With all this talk of community on (in)courage, I thought maybe I was the only socially awkward one who didn’t know how to jump into the mix or correctly use the phrase “community” like the cool kids do.
I would consider myself an outgoing person. I like to talk loud and laugh louder. I hug people at church and hold the door open at the grocery market. And if push came to shove, I’d be able to communicate with a hearing-impaired friend through hand gestures, stick figures, and facial expressions.
So why was it so hard for me to build “community”? Well, for starters, I was a chicken—er, am a chicken. I use my outgoingness to engage with random people, but lack the ability to be vulnerable, scared, and uncomfortable.
Cyber friends, blog friends, facebook friends, and tweeps are great and supportive, but there’s something to be said about doing the uncomfortable task of physically talking with someone. To hear their voice, sighs, and pauses. To read more than OMG, LOL, and PTL. To be uncomfortable, uncool, and unedited.
I knew I needed to do it. I just didn’t know how.
So I did the next best thing. I emailed Sarah and asked if we could meet. Our schedules were crazy but we made it work. Yes, it was awkward for a second, but after a few minutes [which turned into hours], I realized the importance of community and the tension of putting yourself out on a limb.
Though Sarah and I don’t have the luxury of doing Life on an everyday basis, I’m glad to get in a workout with her, send texts, and visit at each other’s houses. I push her on the stationary bike. But she pushes me in life.
When stuck with the big leap of what to do next, sometimes it’s best to take a small step; do the next best thing.
Are you living your life with someone? Are you being challenged? Are you willing to be uncomfortable?
Do the next best thing.