Mar 1, 2022Liked by Amy Yuki Vickers

I think this blog post really resonates with me, and should resonate with a lot of people, because a lot of our way of socializing in this country is built to keep us in that lonely state.

Perhaps it's my own experiences with the feeling of loneliness that drives my thinking in this era, but I like that you honed in right away on the crafting of relationships as a means of pulling oneself out of a lonely state. Getting enough rest, and adequate nutrition and exercise are contributing factors, sure but health is much more than just your physical body being in good shape; one must guard one's mental health as well.

I think the older I get the worse I feel about all the time wasted pursuing things that did not feed my soul. Looking back upon all of the transient things that I chased and realizing that the best of those things I'd acquired were not even close to the most casual relationships and interactions I've built with acquaintances, friends, family and partners.

In these post-COVID times, I decided to deny my hermit-like nature, and take a gamble on two new relationships -- one of which was a partner who I'd parted ways from and decided to reconnect, and the other was a metamour in my Polycule. Both of those gambles have paid off in dividends I could not even have predicted and it has made a tremendous difference in how connected I feel to others.

Good post! I enjoyed this read too!

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I’ve waited to comment on this for so long because I feel lonely so much of the time. I say that while considering myself very fortunate to live with someone I consider my best friend, or at least one of my best friends. That whole “best” thing has always been a concept I have rejected in many ways and have been vocally clumsy about, including a potentially hurtful comment I made to you years ago. In truth, I consider you one of my best friends, but I just don’t like the way the words sound. Relationships are not award ceremonies. There are real connections that are forged through years of interactions, and then there are those that develop in brief moments and may only last for a short time.

Back in 2006, I attended Photoshop World in Miami. I met these two women from Denver and for those few days that I was there, we became the “best” of friends. I don’t think any of us really expected that we would keep in touch afterward (which we did not), but there was real connection.

There are these connections that get made when we share an experience with others, especially when we are learning something together. But there are also connections that get made when we merely share space. I remember, and this was fairly early on in the pandemic, when comedian Jim Gaffigan talked about how the people he really missed were strangers; the people you pass by and overhear as you walk around a city. I could totally relate to that.

After reading your post, I started thinking about how much I used to enjoy creating art alongside others. There is something about being in an art lab alongside other creators. You might never collaborate, but there is still a collective influence. Our local library recently made a lot of structural renovations. Will and I went to look at the new rooms (which aren’t officially open to the public yet) the other day. Much of the new maker space is filled with these nice drawing tables. It reminds me of some art labs on college campuses. There are additional features, such as the 3-D printers and CNC machine, but the drawing tables got me to think about the possibility of creating alongside other artists. Will and I are going to make a recommendation for MerMay, which is something I want to contact our old friend Heidi about as well. I misplaced her mobile phone number (I’m not always good about putting things into my phone), and get a weird signal when I tried calling her landline that sounds like Morse code. I guess I am going to have to mail something. Anyway, drawing, painting, writing... they all seem like solitary activities, and yet they needn’t be.

I think, though, there is always going to be a sort of inherent loneliness that is just a part of who I am. Part of it is due to trauma and how I cope or fail to cope. I am always looking to narrative therapy. I want to have some control of the narrative while preserving the truth. I realize that I am just so broken at times... it is like I am some scared kid trying to find the nerve to ask out a crush when I am just trying to reach out to someone I have known and interacted with for years. My brain creates all these scenarios where maybe I did something completely unforgivable. Then I reflect upon times in my life when what I craved most was just to be left alone; this desire to fade in the background. I am still like that sometimes.

I’m an introvert who, for a significant portion of my adult life, played a rather convincing extrovert.

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Feb 14, 2022Liked by Amy Yuki Vickers

Finally! What a week. I saved this like the last slice of cake. Agreed, it's that wee spark of connection. Without it life gets very soggy. Mwah! ~LA

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