Sometimes, you have to jump through all the hoops that travel currently entails, get on a plane, and be with the people you love, in person.
Technology may aid in connecting us across distance, but for me, there’s something that simply cannot be achieved in the same way as sharing physical space with another human.
So far, my goals and intentions for 2022 are merely ideas floating in space. Nothing has formally been committed to paper (which is a commitment I take seriously), except for one: to connect with other humans.
I consider myself almost equal parts introvert and extrovert, but the pandemic has me very deep in my introverted self. Pre-pandemic, I had recently moved across the country to a brand new city, and made a regular practice of going out on my own and striking up conversations with strangers. I took art classes, dance classes, joined Toastmasters, and explored the city. I loved it!
Now I find myself woefully out of practice, and craving connection beyond video calls and text messages. I’m toying with ideas for how to build back that social muscle, and create new community.
Then, my grandmother went into hospital, and due to an unfortunate series of events, is stuck there indefinitely. I adore this woman, and I adore my Aunt who will do anything to ensure my Gran’s comfort and wellbeing. They live 1400 miles away from me. I knew, very quickly, that I had to be there, be close by, even though I can’t go to the hospital. The closeness was required.
And just like that, I’m in Toronto, with my family, and it’s wonderful even though it’s not a happy occasion. The physical proximity, the closeness, sharing time, space, hugs, and conversation…it’s the absolute best! My soul feels nurtured and filled, and I’m reminded of how important this is for me, for my humanity.
Physical connection may or may not be important to you, and it’s entirely up to you to know. What is important is to be aware of what fills you up and feeds you, and to notice if you’ve been numbing out the need. If upon reflection you find your secret sauce is lacking, be willing to do what it takes to make it present in your life. Just like that.