Friday, October 9

I'm a hermit.... who's called out

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 real.




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.

22 comments:

  1. Once again you seem to write about something that I have been thinking about myself, and you do it beautifully, thank you.

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  2. What, may I ask, are you doing roving around inside my head? Sheesh..I thought I'd locked the doors...*grin*

    Ditto to everything you just said...but with lots more capital letters and exclamation marks and bold type.

    I was listening to a programme on the radio the other night (I know! How deliciously retro of me) about the whole phenomena of things like Facebook and Twitter etc. etc. and the key point was that it's 'connection without expectation'. ie. I get to choose when and if I want to communicate with you and if I feel like being by myself for a few days you won't be offended if I don't want to talk to you because you can't directly experience me screening my phone calls or not answering the door. Makes total sense for us hermit types - which I most definitely am.

    Oh, I have SO been creating this fabulous fantasy of a women's retreat....trust me, it's AWESOME...and purely fictional at this point..

    So, it's okay to have more friends that you haven't met in the flesh than ones you have? I hope so....;)

    ~much love~

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  3. a wise and beautiful post. I do believe the growing will for peace and international community in this world owes a huge amount to the internet. People long to connect, whether introverted or not - we long to belong. And now that we are getting to know each other, it is harder to blindly hate each other or want to go to war.

    I talk about "my real life" sometimes on my weblog, but it is done tongue in cheek. My e-life is more rich, lively, and loving when it comes to social connection, intellectual input, artistic input. I have true friends online. In real life I know no one in that same way - no one who is willing to be true, to really share themselves - except people in my family.

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  4. Ohhhhh, so sweet to know I'm not the only person that thinks this way. I've always considered myself a hermit, minus the itchy robes here, as well. I enjoy people...on my terms! Aside from my hubby, my "best friend" is someone I've never actually met face to face..and it doesn't bother me in the least. There are so many wonderfully lovely ladies out here in bloggyland (and yahoo groups and what have you) to share with, learn from, commune with and cyberly hang out with...some, even, who are a blast to talk to on the phone or to have to call when you just need to let it out somewhere. Perfect fit for we, the hermit breed.
    Wonderfully well put post!

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  5. I believe that we read blogs of people with whom we have identified.
    This is me...
    Your blog is among those with which I identify.
    We are heremits, and at the same time people open their homes through blogs.
    This is wonderful for me.

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  6. How DO you do that?! Can you see inside my head Lol!
    All that mixed up messy stuff I can't quite figure out you manage to put into words and help me make sense of it all!
    Thank you for being you Mon :)

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  7. Ahhh! I just wanted to exclaim, well, SOMETHING after reading this. I have a post in drafts about my feelings on blogging community. But I wasn't even thinking about the loner thing. I'm an introvert, too, but desperately need connections with people. I have so much family that lives near me, yet I spend more time connecting ONLINE that I do in the flesh with these people. And I DO like my family.

    But I do like spending one on one time with people (hence that dream I told you about). I've been forcing myself out of my comfort zone lately in order to be with people.

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  8. Mon, Well, not to be repetitive here, but I feel just as everyone above does. Once again (and you have been doing this a lot lately) you have expressed so many things that were under the surface for me, that I could not (or would not) probably ever express for myself - the type of hermit I am, the role that blogging is playing in my life, the community I feel here, etc. For me, your blog (or perhaps I should say you) had this pull for me from the moment I read it, and that can't really be explained in terms of content, because for the most part we write about very different things, and our actual 'real' lives are very different. But there is a soul connection, and the being online actually helped that connection to develop, because there are no social constraints or physical boundaries or things like that getting in the way.
    On a related note, my blog is not that personal, it's more thematic I guess, which I love, because it lets me explore topics I want to and I'm just sort of made that way - I don't think I could share the way you do sometimes in a post (my moon in Aquarius?) I thought about starting a separate, more personal blog, but the idea stressed me out. And then I realized that your blog, and a few others, were fulfilling this need for me to share personally, and connect in that way, in the comments (hence, my comments are always very long!!!) They are often as close to 'raw' as I get...and for various reasons (hermit tendencies amongst them) that is not something I can or choose to do often...so thank you XOXOXO

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  9. Thanx for expressing your insights and thoughts! Great post!
    I have found that blogging and places like flickr give me an opportunity to grow, share and express creatively with like-minded people which isn't always easy to find in the person next door or even in your own family...and well, over the years many friends have drifted away or chosen to not be a part of my life due to our lifestyle choices and my naive eyes have been opened to the lack of acceptance of others around me...so, yes, when you can find a community online that provides support and acceptance you breathe a sigh of yippeekayeh!!!!... it's about time! Now, there is still nothing like a healing hug or a cup of jo at a local bookstore with a kindred spirit-but online you can take the plunge and really be more of who you are-you can take more risks -and you can do it on your own time! :)

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  10. Hi Mon:

    Thank you for your post. This post also spoke to me and you've touched on things that I've been thinking also so. I wouldn't call myself a hermit, but I'm an introvert for sure, and sometimes a lonely one because I find that I don't resonate with many people.

