It's easy to think about our interconnectedness as humans as a mutually exclusive concept from our independence. I vacillate regularly between a deep desire for community and a seemingly opposing fervor for solitude. The war of these two worlds has roots in two locations in my mind.
The first is my tendency to not commit wholeheartedly to either camp. I can spend time with groups of fantastic people without ever wearing my vulnerability on my sleeve. And without that great equalizing badge of honor, there's no way for your tribe to recognize you. I can also spent hours upon hours alone without spending a single second with myself. I am expert at daydreaming my way out of the moment. Each encounter with community or solitude that isn't built on a well aligned platform of honesty and authenticity leaves me feeling unfulfilled and swinging on a disastrous chandelier to the other end of the ballroom. If I don't find the real deal original version of either, my hamster on a wheel of a brain will keep on assuming that the spray painted grass in the distance is ACTUALLY greener.
The second roadblock I hit are the invisible lines I draw around myself. They have catch phrases like, "I'm just socially awkward" or "I can't stand being alone." These ideas about concrete ways of being that we parleigh into the structural integrity of our personalities don't have to be true. Through my yoga practice I've come to accept (if not entirely embrace) that we wake up every day with a different body. When you become a student of your own anatomy, a million subtle differences can accompany your practice each time you approach it. What if I could accept the same mentality about the even more intricate workings of my brain? It's possible, maybe probable that I contain all the ingredients to make an endlessly interesting personality stew. That doesn't have to mean that we look like we're playing dress up every day as we pick out an exaggerated character from some personality type toy chest. I'm just hoping that maybe we give ourselves a little more room to breathe.
Maybe we don't change our personalities so much as we feng shui them into something that serves our story better. Somewhere in this wild and wacky expanse of a universe is a place where the x of one idea meets the y of another and our perfect niche in a tribe of souls and our untamed rugged individualist can sit down and have coffee together.