer since I hit the gratitude challenge. I had to wrap my head around some things and help some friends out. It’s been a weird couple of weeks and I needed to process some stuff.

The last time I did a gratitude challenge, I was in a pretty healthy state of mind. Things flowed easily from my head and onto the page. This go round has been somewhat challenging in that I have been in a very tough spot for over a year now and seeing that side of things is a bit more difficult. The topics that have come up because of that have been much different and the style has been a bit more ethereal.

It is now time to come back to the project, if only to finish what I started, and the first thing that comes to mind when I think gratitude today is, friends and family, people.

I am very grateful for the people that I choose to surround myself with. I am fortunate in being a performer that I get exposed and introduced to a vast variety of people and opinions. They say that everyone that comes into your life is there for a purpose. Some are there to support you. Some are there for your support. Some are companions along your journey. Some are teachers. Some are students. Some are reminders that not everyone is like minded and that there are differences among people. I have run across all of those categories of people in my life and I work to see value and purpose with them all.

I have always been a person with a very small circle of friends. I rarely engage in “small talk”. My interest in sports is low at best. I would rather talk about ideas, dreams, hopes and visions than politics, entertainment, or pop culture. I am also pretty shy and introverted, although not as much as before festival. I am very comfortable with my own company and with quiet time. These things have made it difficult to connect.

When I come into a new situation, I most often come in as an observer. I watch the interactions and see how the relationships and cliques flow. The upside of this behavior is that I get a feel for the group dynamic. The downside is that, it seems, socially, people tend to move faster than that. I often am identified in the group dynamic as a fringe player and the group does not open up for me in ways I would hope. I cast absolutely no blame in that statement. It is a dynamic that I manufacture with my behavior. People like to sort you and when you resist the flow of the group, you are often set on the side as the observer, the quiet one.

For the longest time I have, after my warming up period, chased friendships through these groups. I wait until I find a certain comfort level and then I try to change my place in the group. This seldom works and leads to frustration. Over the past few months I have come to a realization. I am also doing that very same thing to other people. There are people that have sought friendships that I haven’t truly embraced because I was focusing on where I thought I should be. Now I see that there are many people who are part of my support, willing and wanting to connect, and ready to share with me. I was too busy looking in other places. I was also under the assumption that these people also were in the space as those that I was pursuing, meaning I was already placed on the edge.

I can see now that there are opportunities for fellowship and socialization that perhaps I have not seen before, because I was looking in the wrong place. There are people who appreciate who I am and what I have to offer that I need to connect with.

I am grateful for those that I get to connect with and those value each other as they stand. It can be tough to find people that you connect with, and for those people, I am grateful.

Today I am grateful for good friends, realized and those yet to come.

Namaste

Rev J

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