Even though I am loving being in France, there are times, as I mentioned in the last blog, where I have felt quite flat.
I was analyzing why I was feeling like this – trying to understand what was going on for me that was resulting in this feeling of sort of disconnectedness. I was in a place I was enjoying. I was enjoying my French classes and I had a couple of friends to meet up with. Yet I felt sort of not quite right. I wasn’t loving my experience all of the time.
When I thought about it, I realized I felt quite isolated.
I am an extreme extrovert. I love talking to people. Communication and how to communicate and relate is my thing. I wrote a book about it I am so passionate about how we relate. Not only do I love helping other people improve the way they communicate, I love communicating myself – all the time, except when I am asleep! And I love deep conversations about topics that really matter … you know, like saving the world and that sort of stuff.
Not Being Able to Communicate, Even at School
So, put me in an environment where I do not speak the language, where most of my conversations are very simple and basic at best, and I was feeling like a fish out of water. Even in my classes, I couldn’t share what was happening to me in my day to day life. We have to speak French all the time and I just don’t have enough vocabulary yet to be able to say what I want to. It was just too hard.
With Limited Communication At Home
Also, I was struggling to converse with the lady I was living with as her English is limited, although not as limited as my French. Every day I was surrounded by conversations I couldn’t even listen in on. It was like I was on another planet.
That meant that most of my interactions didn’t even make the grade of superficial. Except, of course, for my discussions with Corinne. Often those were around business, and we don’t talk to each other every day anyway.
For someone whose passion is communication, to not be able to communicate is like having a limb cut off. Something significant was missing in my life. I couldn’t express myself the way I wanted to. I couldn’t share the way I liked to. I couldn’t communicate, which meant I couldn’t relate, which felt very isolating. That is what I was feeling – isolated! That was the name for it. I was totally out of my comfort zone and it was isolating.
The Things I Miss Most
I was missing my conversations with Ludovic and my girlfriends in Australia. I was missing having the deep and meaningful discussions that I love. I was missing sharing with people I have a history with. I was missing sharing with people who really know me. I was missing feeling connected.
Connecting with my friends in Australia is difficult due to the time difference. I don’t get to speak to anyone very much. Besides, everyone is getting on with their life back home and, although I am sure they think of me sometimes, they just don’t have the time at the right time of day to talk with me like they used to. I can feel the connection drifting away because you need to keep relating to keep your connections alive.
I know this is a sacrifice I have made by the life change I have chosen. I won’t be a part of my friend’s lives like I used to be. It is hard to find the right time to talk on the phone and I can’t catch up with them.
So, feeling isolated – what do I do with that?
I know some people feel isolated and disconnected every day, even if they are in their own hometown, in a relationship and living with a partner and going to a workplace full of people every day.
What is it that makes us feel isolated?
It’s not feeling connected.
It’s not being able to communicate in ways that are meaningful to us, about topics we like to discuss.
It’s usually because we don’t feel connected to ourselves, our passions and what turns us on in life.
Meditation is a great way to connect to yourself more as well as getting out in nature. For me, it is relating to others that create a connection for me. It is also about having friends to share fun times with, like the afternoon I had in Eze recently.
So, I need to do more of that.
I need to make new friends, find people with common interests, have more conversations and get out and be more sociable – with people I can relate to.
That is what works for me because I am an extrovert (oops I started typing exhibitionist – no, not that one … well sometimes maybe).
Extroverts get their energy from connecting with other people.
I decided to join some groups in Nice, like Meetups and InterNations, and go to their events. I have been to one, a sociable drinks night, and it was fun. I will do more of that. Also having an old friend come from Holland to stay with me for the weekend really helped my spirits because we connected like we always have and were able to share our history, regardless of not having seen each other for 10 years.
What do you need to do to feel less disconnected and isolated? What will bring the connection back into our lives?
Living the Vision