    I guess that's why I started blogging myself, so that I could hopefully meet others who felt / thought similarly to me.

    I have a lot / hate with blogging as I sometimes find it lonely anyway because I'd much rather interact with a person in the physical, but I think that this does give me an outlet.

    I am very much looking for community. I am longing for community. Your post made me realize that even connecting online is a form of community -- I don't think I actually realized that it was.

    Namaste.

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  11. Um. YEAH! To everything and even shedding a few tears as well. Shameless hussy that I am. Dramatic me? Well, you know. So many others have beaten me to it and said it already.

    And a women's retreat is something I've had rolling around my brain for a decade or more, and I've been wondering over the years how it was going to take shape...
    Love and peace
    xx

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  12. Er...I don't think my comment made much sense at all. Combo of feeling emotional and being interrupted by family...I think you probably know what I'm getting at : )

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  13. Yup, me too.
    Definite introvert, handful of friends (people I love and cherish) and a great sense of sharing and large World Friendship via this.

    So, so thankful. :)

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  14. thank you, Mon, for another beautiful, soulful, thoughtful post.

    once again you've given me loads to ponder. so why don't i just jump in?

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  15. I've been thinking about this too.

    I realized I'm a "highly sensitive extrovert". As in I derive energy from people but I'm also sensitive to my surroundings. So being with certain types of people or being in large crowds can drain me, but being in smaller groups, talking with interesting people, being around positive environments energizes me.

    I found the same thing with the internet; I can connect without feeling drained or can easily click out of places that drain me. It doesn't replace IRL interactions for me but it helps tremendously when I'm having a very sensitive day/week/month to not have to pull out from communication with people completely.

    ~Tara

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  16. this post is a little in the controversial side you know right? don't get me wrong is good but it has buts ;-)

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  17. Ah, you're new here, you should read some older posts, chuckle.

    Around here, buts are good, controversy is good. :)

    but what are the buts?

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  18. CHYM - so glad you'e enjoying yourself over here.

    Mel - perhaps I'm channelling you. ;)

    Missy - not only so many amazing people, but easier ways of finding and bringing them into our lives. Wonderful isn't it?

    Luciana - yes, opening our homes, our hearts.

    LisaC - yes, that tricky comfort zone. It takes negotitating, and then, just doing!

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  19. Lisa (MM) - actually, I think I grew to 'click' with you via comments. Those you make here, the responses to mine over at yours, and via the wonders of blogging world, what you make at other blogs. I think your blogs posts are an added benefit to the commenting you I 'know'. :D

    laurie - yes! why shouldn't support and inspiration come from online people as well as or instead of offline ones? What we need as people is connection. It seems we get hung up on how it's delivered to us.

    Janice - absolutely it's community! we're all real people seeking to connect. No need to add obstacles by our thinking, right?

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  20. Stephanie - it's funny how us introverts are out here sharing all manner of our lives.... to the WORLD! lol It does us good methinks.

    Tara - actually, Introverts do enjoy company - just small, selective, and meaningful.

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  21. Inspiring thoughts about building community within ourselves. I'm a firm believer community comes in all shapes and sizes. It's amazing how nurturing and supportive the blogging folk can be.

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  22. I am not, by nature, a hermit or an introvert. But I've found myself pulling more inside myself since we've moved to Sweden. It's challenging to make friends in this country and I've all but given up hope. Not that I don't crave social interaction. I am, to put it mildly, very outoing. But I guess I'm feeling too lazy to go out and get it. Though I did do something characteristically "Jenn" and invite myself over to a neighbour's house for a playdate...ha! And that little leap of faith turned out wonderful. Perhaps my laziness at establishing more in-person connections really has to with the fact that I'm being fulfilled in a certain way by this wonderful blogging community. I find your blog, in particular, my favourite place to come and chat. And it's funny, because I have so very little in common with your network. But I think that's why I enjoy coming so much. I always learn so much. Thanks for your post Mon and thanks for your blog. xoxo

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