I recently had the pleasure of spending a few days with people I love and it made me realize a few things. First, I really am a people person. I am so much happier when I’m connected to people. And I don’t mean through social media. I mean the sitting in the same room kind of connected. We don’t even need to be talking to each other. We could each be reading different books or just sitting outside enjoying the weather or the view.
Second, being in the presence of another person brings you an emotional connection you cannot get through the internet. At least, I can’t. Being able to reach over and hold someone’s hand or hug or lean on each other. Really. Physically lean on each other. Try it. It can bring so much comfort or silliness depending on the mood. Watching someone as they turn their face into a warm breeze and breathe in the scent of the ocean brings a smile to my face.
Third, being with other people sometimes means embracing the chaos. Letting conversations swirl around you like fall leaves on the wind. Discussing the day, sharing things that make them smile, venting about whatever ridiculous thing aggravated them, or dissolving into peals of laughter. It means listening to others argue but not getting involved because you know it will resolve itself. Everyone has a different way of communicating and sometimes they clash.
Take a moment and watch the others around you. It makes my heart swell to see my family and friends interacting and enjoying themselves. Watching those that are watching others and thinking no one notices. The concern etched on faces of loved ones as they look after each other and the joy that stretches across those same faces when they see each other enter a room. Those small details that you cannot get through a screen. And while the screen serves a purpose when loved ones are miles away, I’m tired of it being the only form of connection.
I am a people person through and through. I would rather sit down and have a cup of tea and chat. Sitting outside in nice weather while having a conversation or taking a walk in the woods hold more pleasure than a phone call. Although, if I could actually have a quick phone call I would probably have more of those. I am the kind of person that enjoys listening to the stories of older people. The glimpses into the lives of others and hearing their hopes and dreams and the suspense they keep you in until you find out which became reality and which are still dreams.
People will always surprise me. They are not always what they first seem to be. I savor uncovering the layers of a person as you get to know them better. To do that, you have to put down your electronics and focus on that moment. Listen with intent. Connect with other people. For me, it keeps me afloat.