Sometimes I feel my whole life is an awkard dance between two poles, one of attraction and sociability, the other of solitude and loneliness. I don't mean this as a pity party, but I do tend to careen between the two extremes--I am either immersed in a large group or happily ensconced in one close associate's metaphorical embrace, or feeling out of touch, alone, unable to connect even if I try.
Lately, it's the latter. I've been preoccupied with stressors that will evaporate over time but which make me less likely to be outgoing. Most of the reaching out I've done has been virtual, and though I am one of the world's most erratic correspondents (just ask any of my dear, treasured high school friends, who are all, to a woman, infinitely better about staying in touch than I am) I have been astonished at just how many of my emails have gone unreturned. These aren't just idle chats to friends; some of them are professional (for lack of a better word) inquiries. It doesn't make me angry, but instead, curious. It makes me wonder if we are all just totally overwhelmed. I know when I don't return a call or an email promptly, that's usually why. (If I don't return it ever, no doubt something larger is going on--but that's another subject.) I feel swamped with too many connections, unable to do them justice, and so I shut down. Do we all feel this way? Do you? Is it an inevitable evil of our instant-access, technology-driven culture?