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Alienation vs. connection

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Space Cadet
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Do you feel more alienated from others or connected with others right now? And what do you think is contributing to that feeling?

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Elsa
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What a great question! For me, it's both! 

I definitely feel alienated and have been alienated i.e. "Don't come to Thanksgiving".  But I've also alienated myself. This is because it is hard and also uninteresting, spending time with people where anything I might want to say, can't be said.

On the other hand (Libra), the connections I've been able to keep are valued like never before.

I think this is healthy at this point. We get on the internet and think we can get along with everyone - why not?  It sound good in theory but in reality, there is a lot of evil out there and I don't want anything to do with it. So, yes. I will alienate myself.

I have always preferred no company to bad company.  

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Space Cadet
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@elsa This makes so much sense. Yes, healthy to be alienated from evil influences. I value the connections I have although I fear I'm losing some. I probably self-alienate too much.

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jana
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Alienated at work and connected at home.

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Space Cadet
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@jana I hope your work situation improves.

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Niki
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I used to live a very social and mobile life in my 20s and 30s, which was fun at the time and helped me feel connected.  In my 40s I upgraded my education and was extremely solitary, then focused on my career.  Now in my 50s, I'm happy to live a pretty solitary life. 

I live alone now (and feel so blessed for it after suffering through decades of roommates and annoying coupling situations), I work from home (once again, so blessed), and have no family nearby (my only family is my sister and nieces who live a 5-hour flight away). 

It may appear that I'm alienated, and sometimes feel that way when I hear the distressing news of the world around me, or when it's forest fire season and people keep burning fossil fuels profligately.  Then I feel alienated and ashamed to be human.

But what gives me a very strong connection with others is my community garden that I founded 20 years ago.  I've known people there for many years, watched kids grow up, and witnessed many changes in the neighbourhood around the garden. 

My fellow gardeners and I chat about a wide range of topics, not just how our gardens are doing and garden infrastructure issues.  We have enough in common to bond us together, and enough differences to keep the conversations interesting.  My community garden is my church.

Like Elsa, I prefer no company to bad company.  And I would add, I prefer no company to superficial relationships where one or both parties don't really even like the other.

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Space Cadet
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@niki A community garden sounds like a great place to foster that kind of connection. Kudos for founding one. I know places like that exist in my city but I'm not sure if there's one near me. I'm going to look into it.

I also work from home as of the last few years and have lived alone for quite some time. I love it but it can feel isolating at times, so I will need to take some additional steps to overcome that feeling. I'm in my 30s.

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Niki
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@space-cadet It's a perfect age for you to scope out some little plot of land in your city and start your own community garden.  Ours was built on an empty small block where two houses were demolished, and the city decided to build a little park on it.  They asked the community what we wanted in the park, and I just kept insisting on a community garden.  There was a lot of opposition back in 2002, but I persisted.

I say try to start your own community garden because in our city the wait lists are so long.  I feel bad for people who contact me to get on the wait list.  I have to tell them it's likely they'll ever get a plot, because there's so little turnover in my garden.  I tell them, plant anywhere you can and get creative. 

I was 32 when I founded my community garden.  It was a lot of work, but it's the thing I'm most proud of in my lifetime.  I went to a lot of dance parties in my 30s, and a lot of them were outdoor camping in forests and such (more than the indoor bar scene), but the socializing that has stuck with me throughout my adulthood has been my community garden.  It's a such a healthy way to connect other people and wildlife.  I get lost in the flowers and watching the bees.  I hope you can do some nature-based socializing, at least.

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Space Cadet
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@niki That's great! I'm 32 currently. Nature-based socializing is definitely more up my alley than the bar scene as well.

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Libra Noir
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I have felt alienated my whole life. Somehow though, people nowadays feeling more alienated makes me feel less alienated??? If we all feel the alienation then there’s something we can relate on. Ugh I’m so twisted lol. 

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Space Cadet
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@libra-noir I know what you mean though!

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sun-mar
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Both  --  I miss my friends.  And there are days I am sick of spending so much time with my husband.  And I love all these people.  It really started getting to me over the last holiday season.  Sure, we all have e-mail and we text, just not the same.  Sooooo, with the holiday greeting cards, I made it a point to write a personal letter to everyone.  The response was so positive.  I just kept going.  Purchased some wonderful handmade cards from Etsy.  I have been sending out cards, pictures, magnets, jokes, recipes, and the occasional gift card.  If we cannot meet for coffee or a latte, have one on me.  I will tell you what I found out  --  we are all very social by nature, most of us have known each for years, and we care about each other.  I mean we really care.  There have been those days when I check my phone, check e-mail, go get the mail, that I just want to burst out crying.  All kinds of positive energy flowing back and forth.

As for hubs, maybe too much together.  And yet, there will be those nights, the sun has gone down, and the tourists have left the beach.  Millions of stars have come out to play and this wonderful man with his beautiful Aquarian soul will take me down to the beach and just sit there with me while I relax and breath in peace and quiet.  

During 2020 and the first horrible wave of the virus, I got through all of that OK.  While I missed my friends and had to go several months without getting a haircut or having a pedicure, I knew that the lockdowns would pass.  It was high visitor season of 2021 that seemed to do me in.  All the years I have lived and worked on this beach, never I have ever experienced such petty meanness, nasty, rude behavior, and a blatant disregard for personal property.  Sense of entitlement was beyond anything I could comprehend.  Now this year, it has been great.  The type of visitors we have attracted have all been pleasant.  Just happy to be out of cold weather.  Happy to be in an area with a very low crime rate.  It is young families and a number of newlyweds.  And during the week, the seniors are all out playing pickleball and shuffleboard.  I just hope this continues through the rest of the summer.

So some feeling of alienation, everyday more connected.  It has been a learning curve.

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Space Cadet
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@sun-mar Handwritten letters are a wonderful thing. Cool practice you've got going there.

Also, that is so good to hear the visitors to your beach have been more pleasant. Makes a big difference.

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