There is a lot about today’s (possibly too) connected world to lament. Kids spend too much time on their phones. Social media is making us more politically divisive. It is all too easy for each of us to feel less-than because we are comparing ourselves to our filtered Instagram friends (who only ever reveal photographs of themselves fresh out of the shower and properly armored…or else showing their rugged, make-up free selves behind the backdrop of their absurdly beautiful hiking trail.)
To be sure…LOTS to file grievances for.
The upside to all this rapid-speed connection is that we really and truly do get a chance to…well…connect. And not just with our neighbors next door. I, who live in Salem, Oregon in the United States can connect with someone in, say…South Africa.
That’s what I got an opportunity to do, yesterday in my interview with Sarah Kirton at Mystic Mag.
With a click of a zoom link, there we are. Face-to-face…ish.
She was interested in exploring the topic of high sensitivity (and how it might differ from…say…introversion). She set up a time for us to connect. She emailed some of the questions, beforehand. Then…we sat down for a chat (me at 11:30am PT, her at 8:30pm GMT).
Her face is open and serene (though that may be partially fatigue. It is 8:30pm, her time, after all. (And here we Americans are saying that WE hustle. Psssh. Sarah is running laps around most of us). She is patient with me as I chat her poor ears off. Each one of her questions elicits a rapid fire stream of my not-so-organized- consciousness. Within less than a day, she has transcribed my responses, uploaded it to her Mystic Mag website, and sent me an email asking me to make any edits should I want them to be made. Impressive.
This is where we live, now. I can speak to someone halfway across the globe about a subject I’m passionate about for no other reason that that we both thought it would be a worthwhile expense of our time.
In many ways…it’s true that it may be more challenging than ever for highly sensitive people to keep pace with the world. Not only do things seem to be going quickly, but things also seem to be accelerating. Lightening speed is not something most highly sensitive people generally love to celebrate. We tend to be better pacers than sprinters, as a rule.
But there are a myriad of reasons why this may, actually, be one of the best times for highly sensitive people to be alive. Because without having to work especially hard, we can find like-minded people. We can learn from each other. We can realize that we may not, in fact, be alone in our experiences.
This is also a time where out-of-the-box thinkers and workers can thrive. Sarah was willing to speak with me at 8:30pm, her time to accommodate my schedule, as well as that of her little one. She had just put her infant down. She’s a working mother. Even as recently as 50 years ago…that would have been nearly unthinkable. Work around your infant’s sleep schedule? Whaaaat? Sorry. No-can-do. Work hours are from 9 to 5. If you want to connect with someone, you have to call them. See their face? What do you think this is…Star Trek?
Nope. It’s not Star Trek. It’s 2021. And yes…it’s a Covid ravaged world. It’s a weary world. But it’s also a creative world. It’s a world filled with people who are kind and curious. It’s a world where I can make a living helping highly sensitive people to thrive. It’s a world where Sarah Kirton can interview people in South Africa, publish it online, and potentially reach others all over the world. Even me…in Salem Oregon.
In short – it’s a world which, despite all it’s challenges, I will happily remain grateful to be a part of. With any luck, I’ll even be able to leave my small slice of the world in a bit better shape than I found it. I know Sarah was certainly able to leave my world a little brighter simply by being her lovely self.