If you're like me, you've been looking for your people.
You do not spend all your time staring into faces, but you do glance surreptitiously from time to time, especially in a crowd. There's a sense of anticipation, every time you go to a new place, which lends additional excitement to each adventure. Perhaps I'll find someone here.
If you're like me, you've begun to classify people. You find there are similarities in people. There are brands, or types. Classes. Beyond, or maybe crossing, lines of race, culture, gender, economic status. You expected your travels to bring you more variety instead of less; but perhaps there are only a finite number of ways to create a human body. Maybe it's natural that a specific body type will gravitate toward a certain style of dress; after all, it looks really good on them. And I have noticed that they also tend to gravitate toward similir activities, music preferences, forms of expression.
If you're like me, this classification process makes things both better and worse. Better because you can quickly feel comfortable with a person simply because you know their type. Worse because you might have a tendency to use those categorizations a little too much, place expectations or labels on people just because they look like someone else. (hmm, is that how prejudice gets started?)
If you're like me, you've even discovered a few people who are your type. You've seen yourself up on stage, behind a desk, with three children in tow. A portrait of all the choices you've thought about making. A quantum flux of "If onlys" right in front of you.
And none of these are your people. Cuz if you're like me, you've already made a decision about the look-a-likes. And you don't really want to be friends with yourself (though maybe that's something to work on.) You know yourself way too well. And there's that whole paradox thing you're concerned about. (don’t cross the streams!)
So how do you find new people? When you are at the gathering of singers, or accountants, or dog walkers. How do you find your people?
If you're like me, you look for the ones you don't recognize.
You look for the people who stand out, to you. Maybe even the ones you admire. Obviously, if there's something you admire about someone, there's an attraction. A calling? A chance for a connection. But it could just be someone who feels totally foreign. If you, if I, actually see someone well enough to know I don't know them, that means they have something interesting to me.
So, I put myself out there. I ask. I practice making the connections. If she is not part of my clan, I'll figure it out. It's all practice anyway. There are no wrong choices. And I'll admit, this part, this "networking" is much easier in the midst of people I feel I already know.
And what an interesting exercise, for me, to see how I choose people. To see what kind of people I think are "cool". I'm still not sure what attracts that first look, that focus. I don't seem to judge by height or hair or voice. Clothes? Maybe it is a light, a spark, a vibration that hums subconsciously in harmony.
Also interesting, how pleasant it is not to feel I have to befriend everyone! I'm not saying I snub a person on purpose, but to feel free from the need to know every single person, to be nice and acceptable to every single person. How lovely.
But the most interesting thing I've noticed is, once I've identified someone as a possibility, once I've made the mental connection, I don't need to cling to them. They're on my radar. I'm probably on theirs. And we'll get together again when there is time. If there is time. It doesn't even have to be on this plane. It might not even be in this life! Who knows? The urgency was in identifying the connection, saying yes or no to the invitation, or sending out an invitation. Finding my people. And making myself known to them.
If you're like me, there are a thousand thousand people out there you know, in one form or another. Almost too many people, as the Up With People song says. But there are only 6 in every thousand who might be one of YOUR people.
I hope you are finding your clan as well as I'm finding mine!