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Poppy wants to live in a world where everyone's story matters, regardless of their income or way of life.

As a photographer, she's won ribbons at the county fair. As a spiritual seeker and writer, she's been featured in Jen Louden's The Life Organizer and once published an article at allthingsgirl.net.

When she's not writing or photographing her story, she can be found at her day job as a technology consultant, or at home snuggling her cats, or in the park, taking a walk with her husband.

H&H: Musical Connection Quest

Finding my "right people" - the group of people who resonate with me, who get me and my quirks - feels a bit like setting up an assignation with a foreign agent and being told only that my contact will be wearing a purple scarf - and then arriving in the middle of a black and white movie. It's complicated by the ways in which I have changed in the past 4 years. I've gone from being a creative photography nut to being a semi-recluse who leaves the house for work and food shopping, and not much else. I've gone from celebrating my creative side to simply having creative dreams that I cannot afford. In the same time, my husband and I have gone from newly married to understanding just how much we need to rely on each other. And just to liven things up, there's been medical problems which translate into both of us getting used to the situation. Not easy, not fun, not something we ever anticipated.

Through all of this, people I care about have left my circle, drifted away, become acquaintances instead of friends. Because I have changed, because they have changed - both, either, neither, I don't even know. And it's painful. And lonely.

It's a pain I feel right in my heart, an ache. And there's places where this happening NOW gets mixed up with stuff that happened THEN.

When I was young, I was the kid that other kids picked on. I have lots of patterns and expectations from THEN that if other people don't reach out to me and demonstrate that they want me around, it means that they don't want me around and are likely to laugh at me behind my back if I try to include myself. Or plant a "Kick Me" sign on my back.

NOW, even though I know consciously that if someone doesn't go out of their way for my company, it means that they were doing something else, and it's not personal... it still triggers my patterns and fears from THEN.

Talking about this is hard, all the more so because conventional wisdom suggests that I should be over this already. Well, I'm not, and I may not like it, but that's how things are.

But, I'm willing to look at this fear, and see what it has to tell me - maybe. And this is what I've found out so far.

I'm deeply afraid of meeting new people, and almost as afraid of renewing friendships with people who have become less close. I'm afraid of rejection, and deeply afraid that maybe I just don't belong anywhere, that I don't have "right people". And I'm also very suspiciously afraid that I'm the only one in the world who feels this way, that everyone except me is perfectly comfortable meeting new people and absolutely thrilled with the quality of their interpersonal connections. But maybe if I can change how I talk to myself about putting myself out there and taking the risk of making friends, maybe I can bring less pain to this whole concept.

What are the qualities inside putting myself out there to make friends? [+ fear] [+ risk] [+ laughter] [+ failure]

Wow, yeah, no wonder I don't want to do it.

What qualities would I like to have in this concept of “making myself more available for the people who resonate with me”? [+ musical chimes] [+ adventure] [+ connection] [+ curiosity] [+ excitement] [+ interest] [+ inclusion] [+ care]

So, what I'm looking for is a concept of a Musical Connection Adventure - like a video game where I chime with my particular sound and see what neighboring crystals chime back.

H&H: Sparkly Firefly Edition

H&H: Situational Suckage