Wednesday, October 10, 2012

People Who Need People

Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m just not a people person. Oh, I like to say that when applying for a job, or in attempting to explain why I love facilitating writing workshops, but the truth is I really don’t like people very much. That is easily recognizable, I think, by my demeanor when I’m in a crowd of folks, which is usually silence. I despise small talk. I’m not very good at it and I don’t even try. This probably accounts for why I have a very tiny circle of friends, all of whom know this about me and accept it, whether they like it or not. I just don’t have much of a personality. Oh, when I was young, I tried by outside help to acquire a personality, and if I have a few drinks even now, I can be downright amenable. But, straight, singular me is not the one people generally think is going to be the life of the party. I’d much rather spend hours of my life in the pages of a book, toiling in a garden, creating things with my hands, or watching classic black and white movies with a plate of brownies for company. It’s the god’s honest truth.

I’ve been back to the Chicagoland area from Georgia over a month now. I’ve gone to one social event, - Neighborhood Writing Alliances's "Open Gate" Release Reading to see those people who know who I am. I meant to get to another - "Photo Requests from Solitary" - and I really tried, but when the time came around, the thought of mingling, networking, and schmoozing just made me ill. So, I didn’t go. Instead, I helped my 7-year-old grandson with his homework and cooked dinner. Here’s the thing though, I could’ve went and I would’ve been known and welcomed. This is just one of the things I’ve learned about myself in the last year: I need people when I need people.

I miss my chickens and Foghorn crowing at dawn. I miss the mountain mist hanging low in the trees reminding me so of an English moor out of a Bronte novel. I miss the rushing, white water Toccoa River. I miss towering mountains, lush woods, and the “silence” of nature surrounding me. Although there is beauty in Kenosha, primarily the eyes, the arms, and the boundless energy of my grandsons, as well as the exasperating lifestyles of my adult children, I dream of a way to have it all. 

Because I need them, and I need those few folks on earth who truly know Donna. I need to be able to say, “Come look at what I built, baked, cooked, come look I what I did,” and to have them share my joy, my hard work, my frustrations, my dreams. And, I need to celebrate or suffer theirs - on my terms, with those who accept and cherish my terms, knowing that I accept and cherish theirs when I’m able, and we’re all perfectly fine with that.

So, yeah, I’m not a people person but I am a person who needs people, and so, I am one of the luckiest people in the world.