When I was a very young child I got my fingers caught in an elevator door. I don’t know if the door didn’t have a safety release or if my fingers were just too small to make it swing back open all by itself. I do know that the door didn’t open till it reached the next floor and that my fingers stayed in the door until it opened. I figure this is the basis for my disdain for elevators. I can ride in one but I feel out of sorts until I get off. Anything annoying is amplified and quite frankly if the elevator ever got stuck I would tear the thing apart to get out. A few other things make me feel that way and I’m ok with that because I know what makes me anxious and I confront those feelings take a deep breath and move on.
I discovered today that I am much more social than I realized. I never considered myself antisocial. I love people. That is really all there is to it. I will talk to most anyone and pretty much everyone is my best friend until they are out of sight. I don’t turn on them when they are gone I just tend to not think about them until something prompts me. Often the thing that causes me to think about them is their presence at which point I remember that I said I’d do something for them which I forgot all about because I stopped thinking about them the moment they were out of sight. These are all things I know.
I have thought, however, that I do not require the face to face social interaction that I fall so easily into. It turns out that I do but didn’t know it because I was meeting whatever level my brain needs by working and going to school. My whole life I have had regular contact with people for several hours a day. Now I spend much more time in front of a computer and much less time with people. I do make a habit of visiting people throughout the day. I talk to the church secretary regularly and make quite a few phone calls. I haven’t had the kind of interaction that I need apparently because I have been feeling off lately. I know that some of this is SAD which I wrote about yesterday but there is something more than that. In the past two days I’ve been able to spend about 5 hours more per day with people just talking and not just business. I got to laugh and be myself, which is hard to do with church people, and generally had a good time. After each of these events I felt better. It has dawned on me that I need more social interaction.
I have never been without it so I never knew how much I needed it. This is a huge problem for me because I don’t know how to get past it. The reason I opened with the elevator story is because this extra feeling that I haven’t been able to put a finger on is the same feeling I get when I’m on an elevator, just a general sense of unease.
The good news is that I can address this by getting more social interaction. I am learning so much about myself lately. It seems so strange to be 30 and suddenly learn new things about yourself. I’d think after 30 years I’d have a pretty good idea who I am … So for the spiritual curve ball … wait for it … Isn’t it cool that God can say He knows us before we are born when we don’t really know ourselves after years of being ourselves? Didn’t see that coming did ya?
So what things have you discovered about yourself lately? More importantly, what things should I do to up my social interaction.