What This Is
I try to keep to myself at the end of the day, as I find that’s the easiest way to go about living my life. But I do try and challenge myself to be social, to have relationships I believe are meaningful wherever I can. I toot on Mastodon hoping to engage people while being myself. I make entries on here hoping to encourage thought and conversation, even if internal. I make posts on other platforms with those hopes in line too. Truthfully, I do feel envy when I come across someone with lots of followers. The kid who was excluded and made fun of in environments they couldn’t control, they would love to be validated by that millennial measure of interest.
When you strip away all the medication I take, all the therapy I’ve undergone, all the experiences and conversations I’ve had: I believe I am a grotesque abomination undeserving of love and positive attention. But since I currently possess all those things, that belief is a dull roar in the recesses of my mind. The only thing that would make that roar duller is a double-edged sword: relationships outside of myself. The sword being doubly-edged has the ability to set ablaze all the progress I’ve made. But this sword can also enhance my development as a healthy and emotionally mature person.
I titled this site, my blog, Rye Meetings, in reference to the book The Catcher in the Rye. Toward the end of this novel, Holden, the protagonist, is talking with his little sister Phoebe. After some semantic bickering about what he likes, she asks him what he’d like to be. He says he’d like to be the catcher in the rye — mentioning a line in a poem by Robert Burns. “If a body catch a body in the rye,” he tells her. Phoebe corrects him, “It’s ‘If a body meet a body coming through the rye’!” Holden continues with his version, explaining to her his ideal job. Work for him would be at the edge of a cliff. He sees countless kids playing in a field of rye as he stands there. His job would be to catch kids when they’re about to fall off of the cliff, not letting them ever leave the field of rye.
She ultimately decides not to respond to what Holden says he wants to be.
No one has to respond to anyone ever anywhere. But there is nearly always an aftertaste, a sting of loneliness when there is not a response. I’ve gotten used to not seeing replies to anything on here because I am one blog of countless others out there. That’s the nature of the internet. The real pain comes when I take the time to reply to someone’s response, and that response is not acknowledged by any degree. That’s the point of social media. To interact. I’m an introvert to the core, so I may not really belong here, with the extroverts who get energy from just talking to people, blasting thought into the void.
When we do anything online, we all, to some degree, are shouting in this manmade void. It’s the people who notice me as I notice them shouting and vice-versa that give me comfort. Comfort that challenging myself to be social is actually worthwhile in the end. And when we see each other it’s not passing moments, but the solid palpable interactions — the meetings.
That is what Rye Meetings is for me right now.