Sunday, August 30, 2015


Part of plugging myself back into my old life, now that I've returned from my two-month, cross country trip, has been to attend those events where my tribe routinely gathers. Today that place was a lovely picnic spot overlooking the East Bay in Rhode Island. I stopped at the Eastside Market, picked up a few dozen pieces of sushi to take along, and away I went. Alone. It never occurred to me to seek out another to go to the picnic with. However, while I was navigating the crowd, making small talk, answering questions about my trip, I overheard some women talking about being happy to have another to go with because left to their own devices, they never would have attended alone. I understand the need to show up with a friend in tow, someone to break the ice with, but take it from someone who has walked into plenty of rooms full of strangers alone in the last few months---it's a worthy pursuit. Cast aside your fear. Hold your head up and walk bravely into that gathering. Smile. Find a friendly person or group of people and walk up and put your hand out. Say your name. Listen when others give you theirs. Ask questions. Recognize that it's human nature to feel awkward, maybe even a little intimidated, but lots of folks feel that way initially. You are not alone.

I was listening to my favorite songwriter/musician, Jackson Browne, earlier. In For a Dancer, Browne sings, "Just do the steps that you've been shown, by everyone you've ever known, until the dance becomes your very own, no matter how close to yours another's step have grown. In the end there is one dance you'll do alone." Let's all stop hiding behind our partners, friends, family, and move bravely into the world. I can't get to know you if you're sitting home afraid to come out and play. Quite frankly, if I waited for a mate or a fellow traveler to experience life with, I'd be missing out on a whole lot of cool people, places, and things. I don't know about you, but life is way too short to sit this dance out. When I hear the music, the chorus, I am going to dance, with or without a partner in tow.

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