So, here are a few facts about me that will be relevant soon: I’m an American from a mostly-white, mostly-friendly small town in rural PA where my family was an institution. I now live in Germany, which is okay, and has a lot going for it, but where the interpersonal communication is chilly enough to freeze water.

And I’ve chafed a bit here in Germany.

Even worse, I thought that some part of me had started to atrophy. I’ve never been super gregarious, but I really enjoyed the interactions I had with others. I could make people laugh, and I liked feeling like I brightened someone’s day, before returning to my introverted existance.

In Germany, I thought, you can’t make people laugh. People, in public, are reduced to their function.

In fact, I’d accepted it. Druidry — like a lot of my interests — was born of me needing to engage myself because my surroudings weren’t really engaging me. I had stopped trying to change that about my life.

And then, it changed.

I’m torn between assigning it to the meditation, or being more centered, or just more confident in who I am. Or, another theory of mine is that I’m learning more, which supposedly makes your brain feel younger.

Regardless of the cause, I’ve found myself chatting with service people, asking questions I’d have been too shy to ask and, yes, even making more than one of them laugh. And, seeing myself mirrored in them, I felt more myself.

Maybe I shouldn’t need interaction with others to know who I am. But, I credit the path I’m on with helping me get closer to who I think I am.

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