Two Hundred Thirty Nine: On Fire

“Human beings are born solitary, but everywhere they are in chains – daisy chains – of interactivity. Social actions are makeshift forms, often courageous, sometimes ridiculous, always strange. And in a way, every social action is a negotiation, a compromise between ‘his,’ ‘her’ or ‘their’ wish and yours.”  – Andy Warhol

Thursday, August 28th

The summer was winding down, and the Back-to-School BBQ signaled a change from aimless days to life on a schedule again. It was a struggle getting to know parents and kids last year, but my daughter and I stuck it out and it feels like it is starting to get easier for both of us now. My role as the Garden Liason had not been defined last year, so there weren’t set expectations for my volunteer work just as there was a lack of direction to guide me forward. Now I’d set my own bar from the year before and could move it up or down depending on how engaged I wanted to be.

I guess I was ready to raise that bar up. It was much easier to talk to others about conservation and gardening at the school, and really just talking to people about anything. I am quite socially anxious when I go into a brand new situation without any contacts or context, but if there is some familiarity then I have something to work with. And I’d spent the summer with other people doing other things, so this was actually a breath of fresh air.

It was liberating. I wasn’t the noob in the crowd anymore, and I could help others along that were struggling to find their place at this school as I was. Sheesh. It sounds as if I’m enrolled at the school myself, but the truth is that it really is a social experience I can only liken to my own school experience. I went through a similar shift in the cult of my personality between Grade 9 and 10. I gave up trying to be something for anyone else other than myself, and life became so much easier.

Anxieties, comforts, and wisdoms both come around full circle in our lives. Giving life lessons a second spin helps us learn it a little more sincerely and maybe on a deeper level.

When do you feel the most confident socially?


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