Life

Not just luck

In the last year or so, I have had someone tell me more than once how lucky I am to have people who care about me. Who check in on me. It grates me when they say that. It is an assumption that somehow, all these people – friends and family – care about me because of something in the stars. Something out of my control.

Because it is not just luck.

Yes, I admit, when people cross your path, there is a bit of luck involved. But when they stay, it has to do with you. With what you do. With how you keep them. I am definitely lucky to have wonderful people in my life. But it isn’t without hard work. I make an effort right from the start.

When someone comes into my life and I click with them, I make the effort to connect with them. That means being open and vulnerable while still having boundaries. It means being compassionate. It means giving them my time. It means listening. It means opening up about my flaws, my imperfections. It means being authentic. It means asking for help when I need it.

This takes trust and sometimes, it can backfire. But then, it’s about trusting again. And again. And again. There is effort involved in keeping in contact with people across different continents, different cities and even within the same state. Sometimes communication might be limited to texts but it is still important. At other times, there is more face-to-face communication.

Part of the effort of strengthening connections has involved getting out of my comfort zone. When I moved up to the Central Coast two years ago, I knew no one. But I met people through work at first and then also set up a book club through meetup. I met some wonderful people and have since continued to make sure I do all of the above. I also make the effort to organise catch-ups and message those I don’t see at work at regular intervals. Similarly, with friends in Sydney, I’ll let them know when I’m down there or alternatively, attempt to catch up when I can. I make more of an effort to communicate in our group chats. I will invite them over.

Is it easy? Not all the time. Especially given busy lifestyles and my own occasionally fragile mental health.

Is it worth it? Totally!

Being human though, I still experience bouts of loneliness. A sense of disconnection. But I think that’s part of my own existential dilemmas. This week is National Psychology Week and the theme for 2018 is Power of Human Connection. There is no doubt loneliness is an epidemic. I have several thoughts on the subject and it’s something I have experienced and am reading and researching a fair bit. There are several thoughts on the subject swimming in my head for the past couple of months but I haven’t yet been able to pen them down in a coherent manner. But I do think this. Loneliness will never completely go away. And yet, we all need to make an effort to connect.

We cannot just expect people to reach out to us if we don’t reach out to them. We cannot expect people to remain friends if we are not going to be good friends. We cannot expect people to connect if we are not open with them. We cannot expect deeper connections if we are not willing to be our flawed and imperfect selves.

It’s not just luck that has got me friends who will look out for me or who check in on me when my mental health isn’t great. It’s also me being courageous to be vulnerable, being authentic and putting in a lot of effort in these relationships.

***Linking with Kylie for IBOT***

Featured image: Pexels

Until next time,

 

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  • Lydia C. Lee
    13 November 2018 at 7:28 am

    Yes, you need to put in, I think there are a lot of people that let you put in but never offer anything in return, and I think that’s what your friends are referring to. #IBOT

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    13 November 2018 at 7:37 am

    Yes to all of this! I think all relationships and connections take effort and input, well, all the ones that matter anyway!

  • Kinmin
    13 November 2018 at 9:56 am

    Totally agree with everything you’re saying, Sanch! It is essential to be open and vulnerable to form genuine connections and it requires a lot of effort to nurture them!
    Kinmin recently posted…Lost LoveMy Profile

  • Vanessa
    13 November 2018 at 10:58 am

    I need to work on connecting in person – I don’t do it often enough!

  • Natalie @ Be Kind 2 You
    13 November 2018 at 11:00 am

    I love this Sanch. I have said to my Hubby on a few occasions when he has complained no one has contacted me – “You need to make an effort too” Connections take time, patience but when we get the right ones… they are life changing.

  • Shalzmojo
    13 November 2018 at 2:04 pm

    I know exactly what you mean. Its really galling to hear “You are lucky” just because someone’s perception of you or your life is so damned skewed.

    I get it all the time since I am single and can travel when I want with no baggage. I am free bird, etc , etc.

    Relationships take a lot of give and take and one needs to do both! Love the thought of power of human connection!

    You should link this post up with the Kindness week post on WT; its so apt for it!

  • Jen Rose
    13 November 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Spot on! Having strong supportive friendships requires a lot of work, not luck. And the vulnerability and the boundaries are essential keys in the process. Glad to hear you have relationships like that. Love this post! =)
    Jen Rose recently posted…Bake the Bag, Week 2My Profile

  • Denyse Whelan
    13 November 2018 at 7:23 pm

    I loved that we finally met and chatted as if we had known each other for ages. My issues when I first moved up here were related to loneliness and feeling like I had been uprooted from all I knew. I had willingly done this but it sure did take its toll on my mental and physical health. The catalyst for change – from the anxious and scared me- was cancer. Who knew? Now I am out every day and longing to meet with more people. Loving how it is working out for me.

    My husband is not a fan of the word luck or lucky as it implies that it just happened and you are a winner. I have seen his point and when I speak of my cancer, the treatments and progress that has helped me heal I call it being ‘fortunate.’ That’s because many things fell into place for me and I will never not be grateful!

    Denyse
    Denyse Whelan recently posted…We Won An Award! 2018.118.My Profile

  • CorinneRodrigues
    13 November 2018 at 8:58 pm

    Oh yes! Relationships and friendships might involve luck in as far as a meeting is concerned but after that it’s all about the investments we make in them.

  • Shilpa Garg
    14 November 2018 at 1:43 am

    Oh yes, all relationships take effort. You dont get trust and support in a day. You need to invest your time, energy and effort and then only they grow and bloom. Relationships arent just luck but a lot or work!!

  • Rachna
    14 November 2018 at 2:06 am

    Absolutely! There is no luck when you have good friends because like you mentioned relationships need a lot of effort. It is putting yourself out there and it is not easy.

  • Shilpa Gupte
    14 November 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Such a lovely post, Sanch!

    And, I agree with every bit of it. I know….I have been there..in fact, I AM there! What with the feeling of loneliness haunting me so often since some time now, I make it a point to call up my close friends/cousins almost every week…If I don’t stay in touch with them, I can’t expect them to do so, too…Of course, they will call up if they don’t hear from me, but, it is my responsibility, too, to keep the communication going.

    And, since I wrote that post last month on stepping out of my comfort zone..no, I haven’t met any new people as yet, but I have begun making efforts to communicate with people I meet, like neighbours I have never interacted with, and all. it opens up doors, right?

  • Modern Gypsy
    15 November 2018 at 12:20 am

    I agree with everything you say, Sanch. I’m lucky to have met some wonderful people, but making sure they’re a part of my life takes work. I have introvert problems and over thinking problems, so I know how easy it is to let friendships slip, too. Loneliness, that’s another topic I have a lot of thoughts about – I’d love to hear your perspective though, from a psychological viewpoint too.
    Modern Gypsy recently posted…Organized vs Messy: What’s your desk style?My Profile

  • Parul Thakur
    16 November 2018 at 11:20 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Every relationship needs care and investment. I loved this post as it is so true for all of us.
    Parul Thakur recently posted…She wore a smileMy Profile

  • November 2018 Reflections - Sanch Writes
    4 December 2018 at 1:57 pm

    […] Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers and I also wrote a post on how friendships are not kept just due to luck. I am going to have to figure out my blogging habits a bit more in 2019. There is a lot I want to […]