For reals, tho'. I've been a self-involved diarist since I learned how to hide a notebook. When I started blogging I felt so incredibly anonymous, it was great. In this forum I'm known to a few and that's fine. Most of the time I keep my business out of it.
Lately I have begun to see that I have a talent of sorts, and that is getting people to tell me things about themselves. It only works with people I'm actually interested in hearing about, and is strangely ineffective on Palmer. He can resist my verbal charms like no one else on the planet. At least he isn't immune to *all* of my charms.
Today I had a nice conversation with one of my professors and I left feeling as I hope others feel after we talk. As though a burden were lifted from my shoulders, as though someone understood my situation. And that was really nice. I'm not all that good of a counselor, and not always that good of a listener, but I am rediscovering the curative powers of a good conversation.
Later on I had a brief but moving conversation with a woman in my class. She looked really sad and I walked up to her and hugged her (I didn't even ask her permission, and we are not friends in class, but she looked so lost). Then she told me something really sad, her reason for looking so devastated, and I hugged her again, and this time she grabbed me back and held on. I wanted to sit next to her and just hold her. In hind sight I kind of wish I had. She was really hurting.
Apparently my misanthropy isn't as hardcore as I'd thought.
Although I can't recommend that everyone hug people without permission (I can get away with it sometimes for reasons I am hoping are not related to my becoming 'matronly'), I do encourage the offering of a heartfelt condolence to someone who looks sad.
And although it is very difficult to do sometimes, I also offer a recommendation to take the kindness offered freely by others, especially when you need it.
It's not often I get to quote the Spice Girls Movie, but it's true, "a smile costs nothing."
The past couple of weeks have been odd - I'm not sure what it is, but I've been connecting with people as I haven't felt able to in a long time. It is fantastic, but I'm afraid I'm going to overwhelm everyone with my enthusiasm. Ah, the more things change, the more they stay the same.