Ever dread something and then (afterwards) love that it happened? For me, this mostly occurs when a request for human connection goes head to head with my internal drive to task completion as a solo mission. When presented with the choice of which path to take, I actually mull it over for a bit which deviates from my usual quick decision-making super power. The former path, depending on who the human is, can be worth it or not (yes, I said it and I stand by my honesty). The latter always makes me happy. However, there is a particular human in which I ALWAYS love connecting with. It is not work, it is not awkward and it is never short in duration.This connection time is one in which I feel seen, heard, respected, and cherished every time. The connection ends and I find myself lighter, more relaxed and wanting more (but only with that person or my wife). Is this the feeling straight women have for their “girlfriend time?” I have never really understood that whole thing, though I happily share my theories as to why they need it so badly.
At any rate, as I bask in the glow of this recent human connection I am realizing that I only need a few of these connections to feel truly happy, and the rest of the world can keep turning. I need not participate or engage to fill any void in me. Whether it is a function of age or my ever-present “IDGAF” mentality, it’s simply not a need for me. Chocolate? A need. Books? Yes please. My wife and kids? No question. Lots of human connection for personal fulfillment? Eh, pass.
Now that might not seem out of the ordinary, but did I ever mention that I am a social worker? Helping others is encoded in my cells, and I believe the most effective social worker is one who can connect with those they are trying to help. You may think you know where I am going with this but read on. It is not ironic (to me at least) that I thrive on helping others (which requires connection) but that I do not personally desire lots of connection time for my own benefit. As far as I am aware, it does not stem from a blindspot or stubbornness that prevents me from leaning on others or asking for help. I am merely a former extroverted social worker turned introverted wife/mother. (does a bumper sticker exist for me?)
My main point here- and I do have one – is that humans are capable of doing a 180 and evolving into or away from connections at different stages of our lives. I don’t think it is particularly good or bad. It just is. I accept how I’ve changed, where I desire connection and where I do not.
Can you say the same?