Venn Diagrams in my Soul

Yesterday’s #Quest2015 prompt came from Seth Godin.

“Who would miss you if you were gone? If you didn’t show up to work, didn’t send out that newsletter, didn’t make that sales call, didn’t tweet that tweet… who would miss it? How does your answer shape how you’ll live out 2015?”

This circles back around to a couple of the other prompts.  It circles back to the first couple – “who would you be willing to disappoint, offend or abandon?”; for me it circles back to “stopping” and again to my media break last week.  It goes back to the dark-side prompt that I didn’t blog about on here, because this is the front window of my personal internet space, and that’s not appropriate.

Who would miss me, Godin? As someone who frequently falls off the face of the earth out of habit, I can tell you who texts, who checks in, and who posts random stuff to my Facebook wall because they were thinking about me. I can tell you who tweets.  In the Venn diagrams of people who miss me and the people I miss connecting with, there’s probably about an 80% overlap.  Yes, I’ve got enough hubris to admit that there are people who miss me who aren’t always on my radar.

The next loop out on this Venn diagram are the people who are busy getting on with their own business, who wouldn’t notice my disappearance for a while. Some of my favorite people are on this particular loop. These are people with whom friendships pick up right where they left off when we last spoke — whether that was three months ago, or three years ago.  These are the solid BFFs who will always be my best friends.  They might not miss me right away, but they would eventually miss me more than everyone else combined.

As far as who would miss me if I didn’t show up to work? That’s two different answers for two different jobs.

At the day-job, I work with about 40 people on a day-to-day basis.  They would miss me, but probably my boss would miss me most of all because then he’d have to deal with their questions in my absence.  This year I had to graduate my annual candy gift for the office to a tray from individual boxes, because I couldn’t afford that much candy.  It’s a nice problem to have.

Who would miss me at my writing job? Um. Maybe a Beta Reader or two.  But I don’t write for other people.  No, I do write for my husband, because it makes him crazy when I build suspense around what’s for dinner.  But generally, I write to keep me happy – to unravel the world’s knots in my heart. I don’t show up for other people.

There’s a wider net than that, another Venn loop that’s as big as my email contact list for the holiday newsletter. It’s as big as my Facebook Friends pool, or my Twitter following.  It’s got hundreds of people in it. Would they notice? Are they waiting for my book to sell? Eh… Maybe.

The important part of this question, though, is not one about people. It’s “How does your answer shape how you will live out 2015?”  — the real question is how this answer shapes me.

I’m already leaning hard toward mindfully curtailing my social media time in the coming year. I’m already leaning toward fewer, deeper connections with the people who matter most to me. This answer does not change the direction of that tilt.

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4 thoughts on “Venn Diagrams in my Soul

  1. I miss you every day. I think about you every day. You are a part of me forever more and I love you. Do not ever think for one minute that any of those people in any of those loops would miss you more if you were gone. Mom

  2. You have a special insight, and with that a better chance of retaining the real you no matter what. There is a wonder in being able to answer this question without falling into a trap of self-pity. You’ve navigated well with your answer, especially at a time of year that is both willfully happy and perplexingly lonely. It doesn’t matter to those who want to talk to you which loop you place them in. It matters that you want to interact, and stay on the Earth, with them, too.

  3. I wish people that I respect so much (meaning you, Alicia) would stop doing stuff that I’m avoiding. Like taking less time on social media. And seriously, it’s that we write (do art, create, etc.) for “me” that’s so telling. Thanks for your honesty and beauty. Especially thanks for sharing those with us here.

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