A while back, I made much ado about needing to make a change. The first steps toward that are starting to be taken.
The biggest step(s) come from a little bit of self-realization from the other night, after a long chat with a buddy of mine on our weekly walk. For me, as much as I am attracted to a certain group of people, I just don't fit in with their "community" and I don't plug into their hive mind. I find that when I have become more involved with them, or watched other people who are involved with them, their actions become very routine, and the scope of their activities becomes limited. Perhaps to some people they need that familiarity all the time because that's what makes them feel comfortable, no matter what happens.
Thing is, it's not me. While there are some aspects of my life that tend to be routine because they do provide their own comforts, I like to go out there, try new things, and mix it up whenever I can. I find if I start repeating some of the same activities over and over and over again, I get bored and restless. Hell, it's why I've given the warning to folks that it sucks to be around me when I'm recovering from being ill. If I am laid up on the couch for too long, it makes me cranky (poor "grandma"). It's also why if I have the opportunity to do something different for an evening, I have no qualms about changing my plans unless someone else is depending on me to be somewhere.
However, I could have gone the way of just sticking with routines and not really going for the spontaneity. During part of my second year of college, I had started becoming more of a homebody because it had felt comfortable. If it hadn't been for two of my friends, I probably would have either broken out of my shell way late, or never done it at all. Of course, they were also the kind who basically said to me "Mangi, cut the bullshit, you're coming with us," and I'd be taken out to hang with them and/or with other folks as well. I'm glad they basically had the balls to do that.
Anyway, so I realize that I don't fit in with some of the groups and communities I have looked at, and that's okay, I don't have to. What I do need to do is expand my reach a little bit and look more into things that fit my passions. One part is that I'm trying to see about connecting with one of the Ravens Roosts in the area. It would be nice to connect with folks who share my passion for football and the Ravens. I will be exploring finding other groups with similar interests, but as I pointed out in a conversation with a friend the other day, it seems that I can find the organizations that are on a national level, but how about finding one that's actually on a local level?
The other thing I will be doing is cutting back my time on some of the social websites I have been on. They aren't quite meeting the standards of what I was expecting to get out of them, so why waste my time with them?
All I can do is go out there, this is not the time to retreat.