We've hit the first of these words I don't feel qualified to write about. Scrounge mode: activated.
I'm not qualified, first off, because I don't have one. If you were to graph my tribe geographically, they'd look like an archipelago, a series of islands adrift in the sea of life. Some of them are connected to others of them, but not through me. To use current vernacular that's probably not current anymore, this has low-key bothered me for most of my life, but I remain unsure how to address it. You can't force people together, and most of my friends are varying degrees of introverts. We don't do things in crowds.
My family? I've had a stepfather and two stepmothers in my life. The stepfather has moved on after the passing of my mother, as is his total right, and the stepmothers never liked me, as is their total right. The first, to be fair, hated all children. But still, when you see family after family fracture...
As a kid, I blamed myself for my parents' divorce, as many children do. I know better now -- those two never should have married in the first place -- but the rest? At some point you get to wondering, am I the asshole? Some people clearly believe I am. Have you ever gotten a text from a family member, apropos of nothing at all, saying "ur rude"? Have you ever found out someone considers you "not worth knowing"? This has been my past WEEK.
Some of this is self-inflicted, I am sure. I"m not afraid to cut ties if they're toxic. The strength to do that came from Eva, who has the same low tolerance for bullshit that I do. I'm still no fan of conflict, but I am learning to pick my battles. If I feel valued, I'll fight to the ends of the earth to maintain and build that value. If I don't...please. Go find someone to value and leave me alone. I have been misunderstood my whole life, in spite of what I consider to be my best efforts. I want people who are capable of understanding me. My friends do. My partners do. Few others ever have.
All of this doesn't bode well for community. Nor does a case of social anxiety that is usually mild but can elevate rapidly and without warning to near-debilitating levels.
I live in a community, of course. We have trailer trash on one side of us -- the cops attend weekly -- and students on the other, and I don't know any of my neighbours. This is not making me look good, and I do know that. Like much else, I am working on it.
I love individuals. A lot. On an abstract level, I love the world. People in groups? Ahem...
I have gotten better. My circle of friends has expanded by leaps and bounds, thanks to my work and a little more self-assurance than I used to have.
Much of what I want to write I have already written here. There is a chance I will end up in a smaller city. I will need to seriously work on my community skills if that is the case.
Tomorrow: Imagination. That'll be better. I promise. I have one of those.