April 12

HONESTY MONTH: DAY 12: “I suppose it’s not a social norm, and not a manly thing to do — to feel, discuss feelings. So that’s what I’m giving the finger to. Social norms and stuff…what good are social norms, really? I think all they do is project a limited and harmful image of people. It thus impedes a broader social acceptance of what someone, or a group of people, might actually be like.” ― Jess C. Scott

So, we walk around, trying to “fit in” when that is not really possible most of the time. I had an English teacher in 7th grade who was not the one most of my friends had. I had this obscure class that was for a program of accelerated classes, so she only taught one group of us. She was very different from the standard teachers of the time, but one of the most influential in my life. She became a mentor for me at a very difficult time in my life emotionally and socially. And many, many years later, I had another teacher who reminded me of her, who taught a whole different type of classes, but was another powerful influence because she believed in me and dared me to become what I dreamed of becoming. I do not know what became of the first woman…I am sure her path was difficult, because she was vastly different than the rest of the faculty at that institution, at a time when it was not acceptable to be like her. But her gift to me was to look for the excellence in things that I did and let them be the light I walked into. I never forgot her. She told me I was a writer and a good one, and introduced me to some things that were life changers at the age of 12…a vulnerable and challenging age. But she gave me my early poetry and love of paper and pens. I still love good paper and nice pens. Going out of fashion, but I so enjoy the physical practice of writing. I do it every day for 30 minutes in the morning…and it informs my day and shifts my consciousness into a good place. So I have never stopped writing. I learned, mostly, from these two women, that being outside the social norm is the ONLY place I want to be. In my recovery, I have not been involved with a consistent 12-step group for more than a few years, so I have a few friends from other places, but am not what I call the “prom queen” of the group…I am not popular or groovy. I am not the person with 100 sponsees. That has been okay with me from the beginning. I work in the field of recovery and am quite okay with my journey there. While I have some deep relationships, they are few. I would not trade that for the world. I used to “know” hundreds of people and still do. But my circle, my tribe is tight and small. I want to have 10 or 12 very close friends, even when I have over 4500 acquaintances, like on here…lol. I actually know most of my fb friends from other places I have lived and worked and traveled to. Most of the time, I consider a small circle of folks my tribe. I have always been and will always be what I call “outside the circle” when it comes to social norms. I don’t resonate with most of the social things others do. I don’t need to run around and be “seen” at all the parties, I actually don’t care for social gatherings, unless there is a specific purpose for being there. If I don’t see someone or make the special effort to do it, then I obviously don’t really need to. What usually happens is that I see others and don’t see them again until the next event. I am okay with not doing that. My tribe knows how to connect with me, and I with them. This changes, according to the time in my life that I am living. I have a different tribe in other places where I have lived. Only a few of them remain in my circle and we make the effort to connect. This is all that time allows, and I am okay with that. I am not inclined to run around trying to stay connected…it does not resonate with me. I can only spend my time with a handful of others, so am mindful of how that goes. Busy-ness is not something I need or want in my life. I enjoy the spaciousness of solitude and quiet and communing with Nature more than listening to the chit chat of people I don’t need or want to spend deep time with. This goes against many people’s way of life; but that is how I roll anyway.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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