Friday, January 24, 2014

Conduits and Connections

Back in 2009-ish, I was spending a lot of time on Twitter. It is where I met some really great people I am still in touch with today, but now on Facebook, and a couple that even transcend the world of the internet. For those who I really connect with, I am so grateful. I value each and every connection, and the ones I value the most are the ones who really get what I am going through because they are going through some version of "it" themselves.

On Facebook in the last couple of days someone quoted the conversation of a couple on the NYC subway. Apparently, a woman on a crowded subway said she'd rather be on welfare than have to deal with the subway on a regular basis. Her companion agreed, and said next time they'd have to take a car service. 

Obviously they are so far removed from the experience, they cannot relate to it, or likely anyone who does use it. I recently read that (if it is true) Ed Norton did not want to get to the point when he could not ride the subway. Two different perspectives, each right for their perspective "owner," and on different ends of the spectrum. Short of some shift, they would likely never be able to relate to each other - at least when it comes to the NYC subway.

It seemed that those who spent time on Twitter had something that I had, and we were able to connect through the conduit that is the site. Once I stopped spending time there, another conduit needed to be found, or the connection lost, and there have been a lot of lost connections because they were dependent on that one device for continuity of connection.

It occurs to me that is pretty much how life can be. Our shared experiences are what connect us, and help us relate to each other. Even if we don't stay in contact with someone for a while, we can still connect with the piece that we once had, and be off and running again.

Since I have not been close to anyone personally who has dealt with cancer, many that I have known can't relate to me now - based on cancer. It seems in many cases, cancer is all they see. It is like what has been has been forgotten, or at least pushed into the background, covered by the glare of the disease.

How do we choose how we relate? It seems to me that in average day-to-day events it is much easier to relate and connect over the good stuff and the relatable stuff. But when something transcends those two categories, it seems that is when the wheels have the greatest chance of falling off.

Interestingly, I think the greatest opportunity for connection comes when we are uncomfortable, and still move forward, and still try to stay connected. It is where we can learn the most, and touch and be touched the most.

Someone I have met in the last year told me that when we first met she had her doubts. She had her own stuff going on, and wondered about getting involved with me in some way. She has told me more than once that she is glad she got past that stuff, and chose to get to know me. I have really valued our talks, and it would seem we have a mutually beneficial dynamic, part of which is based on a mutual understanding of certain things. She gets stuff others may never get about what I am dealing with, and she knows that the same applies when I hear her talk about herself. I can almost hear the relief in her voice when she knows someone understands.

I have felt fo a long time that I am meant to be in the places people do not expect me to be. I have felt that way because of the countless times and conversations that I have had that have been in those places. Had I been where I "belonged," it would never have happened. 

I think there have been times that I may have helped to bridge a gap in understanding for another, or given them an opportunity to make a bridge for themselves to take their next step because they felt better about some part of themselves. It is times like those that make me think I am doing the right thing, although it can be at times incredibly uncomfortable.

I haven't gone looking for these connections, but a few have shown up. Maybe they are a gift to me in very much the same way I have been a gift for another who wasn't expecting it. We act like we can control our lives, our loves, what we do, don't do, but I think it is those things that surprise us that have the greatest amount of impact. I have looked for connection, and never felt more lonely. Maybe we think we make connections, but life really does it for us.


I did not plan on this entry. I actually planned to share a link to some past work I did. http://bbltwt.com/dk86w The page is a number of "Bubbletweets" I made when I was active on Twitter. They do not seem to work on the Safari browser on the iPad, but they work on the iPhone. They are short videos that pop up in a bubble,

The one that shows me live is more interesting to me now, given all that I have been through, and the fact that I now have over 230 videos on my YouTube channel (GotStressGetRelief.com). It is a mixed bag of stuff. Perhaps you'll enjoy a bit of it.

So now I have shared not only what I intended, but also my tangent. :) I never truly know where I will wind up. We all have a sense of the things we want, but I wonder how often they become anything like we think they will be. I  wonder how many times they're convuluted and more complicated than we want them to be, but I also wonder how often they are better than we could have imagined or hoped for.

There are occasionally times I go back and read what I wrote. While those things made perfect sense to me at the time, I have no freaking clue what I meant! I suppose it doesn't really matter, as it must have served some purpose at the time. Odd how we change and shift when we're not looking.

I guess that is also what you get when you think out loud. I don't know about you, but it is this process that helps me clarify what I think and feel. And it is a process. Life is a process. We are always, ever becoming. 

People talk about transformation like it is something you do, and then you are done. Life is ever transforming, and us with it. It has always been, and it will never end. There is no beginning to it. 

We think there is a beginning because we are told we need to transform which inherently implies that we must begin. But it seems to me that it is just an endless ride that just goes in different directions at different times. Looking at it that way, there is nothing to do - but keep going.


  1. I love twitter and yes you find and connect with some amazing people there!


    1. Thanks for coming by, and feel free to share your Twitter name here, if you like!

  2. Elizabeth - you are on the money with people assuming they have nothing in common with or nothing to gain from associating with others who are not of the same social sphere, economic class, or education level. And this goes both ways - people who are more educated may not entertain a connection with those who are less educated, just as those who have less educated may feel inferior to more educated people. I love John Dimartini's take on this. He coined a term: "equilibriate," which means to be inclusive of everyone, regardless of whether they match where you are in life, on any level. We are all connected by the very fact that we are all part of the human family.

    My favorite line from your post: "I have felt for a long time that I am meant to be in the places people do not expect me to be."

    Best to you - Laura (aka Marcie Brock)

    1. Thanks for sharing. I love what you said of John Dimartini. At the core of what I see about life - especially since my diagnosis - is that at the core of life we all have a lot in common. We just don't see it, as it is covered up by a lot of nonsense that we get caught up in and find ourselves in conflict over.