At the corner of Kismet & Karma

February 3rd, 2009 by Karen

I am not one who easily meets others.

Well, that’s not entirely true…perhaps a better way to say it is that I don’t easily approach others. I tend to be the quiet observer in a group, the seemingly shy one who smiles at the right times and laughs when it’s appropriate, then goes back to being a neutral shade of beige that blends in with the walls. I tend not to meet the eyes of people I don’t know in a crowd. Why? I don’t really know…a fear of what I might find reflected perhaps. I have tried in the past to convince myself that my self sufficency makes me a stronger person.

The last couple of months, I’ve been making a concerted effort to try to be more gregarious and outgoing and man, it’s incredibly difficult, but in the long run I think it will be worth it. In fact, I had the pleasure of meeting some really fine people just two weeks ago in Vegas. It was a struggle, but six months ago, I simply would have watched them from the sidelines without them even knowing I would have loved to talk to them.

When I was younger, meeting people was just as difficult, but fate has intervened on my behalf several times, despite my shortcomings, and I am very grateful for the people it has brought me.

My very best friend in the whole world, I never would have really known, if it hadn’t been for a trip to Ashland to the Shakespeare Festival in 7th grade. Our core teacher had one core class in the morning and one in the afternoon and we were each in different ones, so we didn’t really hang out or know each other well at all. Come to think of it, I think the only class Faith and I had together that first year was band. Anyway, neither of us had anyone to sit with for the long bus ride, so we ended up sitting together. We had an awesome time and after that, we were fast friends. Ten years ago, she was my maid of honor at my wedding and if I had to pick someone to do it again today, she’d still be the first person I would call. I in turn was her matron of honor and I like to think that she didn’t regret it, despite my razzing her with my toast. (You met him at French club meeting at a bar and neither of you drink and you took a long walk on the beach? Yeah, sure….) With families and distance, it’s harder to get together and hang out like we used to, but when we do manage to find an afternoon, it’s just like we never stopped being together on a daily basis.

I met my husband purely by chance as well. I was sixteen and part of the CYM core team at church and our youth minister signed us up for CLI, Christian Leadership Institute, up at Camp Pendola in the Sierras. I was -not- happy to be going. I was unsure of myself and frankly a little scared to be thrown into an unfamiliar situation. We got up to camp and we all went and sat down in the chapel/meeting room and the youth ministers started a skit. I had never met Joel before, but as he bounded into the room he nearly knocked himself out on the doorjamb. Over the course of the week, I found myself entranced by him and his goofy nature. We all parted ways and I went home to find that my beloved boyfriend of the time had been cheating on me with a friend of mine (broke up by handing me his wedding invite. ouch.). Fast forward a couple of summers and I found myself working at camp as a counselor and lo and behold, so was Joel. We hit it off and even though I had to kinda spell it out for him that I liked him, we fell in love. He hasn’t run away screaming in terror yet, so I count that as a bonus. We will have been together fourteen years and married ten this July 9th and yes, having everything on the same date (first kiss, proposal and wedding) has been very useful. I highly recommend it.

Finally, my most recent friend I met in quite a round about way. I freely admit, I’m a bit of a geek and I play an MMO for fun and stress relief…nothing like flinging around some fireballs to relieve frustration. One evening last year, none of my regular friends were on to play with so I switched to a different server. I picked one at random and within the first couple minutes, I heard about a player run radio station. I tuned in and was hooked by the Tom Lehrer the gal was playing. Since I work from home and my own playlist was getting rather tiresome, we started listening regularly and became acquainted with several of the other DJs. Last summer, I attended the IRCE conference in Chicago and two of the DJs invited me out to a B.B. King concert. I was nervous to go since I didn’t know them at all but honestly, I had a blast even though I stayed pretty quiet the whole time and that as they say was that. At Christmas, I ran into a bit of a dilemmma in game with one of my main characters. Trying to be more outgoing, I had impulsively agreed to allow her to be part of a bachelorette auction, but as the date got closer and I heard the various rp rumblings about people who were interested and why, I got more and more concerned. I didn’t want to back out and disappoint people, but I had a serious case of remorse. I voiced that concern to a small group of my friends and one of the DJs I met in Chicago, gallantly stepped up to save my character from a fate worse than death. In the process, we started talking more and more and he’s quickly become a fast friend and confidant. He’s been a huge support as I’ve been trying to get past some personal hurdles, rediscover who I am and nudge me down the path towards who I want to be. He’s also encourging me to slow down and listen to my own heart, which I haven’t done in a very long time. I’m blessed to have him as a friend.

None of these three I would have ever met, if I had been left to my own devices. The inital contact with each of them wasn’t something I actively sought out, not because I didn’t want to, but because I didn’t think I needed someone. I can’t imagine how dreary and sad my life would be without them now and it saddens me to suddenly discover how many missed opportunities there have been to connect with others.

AN OLD man on the point of death summoned his sons around him to give them some parting advice. He ordered his servants to bring in a bundle of sticks, and said to his eldest son: “Break it.” The son strained and strained, but with all his efforts was unable to break the bundle. The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful. “Untie the bundle,” said the father, “and each of you take a stick.” When they had done so, he called out to them: “Now, break,” and each stick was easily broken. “You see my meaning,” said their father.

My lesson: Alone, I am important to none. With others, we are are important to each other.

Posted in Family, Life, Tuesday's Topic | 4 Comments

4 Responses to ' At the corner of Kismet & Karma '

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  1. southbeachannie said,
    on February 4th, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Well, it might not be in the best of form or manners, but I disagree with you. When I met you I was attracted to your radiance which surrounds you and makes you stand out amongst others. You are not beige or indistinguishable in a crowd…Much to the contrary! I wish you could see yourself through my eyes.

  2. Karen said,
    on February 4th, 2009 at 3:58 am

    Aww Annie…you made me cry. *hugs tight*

  3. jgoode said,
    on February 10th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I have to agree with Annie. When you and I met, I never would have suspected you were the quiet watcher type. My impression was an outgoing, friendly woman willing to approach others with open arms.

    You really are one of my favorite people and when I look back on 2008, you are a highlight that made the year great for me!

    tis tru!

    thanks so much for sharing these fabulous people meeting stories 😀

  4. Karen said,
    on February 10th, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    *blushes* Thanks Jen…you and Annie are incredibly awesome people and I’m so pleased to count you two among my friends. You are both blessings and joy in my life.

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