Going into this move, my plans and preparations somehow fell short of quick and easy. This move was character building (as if I haven’t had enough character building experiences for 3 people). If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know that I’m not the biggest fan of social media, but this time I thought….hey why not ask for help. I felt a little cheesy but ain’t no shame in my game! Here’s my plea:
I knew it was a long shot but the response I got was eye opening. Other than the person who commented on the post, I had one person offer to help. That person ended up being unable to help, but her heart was in the right place. Now, I’m not mentioning this to “friend shame”; I mentioning it because this Facebook post and lack of response to it confirmed that my constant grumbles about being "too connected" with social media and my clandestine approach to maintaining relationships have cut me off from friends and family. Over the years, I have told plenty of people;
''I'm terrible at staying in touch. The love is there but if you don't hear from me, I want you to know why." I’m naturally an extrovert and have no problems with making acquaintances or friends. What I have had problems with is staying connected to a support system.
Self-realization is inevitable. If you live long enough you will learn that no matter how much you like yourself, you will find things about yourself that you don’t like. Trust me, people that have spent time with you often see it before you do. Telling people that I was bad for staying in touch gave me a pass on being accountable to make the effort to stay in contact with them. In doing so, I either alienated the other person or released them from being an active participant in remaining in contact with me. This thought process made me withdraw. In a sense, I moved. I'm not talking about a literal change of address per se, but the essence of my extroverted being moved into a secluded, protected space.
I felt vindicated in saying that I am bad for staying in touch because of some major life changes that I went through in the last few years. I made SOOOOOO many moves; literally and figuratively. Some of those moves really sucked! I allowed my grief and circumstances to push me into seclusion. During my "hiatus" I neglected to remain connected to loved ones. I lost valuable time with family and friends that could have helped me through those difficult moments. I didn't stay connected and visible in their lives. That's not to say that staying in touch isn't a two-way street, but I am just as capable as the next person to stay in contact with others and chose not to. I made it hard, in some cases next to impossible for people to get in contact with me. I took time to focus on me which was necessary and I'm very glad that I did. Fast forward a few years, many hours of prayer, therapy and gym visits later, I've been refortified! I'm happier and healthier than I've ever been but with fewer people around. I must now take ownership of building new relationships.
I'm FINALLY settled into my new place. There are a few more pictures that need to be hung and a storage container of odds & ends that need to be put away....somewhere. I am also settled with the changes that I must make to stay connected with others. Building and sustaining relationships are not an exact science because each bond we make with others is just as unique as the people that are in the relationship together. These bonds take time, effort and patience. Again, the inevitable move will come someday....and it will still suck; but the next move I take will be with loved ones at my side and I'm sure that will make the move suck just a little less.