14/04/2010

How being freaked-out can lead to contentment

I’m a girl with four decades of well, yes, checkered, experience in several different cultures.

Maybe that’s why I really love that thing we all do of “if someone had told me back then that I would be <whatever surprising experience/state of events/place/person> now I would never have believed them….”

I’ve been having that particular thought with ever-growing incredulity. I shock myself constantly. I often feel pretty freaked-out by the crazy swings into high-contrast experiences and events in my life.

So it is with my recently registering with LinkedIn.com and in 24 hours garnering 30-and-rising ‘connections’ of people I have worked with as a writer over several decades. You might be like I was for a long time; thinking this LinkedIn thing was a very boring idea of a website. Ho-hum. Well, no! What has really made me gasp with total-freaked-out-ness is the triple-whammy combination of :

1. seeing again the (older-looking) profile faces of people I felt professionally close to through several decades

2. seeing their career history, as in where in the world they’ve lived, and what they’ve accomplished in their lives, and wondering how all that was with them

3. remembering forgotten and ignored eras of my own life; in London, Sydney, Auckland and the times we had together.

Plus, you can talk (email) or not to a connection in your network in a commitment/expectation-free way just like you can opt-in or out with Twitter with no-one feeling offended. But the opening is there: the connection made for … well, all kinds of opportunities. Just a light virtual touching of fingers-tips that can stay in touch now without you doing anything at all. Wow!

I am a zealot about fulfilling our human hunger for community and belonging. And Linkedin has really surprised me with its effortless connecting of folks we know from our professional lives. Groups of people spiraling together into a giant connectedness network.

Ah, a perfect Mandlebrot set of lives.

It has inspired such a deep sense of contentment with me; a stark sense of unresolved circles being completed in perfection. Resolutions just by a delicate reconnect, nothing further required. People are so much a part of our lives. Re-connecting with people from my past has allowed me to reconnect with myself and my past. And feel good about that.

LinkedIn is another example of how the world wide web intensifies fulfillment of human needs in subtle yet phenomenally powerful ways.

OK, sure,  I’ll give you a personal example. I just reconnected with a sweet guy I had a sweet crush on nearly 20 years ago, saw what he’d been doing with himself over the years and if you had told me back then when I was all flushed-up and infatuated with him that in two decades we would connect up again and share our life stories in a beautiful, simple way I would never have believed you …

Image borrowed from Jock Cooper. Thank you for making the world more beautiful.

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