I saw a documentary recently that described Mark Twain as an “enormous and prodigious noticer.” That would be me. My curiosity is endless, especially when it comes to my fellow human beings, and I credit that quality as one that drives me to be a proficient “people person” and writer. When I meet new people, I encourage them to share their stories while prompting them with questions because everyone is interesting. And that is why I enjoy human contact so much.
I dubbed 2022 as my year of cultivating authentic in-person human heart connections. Covid be damned. I said that when the pandemic first began, and I confirm it now. I crave touch, direct eye contact and body language as part of my communication regimen, and I never get that from screen interactions. When world venues closed up and divided us into isolated square Zoom boxes, I hopped on board in a desperate attempt to stay connected with my earth family. Knowing there are people across the globe with the same compassionate mindset as I have is both comforting and reassuring. It’s fun to hear love spoken in different accents and languages. And LinkedIn has served the same purpose in a different format, yet similar capacity. I enjoy reading profiles there, expanding my worldwide network and messaging others passionate about nature, mental and spiritual wellness, creativity and a hunger for making a difference. Both platforms have introduced me to individuals and organizations that my mind would not have been exposed to otherwise, and for that I am grateful.
In the past two years I have been communicating with people digitally from Ireland to Australia; South Africa to Hawaii, Romania to Brazil and more, extending my communication like a tree outstretches its branches. Yet now my trunk is spinning from this virtual tour around the world. I am ready to again meet my immediate neighbors, wine or beer glass or tea mug in my hand for face to face conversation where we can clink those glasses together in a toast to celebrate whatever is happening in the moment. Holding space with someone a few feet across a table is so much better than connecting across the miles.
I like to spend hours laughing and chatting about anything, but initiating a deep conversation about someone’s dreams is a favorite activity of mine. I am a content listener until their words are exhausted, and I will then take over to cheerlead. Much of the joy I reap from these meetings is likely leftover from my lengthy and rewarding career meeting college students one-on-one to guide them with their post-graduate plans. In thirty-five years, I never tired of watching their eyes light up with the excitement that signified personal bliss as they confided in me three feet across my desk.
So in 2022, I am glad to place all of this Covid business and the digital communication that comes with it in my past even if it still is ever present in the world around me. It is time to end my virtual world tour, make new friends and keep the old in the best scenario ever, across the table. This will require sticking my neck out in a crowd that has found comfort with screens. Perhaps I will also plot out a world tour with thumb tacks indicating some of my LinkedIn contacts on a giant paper map of the world. The idea of physically traipsing the globe to hear and document their stories in person is so exciting. World Tour 2023 followed by a book. I like it!