After almost two weeks of talking mainly to myself, plants, and inanimate objects, I need some socialization. Yes, an introvert just wrote that sentence. I too, am surprised. I’ve figured out that introversion is how I process the information I take in over time, but it doesn’t really define my personality type, now that my rusty person to person skills are a little more flexed.
I am an open and curious person, and I am finding people genuinely interesting to be around in small doses. While I don’t do mundane chatter or superficial people very well, I really enjoy one on one or small groups. Intelligent people are extremely stimulating and I crave deep connections with other active and creative minds. In a transient-by-nature setting, those will be few and far between I suspect. Since most of my interaction with the world for the last ten years has been remote (email, phone, text), the enjoyment of actually interacting in person is proving far more fulfilling. Tone of voice, inflection, body language and eye contact provide so much more real time feedback, and lessen miscommunications. You can hear humor, irritation, sincerity in voices to guide your perception of words and give them the correct context. Because of the infinite variations in people, their own internal frames of reference and personal perspectives, I’m astonished we communicate well at all outside of face to face encounters. Perhaps that is one of the things that ails our world today – lack of connection, not connectivity. Without the minute facial changes, body shift, voice emphasis and eye responses, it is easy to misjudge intent or context. I think we should interact more in person.
Everyone has a story, and I love hearing them. I ask a lot of questions. Many people care not one whit about hearing anything about you – the ones that do ask, pay attention to. They have curiosity and possibly empathy and compassion and are worthy to investigate. These exchanges help to draw a picture of people in my mind. First impressions are generally wrong, in my experience. Someone quiet and seemingly aloof may simply be a thinker and observer. The fluttery social butterfly may actually really be nervous in a group. People misjudge me quite often, which used to upset me. Nowadays, if they are around long enough and matter, I’ll try to correct the misperception. Otherwise, it’s no longer my problem and I just don’t care. People don’t usually disappoint; it is our expectations formed about people, that disappoint. They are just being their own, unique selves. Let go of expectations and let the person unfold gently in front of you.
My camp has been wonderful and I am loathe to leave it. It’s sparsely populated, yet close to anything one might need, quiet and gloriously sunny. It comes with a regular hummingbird visitor who now flies right into the shade of the open van doors and gives me the eye, letting me know he’s disappointed with the lack of food sources he anticipated finding amid the bright colors of my gypsy silks! I’ve been able to shower more regularly since there are no grey water restrictions outside of using environmentally safe products. I’ve had a thoughtful, if unhygienic, occasional neighbor who works the flea markets and brings end of day leavings from time to time on the days he camps here, of fruit and veggies. Until your diet consists of 1,001 ways to make ramen interesting and mostly canned meats, you can’t really appreciate a good orange, a juicy ruby red grapefruit or a fresh avocado. I made fresh lemonade as well! Life’s simple pleasures, things in our country in overabundance that we often take for granted, come to the fore at such times.
After work today, I’ll pack up and head in to the PAR-TR for some music, meeting new people, putting faces to names of people I know only through online forums,rig ogling and hopefully, dancing! It has been a tough couple of weeks for me and has left me off kilter, raw around the edges, and hurting. Shout out to those who have reached out – thank you. During my psychology studies and through therapy, multiple tests stated I was an empath-someone who feels other’s pain. But I think there is another, lesser known part to that. Sort of a negative backfeed loop if you will, where if I am in pain, I can overlay that onto others when it may not be true. I’ve found this a time or two with my closest friends. Lately, I’ve misunderstood friends due to my own imbalance. It happens, but I’m still sorry. I hope to destress, move my body, and release things into the big, black sky, and recalibrate myself.
Where after that? I do not know yet. I’ll either move into other, less congested BLM land within range, discover some place new, or return here to the quiet solitude and my hummingbird friend.
Some sights from my last two weeks.
Check your expectations. Be yourself. Forgive easily. Appreciate the little things. Let it go. Be open hearted.
~SE on the move on the road