Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Make the Connection
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Have you ever thought about how your life would be different if you hadn't made a connection? I have been thinking about it a lot over the past few days. It seems like we are thrown together with a lot of people in our lives. Our family....well, we don't really get a choice there, do we? I have been pretty fortunate in that area. (Let's just ignore all that stuff I wrote in my teenage journals, shall we?)
We have a "pool" of people to choose from in our classes while growing up. I was lucky (at least I consider it lucky) to grow up in a small town, and graduate in a class of only 90 kids, so I knew everyone. I was closer to some than others, but I still considered all of them my friends. I think the real fun starts when you start connecting with people you may have never met...unless something led you to make that connection. Many times, that involves saying "yes" to something. Like when I said yes to playing for my first show.
Little did I know I would be working with my future voice teacher, mentor, and wonderful friend.
(or that in a couple of years, in that same theater...I would meet the man I would almost marry...and then the one I would actually marry.) Oh yes, there is A LOT of drama in the theater!!
Then there are the connections you make unexpectedly. Like, after you break up with the man that you were almost going to marry, and with that broken engagement, you also have to give up the cute little yellow convertible you had been driving. So, you and your dad head off to the local used car lot, and pick out a lovely blue four door sedan...which is almost as cute as the previous car. (Who are we kidding here. It sucked) And to make this whole scenario even more depressing, as you are driving your pathetic new "hello, I am now 65 and might as well buy a polyester pantsuit" car, when you put in your band's new freshly released cassette tape (yeah...I'm old. Deal with it) the tape player eats it, and now the radio doesn't even work in the damn car.
Once I finally arrived home (in silence) I asked my neighbor (a man) what the heck I should do. His response: "Put on a tight shirt and go to Sound World." So I did.
It worked. I got a new stereo. And a date.
Rebound relationships are not advisable, but I DID get a great friend for life. :)
Another unexpected connection happened 11 years ago, on my computer. I was about to have a relatively invasive surgery. (Let's just say those exercises all of us 12 year old girls used to do "We must, we must, we must increase our bust!" worked WAY too well on me.) Yes, they were beneficial when it came to car stereos at a reduced price, but my back was screaming "REDUCE! REDUCE!"
So, I found an online support (lol!) group that dealt with this subject, and connected with a woman who had recently gone through this ordeal. Ironically, we talked little about the surgery, and quickly found we had tons in common. Right down to the fact that we were born two days apart. We have e-mailed/texted everyday for the past 11 years, as well as visited each other when possible. (She lives in New Jersey) Who knew I would find my BFF online? I cringe to think of my life without her...and pat myself on the back for reaching out and making that connection everyday!
Just this morning, I got a phone call from a woman I have never met. It began as a simple inquiry about needing an accompanist....and turned into an hour long conversation filled with laughter and commonalities. Sometimes, you just connect.
My husband (the introvert in the relationship...shocking, I know) doesn't understand my need to talk to people. For instance, whenever I sell (or buy) something on Craigslist, I typically end up forging a friendship with the buyer/seller. If I send him to pick up whatever ridiculously large piece of furniture I have purchased, I will always ask "so, what did you guys talk about?" (Because, I have, at that point, had a long, ongoing text dialogue occurring between myself and the seller, and naturally, I would expect my husband to pick that up and carry it on once he meets them.) He always looks at me with that "what the hell are you talking about" look he gets, and says "why would we talk about anything? I gave them the money and left." Ah yes, that is right. WHY on earth would you want to TALK to someone you didn't know? Men.
Well, even if he doesn't see the point in it, I will continue to do it. I will continue to say yes to anything that sounds either fun, interesting or gives me an opportunity to put myself "out there" and forces me to make new connections. Sometimes it's a little uncomfortable, but so is a straight jacket, once they come to get you because you have closed yourself off from society and have only spoken to yourself for the past 10 years. I am not suggesting you turn into one of those annoying people who just walks up to anyone and everyone, and talks non-stop at them. Subtlety is a fine art. So is reading body language. These are good things to master prior to your "go out and connect!" outing. Especially if you haven't left your house in the past decade.
If you happen to be one of those people, I challenge you to step out of your box, and make a connection. You just never know what might happen. :)