Launching my twelve-month journey to find connection
My search for meaningful connection
Turning forty last year was when everything changed for me.
Shortly before the big day I was invited to a party. I can’t remember what the occasion was, but in the lead up to the event I experienced a strange mix of emotions. I was secretly impressed that I was going to a party all by myself. There was something quite empowering about turning up to an event that was filled with couples and families ON MY OWN! It felt quite grown up. Yes, weeks before I was turning forty I finally found myself feeling like a grown-up!
I arrived at the party knowing that I came across as a confident, self-assured woman, which was completely at odds with how I was feeling inside. As soon as I walked through the doors the nerves swiftly kicked in and the butterflies started fluttering.
‘What have I done?‘ my mind screamed at me.
Indeed, what had I done? As the evening went on, any small amount of confidence I had slowly started to disappear. I looked around, struggling to find someone, anyone, to strike up a conversation with. The familiar chit-chat taking place between groups of friends and loved ones, created an invisible barrier which was firmly placed between me and ‘them’.
I started to feel self conscious and uncomfortable as I stood around smiling at people in the desperate hope that someone would take pity on me and talk to the poor woman on her own. I’m not sure how I thought that would happen – I don’t think I’d be rushing to talk to a woman with a slightly scary-looking, awkward grin plastered on her face.
This sense of isolation increased as my birthday drew closer – accompanied by a loss as I realised that life hadn’t turned out as I’d thought. Time was rapidly passing and the feeling of invisibility was getting stronger.
I know I’m not the only woman to have felt like this. I have met many people over the past year or so who have had similar experiences. In fact I’m surprised at how many of us there are – surely that’s an opportunity for connection right there.
So I’ve come up with my own personal year-long journey to find meaningful connection which I hope will help me discover a sense of belonging whilst remaining true to myself. The journey consists of a series of exercises and activities that I’ve come up with, based on my own personal circumstances. There will be a different focus each month, and through each one I’m hoping I will become better connected. Some may work, others won’t, but I want to share my journey and what I learn here and on my Facebook page with you all.
My first theme will start on 1st June and during the first month I will be looking at ways in which I can better understand and accept myself. This is a huge one to begin with because accepting myself is so difficult for me. I am really jumping in at the deep end by starting with this. But I know that I want my connections to be genuine and in order to do that I need to be comfortable being myself and sharing the real me with the world.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what the coming year brings and I hope that it takes me from being an ‘outsider’ to a ‘connected outsider’.