Last week was something of a blur. With everything going on lately, I frequently walk into rooms and forget where I am. I’m also guessing at what day of the week it is because I honestly don’t know. Our exhibition has been extended. We are working on commissions, trying to remodel the third floor (our bedroom), hosting guests, recording an audiobook, practicing for a concert, and figuring out how to create clones of ourselves.
Have you ever had one of those days that felt like you were moving at the speed of light? This week (or month, I have no sense of time) has felt like that.
However, some moments stand out—moments of connection where time slows down. As two “Artroverts,” Klee and I spend a lot of time hidden away in our studio, where we express ourselves through our creations. These creations will connect us with humans when we put them out there. Some may glance, listen, or read it and scoff. Some may ignore it, but some will connect. Some will even feel inspired to reach out to us; thus, the connection comes full circle.
Because we are very public on the internet, we get to connect with people from all over the world. This is something that still surprises me. I tend to forget that Klee and I are public personalities. This is because the reality is that we are total nerds. We are both socially awkward and weird. Yet, people from around the world have connected with who we are even though we may have never met in person. I think this is a beautiful thing.
Putting yourself out there and making human connections will always require being brave and taking chances. Engaging in conversation with someone new can be intimidating. Many creative folks are shy and would tweeze their nose hair out rather than start a conversation with a stranger. However, if you put yourself out there, you will have to step out of your comfort zone despite the nerves.
Something magical happens when you connect with someone in a conversation many miss because they are too scared to go for it.
Listen, Klee, and I know what it feels like to be so painfully shy. Every time we put ourselves out there, we are pushing through a comfort zone. It’s gotten a little easier over the years, but the fear never really goes away. That being said, we keep certain things in mind when choosing to go public with our awkwardness.
Choose the things you like. It is easier to engage in a conversation when surrounded by people with similar interests. If you love reading, join a book club. If you create art, volunteer to teach an art class. Put yourself in an environment where YOU are comfortable. Talk about what you enjoy. Don’t jump on subjects because they are common or popular unless you are genuinely interested in them.
Embrace rejection for what it is. Everyone is not for everyone. You may click with some and not so much with others. Introverts tend to feel like they are on trial. You are not. You don’t need to gather friends, just people you connect with. If a conversation doesn’t jive, don’t blame yourself. It just means there was no connection. If someone rejects you, then it means they have no business being in your life anyhow.
Be yourself. It is exhausting to try and be anything other than yourself. You don’t have to be anyone else to make a connection. Just be yourself and connect with your people.
Have fun. I think we can quickly turn meeting people into a serious act for many of us. The truth is, if you make it no fun and are not having fun, then why do it?
Be vulnerable. Don’t put up an act. Allow yourself to be more vulnerable. Don’t drop filters or boundaries, but don’t curate a version of yourself that is not you.
These moments are magical. These moments only happen if you allow yourself to be who YOU are. Last week, we connected with some unique humans. Some traveled quite a distance to meet us. This is bravery, and we are so happy to have had the opportunity to share that time with them. This is what it is all about. This is the stuff of life.
Over the years, we have extended our Rogue family of creative humans across the globe only because we treasure our connection to them. In a world where everyone is chasing fame, likes, an algorithm, or money, I think it is important to remember that we are all human. We are all connected. We all cry, laugh, get stressed, jump for joy, and do our best in life. Our humanness and humanity are what can bring us together. It is also what has the most value.