This has been a summer of learning.
I have never had a summer where I haven't been surrounded by people. Whether it was in a theatre, at a restaurant, or in a museum, I have never had a shortage of humanity to immerse myself in.
I am not an extrovert. I find excessive amounts of people exhausting. I get 'peopled out' and need to retreat to solitude to retain my sanity.
But this summer, I have learned that there is such a thing as too much 'solo time'.
This is the first summer in years that I have felt loneliness. This is the first summer that I have had to go out of my way to find a social outlet - the first summer I've felt a need for a social outlet in the first place. Usually I get enough human contact during the day, at work.
But now I don't get that. I spend my days with a puppy. I see S. and almost no-one else. I occasionally talk on the phone with people, and that's it.
That's not enough.
So I'm learning how to create a social life. I've never had to do that before, and it's a strange new experience for me.
In the process I'm also learning that I'm not very good at incorporating all aspects of my life into a blended whole. I tend to focus exclusively on one thing at a time, to the detriment to all else. I am writing and the house falls to pieces around me. I am cleaning and I abandon my artistic side. I start doing Arbonne and I ignore upcoming auditions until the last minute. I decide I need a social life and I cease to be productive on any other level.
It's a problem but at least I'm learning now instead of when I'm old and wrinkled and unable to change.
I've been reading Dooce, a blog my mom introduced me to. Being the kind of person I am, I've actually gone back and am working my way through every single post she's ever written. I wish I'd done that before I started writing my blog. I've learned a lot - this post particularly has riveted itself to my brain. I don't always think about the possible fallout my online work might have on offline work, or life. There are things I've written here that I wish I would have taken more time to think out, or perhaps not written here at all and kept them in my private journals, or in my brain, unwritten. Not that I've experience huge fallout from what I've written, but I know I've inadvertently affected people negatively and that, I can't help but think, has changed relationships for me.
It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with balance; but perhaps it does. A balance between writing the truth in my life and my head and being aware of how that truth will affect the people around me.
So it's been a summer of learning. And I don't see it stopping any time soon...and that's okay.