As so often with Reverb prompts, this makes me flinch, and then realise that I didn’t need to. Sometimes I feel that I am a complete disaster when it comes to connections. Every autumn I drop off the radar.
I have to expend so much energy keeping myself together that I can’t keep a conversation going with anyone else, particularly when it’s something that the rest of the world seems to consider easy. A phone call. A birthday card. I just can’t, and I feel so pathetic for not being able to. Even now, with my head almost back in the right place, the thought of having to buy, write and send Christmas cards is filling me with a vague sensation of dread.
– this year I have reconnected with two people from secondary school, fifteen years after I last saw them. Now we follow each other on Twitter.
– the internet is, in fact, excellent for keeping up with people. Generally speaking I’m better with the written word than the spoken word, and the ability to build in a delay is incredibly helpful.
– finally getting around to setting up a blog reader has helped, too – I follow an eclectic mix of people, on an equally eclectic mix of blogging platforms, and remembering to look at them all was becoming an arduous task.
– I am still in touch with my colleagues from Guildford, the ones I was so worried about losing, this time last year.
– the London Waterloo-Portsmouth line has been, and will be, seeing a lot of me through December, as I catch up with family and friends.
– this year we re-instituted the tradition of meeting at Warblington to remember Héloïse.
– I don’t lose people. Not permanently. They come back to me, and I go back to them. I’m not perfect, and they understand that.
How to keep this going, next year? And how to keep it going when all my social systems shut themselves down? Last year I was concentrating so hard on getting through the great move, on making the most of my last months in Surrey, that I did it all in a state of accidental mindfulness and it was fine. I worked very hard on my connections then, because I thought I was about to lose them all. I’d like to recapture that, but without the stress that induced it all.
I remember something I saw written across a wall in a hostel in Spain: SER SINCERO Y COHERENTE ME HACE UNA PERSONA AUTENTICA. That, I think, comes very close to being the answer.