I have a secret.
For all my effervescence, gregarious perspective and openness, sometimes I get a little worked up over the commingling of friends.
Most of the time, the mixing of my social circles is wonderful. We explore new places, give birth to new ideas and conversations, and revive common passions.
But sometimes the introduction of one group of people to another leads to nothing good.
It's almost as if I wish I had one of those grade school lunch trays - you know, the ones with the compartments that keep the runny mashed potatoes-and-gravy away from the dry, overcooked dressing and the watery green beans.
Because sometimes I want to enjoy my mashed potatoes and gravy all by itself. Sometimes I think it tastes great with a couple green beans. Sometimes I want to mix it all into one big, flavorful mess.
All analogies aside, I guess I prefer keeping most of my social circles apart because they appeal to different facets of my personality.
I am most protective of my "inner circle" of friends. These are the people with whom I feel most comfortable being exactly as I am - brainy, bawdy, boisterous. These friends do not threaten, intimidate or make me feel inadequate.
My Inner Circle pushes me to be the best I can be, while enjoying the best out of life. I've discovered I don't feel quite as good about myself when the Inner Circle is watered down by variables from the "outside."
Another wonderful social segment - my social media peeps. These are people who I "know" because we've developed a relationship through blogging, Twitter and other online social applications. I know some of these people in real life, and others I just know by avatar and handle.
I love my social media peeps because they mostly appeal to my intellectual side. Many of these brilliant individuals share my political beliefs - reviving my conviction and passions. Others demonstrate specific expertise or interests that either compliment my own or inspire me to learn more.
A few of my social media people are simultaneously grouped into the IC, but most belong to a wonderful group all their own.
My social circle involves still other groups of people - individuals I see casually and infrequently and people with whom I've failed to form a deeper connection.
These people are fun and an important aspect of my social frame of reference, but I hold some of them at arm's length.
As if you haven't realized by now, I am quite protective of the people with whom I reveal my truest self.
A few weeks ago, a man who is both in my IC and one of my social media peeps referred to this very dynamic. He said he initially thought it would be wonderful if, "Everyone knew everyone."
His voice trailed off and conceded, sometimes it's just easier to compartmentalize some social groups.
I appreciated his honesty; sometimes I wondered if I was the only one who was selfish (is it selfish?) enough to prefer this separation.
But then, sometimes, I wonder who is keeping me away from a social circle I don't even know about.
Wanna join my social circle??!! You can follow me on Twitter @Kate_the_Great. Shoot me an "@" and let's chat! - Kate
Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.