My Life as a Gadabout
I am having some transition issues with my social life. I used to flit about all over the place, seemingly intent on building relationships. But recently, I have been given the opportunity to re-evaluate and see that what I really had before was not a close or deep connection, but instead, a breadth of people with whom I shared little depth.
It is eye opening, somewhat shocking and painful to review.
I think that I started off in life feeling like I was not going to be included so I set about to make myself indispensable so that I would assure myself a seat at every table. It was exhausting work. But what I have found out more, is that I wanted to be invited but I didn’t really want to go. And while that is somewhat of a popular meme, it is sad and a bit hard to take on an emotional front.
It is a hard day when you wake up and take stock in the relationships you have spent so much time investing in...and come up way short...like completely in the red.
How could I have done this for so long and not seen what I was doing? How could I have allowed my gadabout tendencies to masquerade as depth and vitality for so long? Why has all the activity been more about pleasure and less about intimacy?
I have really been looking at this and I am still working on it. It is a core thread in my life. I am sure that being a military brat didn’t help much either. I lived a life that was focused on the external and temporal.
Getting to core stuff in your life is painful. Looking at how much you mean and others mean to you and coming up way lacking is hard to admit, accept and allow to permeate. But I see it now. I have been so stubborn in my delusion.
I recently read The Great Gatsby again after many years. And I could so relate to Gatsby. Feeling less than and then setting about changing yourself so that you can get what you think you want. Surrounding yourself with takers who are only really using you to get what they want themselves. Using those same people back to get what you really want which is a connection to someone you love, deeply. For me, I didn’t have a Daisy in mind, just an idea of a connection that would save me.
I was so focused on getting what I wanted that I missed that I was not really living my life. I was in jeopardy of losing it all. I can see that now.
It is very hard work to allow people to fall away from you. It is hard to walk the line where you are honest, where you are present and where you can tell the truth about how you feel about them, yourself and the divide between the two.
I have a hard time connecting and I don’t think most people would know that from looking at my life. But I do. I see it so clearly and if you have ever tried to get close to me, you will likely agree. There is this standoffishness that I can’t seem to rid myself of...a distance that even I can’t bridge.
At 51, I am at a point where I am tiring of the effort. Instead feeling more like it was time to just allow whatever falls away to fall away. I feel the need to retreat again and I am not sure if that is progress or regression...
I guess what I know today is that I don’t want to gadabout anymore but I am not sure how to do it differently. I truly value the close relationships I have and I want to do those deeper and more present than I have in the past. I am working on that.
Today, I guess I am grateful that I am changing. I am working on being ok with who I am, who I used to be and being willing to become whatever it is I am to become next. I guess the main difference today is that whatever it is that comes next, I really want it to be spirit driven, not Erin driven.
Social activity is fine but I am finding more and more that I just enjoy being at home with my kids and pets and learning to live in the moments there. I never knew home could be such a place of solace and comfort. It always seemed like so much work before...perhaps because I could sense that there was a lot of work to be done there that I wasn’t doing?
I feel like a lot of things are shifting and changing, mostly especially in me. And I am grateful for the painful yet eye opening process of self evolution when tied to a higher purpose. I really feel the pull of God towards a different life. And I know that it isn’t just me, I think on some level we all feel that way. Just look at the majority of the Super Bowl ads yesterday...I was somewhat shocked at their depth and desire for connection.
I guess my final intent is to say that I want to connect but I want to do it differently, I want to encourage myself and others to be here now and try to give what we can while we are here. Let us make commitments to each other, share things in an effort to really touch the lives of others. Each one of us starting where we are and stretching toward the direction of goodness and kindness. Gadabout but with a purpose of having all that social activity mean something to all who participate. I am not sure how, but I know the desire is strong.