Okay, so not the cave-dwelling, burlap-robe-wearing, growling-at-anything-human type. So... a loner, if you will.
Psych tests would say, an Introvert. I find peace, answers, recharging.... alone, in silence, with space.
This doesn't mean I don't let my hair down over sangria with pals - on the contrary, my past is littered with possibly one too many nights of debauchery, but enough said about that....
The point being that I can and do enjoy socialising, but that as an Introvert, I am persnickety about which events of revelry I will partake in. It also means that the number of close friends I have can be counted on one hand, not including the thumb.
But about 4ish years ago, I began to be called to larger events, more people. It was very interesting, often great fun, but I always needed to temper this with many, many quiet days. Yet following my intuitive call, I gained much on many levels.
Then I withdrew again, as we moved to another country and my energies were directed inwards, to my growing baby. About halfway during the pregnancy, I felt the call again. I was called to reach out to others, to make connections.... so blogging began.
I'm not even remotely amazed that I have bumped up against not only amazing women, but ones that seem to float along the same, or parallel at least, wavelength that I do. It's not about Having Things in Common, although that's always pleasant. It's darker and richer and more mysterious.
Along with that, I feel called to create and be a part of community. Community! Me, a loner?? Surely the universe jests?
And yet I can see how the time I spent being 'out there' a few years back was a foundation for what is to come. I can also see how thoughtful the universe is, in giving me community, with distance (ie, the 'Net). Yes! I have my space with connections.
I have spent time frustrated at a) not being able to get into meaty dialogue that can only occur face-to-face (until I realised that distance thing), and b) having to wait on others to accept the connection with me, online only.
Fact is, today, I remain a loner, an Introvert. Yet I am also called to connect with community. And lo and behold, I see my tribe. I hadn't even contemplated the idea of a tribe. It happened. Whether or not they consider me part of their tribe is not important. What matters is that online connections can be profound. In fact, I truly believe that they can be deeper than many offline relationships.
Why? Because here, for better or for worse, we pick and choose ruthlessly. Offline we may be stuck with individuals because we want to be part of a particular group. (ok, that can happen online as well, with forums). Also, because all we have is words (and pics, yes) we are forced to, well, communicate.
Write, or dissolve into the ether.
I know many people who have learnt more about their friends and family just from filling out '100 things about me' Facebook memes.
If we are honest bloggers, if we are raw bloggers, we offer deep connection indeed.
I am always astonished and occassionaly exasperated when bloggers speak of their 'real life'. When they go offline to partake in living. I'm insulted! (not really) And of course life requires balance and we all need a hiatus in various activities - it's more about the reasons given for the hiatus - not being real life.
But seriously, times have changed. Communicating online hasn't been for socially-outcasted nerds for many years. Everyone is online! Well, almost. The globe is a tiny place compared to just 20 years ago. If once upon a time people wrote to each other (you know those primitive tools, pen and paper and envelopes and stamps) as penpals, sometimes having to wait weeks or months for the next instalment of their friend's life, and yet still managing to form close bonds... then what the heck is wrong with us?!
I'm sitting here with sunshine getting into my eyes and trying to maneuver the laptop so that the glare stays off the screen, wearing a purple t-shirt that probably needed a wash.... 2 days ago, vaguely dreaming of the dessert we're to have tonight at a friend's place, swatting the occassional last-of-the-season mosquitos, while the Wildflower naps.
You're real too. I'm quite sure of it.
There is more to come for me, in this whole community shananigans. I see wisps of possibilities - women's groups, retreats, online stuff, offline stuff, something, many things....
In my culture, my soulful role is facilitator at the crossroads. I do this quietly, mostly behind the scenes. Perhaps this will be my role in community, perhaps it will be something very different. I don't know.
It's such an exciting time. It's not occuring for everyone. But I see it occuring to those around me. To my Tribe, and to many visitors here.I think it has only merely sparked off with some bloggers doing Artist's Way, other bloggers exploring their goals, lifestyles, motherhood.
There is shifting.
And I believe that, for whatever reason, it's a shifting that requires community.
But how afraid we are. How unaccustomed we are to simply dive into the deep of relationships. How vulnerable we feel to dance with our very sisters.
I'm a hermit, but I'm willing to take my chances.