I say this most tenderly, with much humility-I-am-chief-among-sinners attitude.

We are a disconnected people.

I am disconnected.

I participate in almost-relationship rituals that involve email, facebook, blogspot, texting and some phone calls. Usually, not even email. A full email is quickly becoming my gold star standard of relationship; much more common is the pat on the back I give myself if I write on one of my friends' walls that I'm thinking of them.

Which, of course, is not the same as asking, genuinely, how they are. The harsh truth is, I'm not that careful with the people I'm presumably closest to. In my graduate program, things are a little different. We see each other face to face weekly for hours at a time. We talk about our successes, "failures", fears and biases and we care for each other gently. When we ask each other how we're doing, we listen. We listen because this is hard. Life is incredibly tender, incredibly mysterious, incredibly sweet, and incredibly tenderly difficult.

I've done some weird things communication wise with the people I'm closest to since my divorce. The most intimate details of my life went public, and I shut down. In big ways. Made new friends that hadn't shared in my shared history with my former husband, which helped me to forget the constant pain and the all of the ways in which he not only let me down, but also let our mutual friends down. And then when Shoes came along, I kept him all to myself. For a really, really long time. It was mine, and if I got hurt, only I got hurt. And I was just so physically exhausted of sharing all the details of my process. And, Shoes and I have faith differences. Very difficult to explain. Very physically exhausting to continue to explain, especially when Shoes and I have talked and talked and talked and talked and talked (no kidding) and talked about the faith differences to arrive at a point of genuine respect and understanding.

Of course, there's some balance in this too. The divorce was incredibly traumatic and crisis driven. Then things leveled out. And things started to get better, and I didn't share as much of the good things because 1) I was tired of having people listen to my drama and 2) it just wasn't crisis driven and there wasn't as much need on my part. But I've shared that before.

My co-worker Rachel, the one that calls me water, says that my Cancer sign equates to a lot of emotional neediness. While my faith in astrology, is well ... you know ... I can say to that, Amen, sister. I'm needy. Trust me, I know.

So here we are. Let's loop this back around to the beginning.

We are a disconnected people.

I am disconnected.

But it's getting a little old. And when I accept the love and support of my co-horts in graduate school, who notice when I'm getting tired and celebrate when things go well and accept any and all differences between us without judgment, I think, I should be offering this to the people I share such deep and rich history with.

So I think I'm going to start raising my gold star standard.

1 Comment

  1. Ronna on May 17, 2010 at 8:12 AM

    This makes me very very happy :)

    And it also makes me treasure each and every one of those few and far between emails. I am in the same boat there. If you email worthy, consider yourself LOVED.

    You, are loved <3


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