Thoughts on Connection

Wanting to blog and feeling tired and flat, I looked in my Drafts folder and found this, which I wrote on the 26 June this year:

Recently I have been laying low. Really questioning my life, but not coming up with any answers yet. I know that the trick is to be hopeful and positive and ‘look up,’ It can be easier said than done and I am grumpy with my family, distant with friends, going for more solo coffees than ever before…

But still I’m craving little connections. Each birthday card I received this year made me cry. I’m texting my farthest away friends a lot more. I have some new internet friends. I’m applying for a ton of jobs. I went to Belfast to visit my aunties and have a job interview and I ended up hanging out with both my siblings who live there.

I am someone who really thrives on connection, I would say we all do, but it’s good to realise it sometimes. I love snail mail, I love/hate social media, I like WhatsApp. Maybe it’s the 9 plus years of customer service roles but I like to chat with the work coach lady about her son’s degree, and the massage therapist about Donegal, and random people about too-personal things, really.

Little connections can make a day: a smile, a thank you, a hug. It works both ways.

I liked it so I will build on it. Things that have changed: I am no longer applying for jobs because I am employed! I am Employment Mentoring Officer (An EMO!) at the Women’s Centre in my home town. It’s a ‘big girl’ job, and one where I’m surrounded by interesting, good like-minded women in the team, helping women return to work, and to fit with the theme of this post, connecting with a real cross-section of fascinating and amazing women. It just really seems to fit where I am in life at the moment. Everyone has been so welcoming, I’m 3 weeks in and it’s still a bit scary and I’m learning everyday, but I think I’m settling in.

There are fewer things I won’t do because I am embarrassed. This is where I am in life: I am rebuilding. It’s certainly painful and one really wonders what it’s all about sometimes. Still going for those solo coffee trips, still being grumpy to my family. I haven’t been to a bar in months. It’s not my scene at the moment, and that’s ok.

Letters have been a bit out of reach lately, maybe a bit too personal? I hope to get back to writing my beloved snail mail soon. I recently watched a few good films on Netflix, and enjoyed recommending them to the appropriate friends. I’m looking forward to my cousin cutting my hair next week so we can have a little catch up. I booked my first day off so that I can go to a book event, and hear Kit de Waal talk about her newest book ‘The Trick to Time’ in Belfast. Connect with an amazing author. Maybe find a friend to have more coffee with while I’m there.

Sometimes, for a lover of words, I am lost for words, I can’t explain or emotions get in the way. But the important thing is to keep trying. To be honest and if it’s really important, make the connection. Little silver strands of connecting brighten and strengthen our lives, bind us and empower us to keep going.

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