Many people who start the new year off with a resolution end up two weeks later back in the same habits they vowed to change.  I think most people I know don’t bother with a resolution at all. Then there are creative individuals like myself that create a new resolution every week.

I continue my weekly resolutions, not that I reach all of them, but I have added something different this year. It was suggested that I consider a word for my year.  A word that could be a running theme each month as a way to inspire me or the ones around me. After some thought, I settled on the word “Connect” I think a lot of people focus on the word “disconnect” as a way of decluttering their life and mind from the onslaught of social media and other activities engaged in on screens. I admit, I have wasted hours playing virtual slot machines and scrolling through Facebook marketplace, but for me staying connected to others can be very difficult, and sometimes downright scary.

This year out of any other, it’s important for me to connect with others. I have moved to a new country during a pandemic.  There aren’t many social gatherings right now, which the introvert inside me says “woo hoo” .

So why do I struggle with this? Why do I want to vomit when I approach a group of people I don’t know at social gatherings?  I think it’s because like most people I am afraid of being judged. They say you only get one chance to make a first impression. I’m am terrified of fucking that up. Sometimes having conversations with new people can be physically exhausting.  Now they think of it, having any long conversations with anyone can be tiring for me.  I need time to recharge myself, at some point, most days.  This can be surprising for a lot of people that don’t know me well.  For the most part, I can pull myself together and not appear to be calculating how much time I have until I can hide and take a nap.  (I proclaim to be a professional napper I can reboot pretty much any place as long as I can have space to myself). I will sing karaoke until my throat is sore, and give speeches to large groups of people, but you won’t find me out and about the next day. I will probably be in bed recharging.

This is why I wanted “connect” to be my word of the year. I want to challenge myself because I can easily find myself wanting to isolate myself from the world.  I  think being an only child with not much social interaction outside of school has helped create this coping mechanism. Good or bad, I’m working with it.

With most of my work now being virtual and moving to a new country on my own, I need to put more emphasis on reaching out to “connect” with new people while keeping the relationships I have in the states.

It’s almost two months into this year and I still love that I am living my dream in paradise. I still catch myself wanting to stay in bed and watch reruns of hoarders instead of connecting with others. My introverted mind thinks that doing anything else with people sounds exhausting. As a way to hold myself accountable, I’m sharing with you that I am focused on connecting with new people and be a part of a community this year.  Wish me luck, and feel free to offer any advice.