I’m sure you can remember back to your first big social event as a kid – maybe a school dance or a large party with lots of different people around who may or may not be your friends. There were always those folks that just hung around the edge of the room or crowd, looking inward at the activity with an expression on their face of tentative anticipation. Would they be able to work up the courage to join the fun or would this be just another occasion where they would not be noticed.
For the lucky, or brave, few there was always the chance of being noticed by one of the “cool” kids, someone who always found themselves at the center of attention or were the creators of the buzz going on in the room. Perhaps a glance from the swirl of action would land on the kid hanging back, over in the shadows. A glance that is followed by an approach followed by a questioning gesture as if to determine why shyness would hold someone back from what is obviously a good time.
A conversation begins, back and forth, give and take, revealing a little of each to each other. A bond begins to form and fear, shyness, barriers to connection start to fall. Before long all the other activity fades into the background and the kid who was instigating it all and the kid who was hesitant to join in find themselves in a state of common emotion and expectation. They lean closer and closer, whisper softer and softer, until, quite by accident of course, a mutual desire finds its destination.
And, if your world proceeds as it does for most people, just at that moment the room gets quiet as everyone suddenly notices the generator of the room’s excitement is gone from the center of attention and has created a new center of activity that is intimate and personal, excluding the crowd for the sake of the individual.
Caught suddenly in the spotlight of the crowd’s amazement, the kids at the new nexus of the room’s energy respond just as kids do when seen to drop their masks and guard just a little.
Nice to know the animal kingdom seems to go through the same sort of adolescence we’ve all struggled to overcome……