Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just Gotta Find Friends

Friends! Where did all mine go? Did I let some lapse, did some drift away? Did I miss that one key chance go cement a friendship due to being too honest about my interests, energy level, time, cash flow?

I'm starting this blogging series to chronicle my steps to find hang-out buddies in Seattle. Building friendships is one of my 2011 goals. How am I going about it? First, I constructed a Kaipa pyramid for myself on this theme. You'll see in the article that Kaipa poses four questions. I will use a shorthand here and invite you to look over the article for the full question form.

1. What is my north star/my genius? I have skills for friendship—I enjoy most live events like music, theater, readings. I listen well and have spent much of my life creating and sustaining discussion and support groups of various types.

2. What is my core incompetence? Related to friendship, paradoxically, I am independent! I tell myself "not to wait for the herd." I'll go alone, I'll be the first of my group. I am the positive version of introversion: I am content enough alone. I can conjure a friend in my imagination and that is nearly as good as hearing his or her voice.

Another part to this, I feel if I lack a 'purpose' for the call I may be interrupting the person and wasting their time. But hanging out is just that, it's primarily sharing time & space without agenda.

3. What adds energy when I feel zapped? Getting together in realtime is fun, improvisational, and open to possibilities.

4. What saps my energy and provides brakes or alarms? Arranging is tedious. I am not interested in Faceb**k, and Twi**er. People forget to return my calls. In this region, there's a provisional nature to commitments that I find leaves me uncertain whether a planned meeting will actually happen. I'd rather not bother and just buy my tickets and go.

Of course, I'm not new to these insights, or most of them, and it's my personality.

Following the process Kaipa presents, I completed my pyramid ... (click link for easier to read version)
So, here I am with my pyramid and what I discovered about my inner DNA for this, but, what am I TO DO because of it?

This is where the pyramid meets my life. My activities need to tack against being solo (the solo mojo triangle) towards the comrade triangle. To get there I quickly touch on longing for friends and use that feeling as a springboard. This leaves inviting as the active side. Becoming comrades signals I've finished the cycle.

Goal: some hang-out and activity buddies. Specifically, I would like to share the Ballard Jazz Walk next Friday with someone.

When folded into a four-side pyramid, holding the inviting side away from me and "looking" through the point aimed at my body I "see" inviting from the perspective of independence. For me, this reminds to take initiative. Send out invites far and wide and still be prepared to go it alone a few times. It also has to traverse the other three sides: longing, comrade, and solo mojo.

I can also see if others have any invitations out that I can respond. I checked craigslist personals and meetup for jazz and nothing is listed. So now, I've broadcast invitations to several groups to which I belong and I've reached out to specific friends who live in the neighborhood.

And today, I'll go buy my single ticket and get ready for who may join me. Or not.

Interested in learning more about how to make these pyramids or even join me for the BJW, email me at johnp at ktchange dot com