Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Individual / Community

I used to like the idea of community and being part of something, but I have to say, when I felt those things it's more that I wanted to feel those things. When I acted on a community level it always felt like their was a hand up my ass and directing my mouth and my actions on how to speak. Like minded people are great for like an hour, unlike minded people serve me way better though - even though it's absolutely infuriating sometimes - like minded people are a comfort, but I find myself needing like-minded people in my life less and less. My partner is a perfect example: he is oil and I'm water, we piss each other off in a real way at least every 1 -2 months. It's ground shattering and makes me question why I chose this person who aside from basic human decency, ultimate kindness and an inexplicable attraction and respect for one another, we have little in common. In fact, if we didn't have a mutual friend who teeters on the edge of social and charming and quiet and eccentric, we wouldn't know each other (also, you know, aside from the fact that we were born on opposite ends of the planet). I've tried for years to be comfortable in crowds, the only thing that it's proved is that I require alcohol if I'm expected to hold a conversation with someone I've either just met, or am only mildly acquainted with. I also don't have a stop button for booze so I also turn into an insufferable drunk. Socially, I'm like a drunk Linus, and alcohol is my miraculous blue blanket. If I do make friends, I often question how I made them because the friends I do have, happened effortlessly and I've had them for years. I can count my friends on almost both my hands; neither party (to my knowledge) forced the other to be
friends, it just was.

But I don't consider my friends a community or a tribe. For the most part, at least 1/4 of them don't know each other or have only met briefly in passing (or in two cases, 3 of us haven't met in person at all!). I've tried to find community online, but (this sounds bad) this takes a lot of effort. Either making videos or commenting, or taking photos, or facebook, or the whole mirad of ways that social media connects strangers. I hate feeling obliged to like, "heart" something, or say something. If it wasn't for the fact that I lived practically on another planet I wouldn't still have facebook, or instagram - I'd have twitter, as that's more amusement and I generally only follow people I don't know or people who make me laugh.

The whole idea of community or "finding your tribe" gives me a lot of anxiety because in the esoteric community there is this weird emphasis on it, and for me, because I'm still working on insecurity and "being OK with me". I've tried being a team player in a world that seems to love team sports; but I'm really just more of a "singles" tournament player.

I  heard a quote by someone (when I heard it I nearly had an anxiety attack) that "the time of the lone wolf is over". I don't even know if I'd describe myself as a lone wolf, as I do have a wonderful partner, family and friends, what my issue tends to be is wanting to meet new people. Often times I don't actually consider the possible benefits of making new friends (...are there benefits?) or cementing connections. I wouldn't call myself prickly in social situations with new faces, but I wouldn't call myself welcoming either. All of this feels like it's constantly swirling in my head, because my partner is so social and enjoys making new connections with people. He is exceedingly confident and well adjusted, and I am exceedingly not confident and only mildly well adjusted. That said I'm not "oh woe is me about" the situation, just intrigued, at the heart of our relationship I guess you could say we enjoy challenging each other and have a genuine love for simple things and adventures (like actual adventures like travel and sleeping in the desert and camel riding, but also the quiet kinds too, like finding a new foot path near our house).

Obviously it's strange to try and sum up why you and someone else have chosen to be together and have a shared life, but lately our glaringly obvious differences really excite me and make me wonder how this handsome sun god creature has chosen someone like me. I wouldn't call it flattering either, because our relationship just happened, against every odd.

But back to the idea of community and tribes, as I could sometimes talk about my fella for hours. I've just never been into cultivating a tribe, or seeking out a sense of community. While I would rarely ever venture to call myself a witch in any serious way, the witchyness about me sort of puts me on the periphiery. Not saying you can't contribute in community or have a tribe if you are a witch, but I've been really feeling the solitary Baba Yaga vibe. The idea that I should find a tribe feel really limiting to me, that I'm part of something is stiefeling to me. But this lack of want is complex, because I do have people in my life that are the solar system to me even if the bug the piss out of me, but at the same time I would hardly call them my tribe, and this sounds weird, but I don't want them as part of my tribe either. I don't want a community or tribe, but at the same time I don't want to be isolated. It sounds like I want my cake and to eat it too, which is actually logical. If you have a cake, why wouldn't you eat it?

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