Have you ever felt like you are the “lone ranger” of your group, your community, or your village? I can empathize. For years in my profession I was the lone ranger, literally the only one in a staff position in our community. Being in Reno, the closest other staff member was in the Tahoe vicinity or Winnemucca, and because of schedules and other things, rarely ever spent time together. Add that to the fact that most of our region is based out of the Northern California area and we are compounding the idea that I was going to have to figure out my job on my own.
However, each quarter our region hosts a regional meeting for the upper staff members. After being on staff for about three years at a part-time basis, it felt like adding this overnight meeting to my schedule was too much for me to handle. I’ll never forget one day I had finally shown up at a regional meeting and two of my professional village pulled me aside. She looked at me and said the reason you are struggling in your job is because you are struggling to get here. She was point blank in reminding me that at some point in showing up for other people, that you’ll need to show up when you least want to. And then at the end, reminding me that it’s also my job.
She was point blank in reminding me that at some point in showing up for other people, that you’ll need to show up when you least want to.Lindsay Bridges, Building Bridges
But here’s what struck me is that it felt like I was alone in my position at work and yet I chose to not show up where community was offered because I was too busy working hard for my own job while being the lone ranger …and the cycle continues over and over again. That conversation was well over three years ago and now every time we have a regional meeting, I look forward to spending time with my work village because I kept showing up. At some point you get to decide if the complaining about being a lone ranger is actually worth it or is that energy better spent leaning in and building community with others that actually get you?
You are only responsible for how you respond to things and this is where you get to choose your response:
- Continue living life on your own and then complain that no one gets you, and then responding by continuing to living life on your own.
- Continue living life on your own but then show up to your village when you are needed, told, or encouraged and live life by being present in your own and with them.
So how do you respond when life feels a little lonely or a little like a lone ranger? Are you going to step up or step out?