THE BLOG

The Contact High of Connection

You know that feeling when things just "click"? When you've been contemplating a decision for days and then the answers creeps up in your mind and it's like, "Yes! Why didn't I think of that sooner?" Well, it can happen for friendships too. You meet someone, and all you can think is, "Why didn't I meet you sooner?!" I like that feeling.

Correction: I more than like that feeling. Sometimes I think I thrive on the high of that feeling. Like, "I'd like to steal it from other people, break it down into its purest form, load it into a needle and shoot it directly into my veins like an IV" kind of thrive on it. Too much? You can blame the episode of Gotham I just watched for that one. But really, I'm all about the contact high of connection. Especially when it comes to friendships.

The feeling isn't easy for me to explain without the slightly graphic imagery you read above. It's one of those "you had to be there" kind of things. I'd say it has something to do with connecting with something or someone new. Like the thrill of convincing your mother to buy a new toy when you were little, like the giddy feeling of unwrapping a birthday present you've been anticipating. Except it never gets old. It's not specific to romantic relationships either. This feeling manifests itself between relatives, friends, lovers because in a way, it's more than those labels. It's one soul tapping into another and saying "hey, we match."

And once you have experienced it, you realize that you begin to involuntarily seek it out. You find yourself almost "trying people on for size," testing out friendships until you hear the click of one puzzle piece fitting to another to create a beautiful mosaic. But it still leaves the question of why. Why do we feel this thrill when we connect with another person?

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I think it stems from society's insistence on normality. And it's not just something children and teenagers are preoccupied with. In fact, I find that the pressures to be "normal" and act my age are just the same, if not stronger, as an adult. The expectations are higher. In high school, I was expected to play it cool, crush on boys and movie stars, participate in the typical teenage drama. But as an adult, it's more than just the things I'm expected to do. It's also the things I'm expected not to do: don't be dramatic, stop watching teen shows, don't take everything to heart, stop making a big deal out of the little things, don't read young adult books, don't get too excited. Basically, be an adult. Be normal. To some, be boring. (And by some, I may or may not just mean me.)

It's all incredibly circular. The obsession with normality, no matter the age, stifles that weird, different part of us, a part that actually wouldn't be so weird or different if we weren't so preoccupied with "acting normal." And it's in the depths of weirdness or differentness that connection dwells. When your surroundings insist that you are other or alien or nothing at all, the desire for connection reaches out like a hand searching for a counterpart. And when we find that kindred spirit, it's more than just finding someone you can connect with. It's finding someone who doesn't run away from your three heads or your webbed toes or your love for the smell of new books.

Because the truth is, connecting with another person is one of the most rewarding things you can do.

It's the reason school children come home babbling almost incoherently about their new friend in class that likes the pink Power Ranger too. It's the reason college students obsess over which parties to attend each weekend as they search for their "tribe." It's the reason some adults have secret tribute Twitters to chat about what's happening in their favorite CW TV show. Because our eccentricities may prevent us from connecting to the rest of the normal world, but if we can connect with just one other person, we're not so alone after all.