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Sunday, November 20, 2005
Group dynamics
So, I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on the IMAX screen last night. I enjoyed the movie a great deal, but being the total book-snob that I am, it's not as good as the book. Of course, they did have to compress a lot of stuff to make a 600 plus page book into a two and a half hour movie. I'm not one of those fans who is screaming because a character was left out of something was moved about for the sake of transforming the book into a film. It's just part of a book becoming a movie....you can't leave every word, scene and character in there. (I remember when Lord of the Rings came out, there were some fans I encountered who said they were going to the movies and would weep every time a subplot or minor character was cut out of the film...to which I thought, why bother to go then? If it's going to cause you that much pain that you're weeping, wouldn't you just rather stay home?)

I went to the movie with a group of fellow bloggers from Nashville--LB, Amanda, Tiff and others. We met early to get as close to the front of the line as possible and get good seats and to grab dinner at food court at Opry Mills. I had a great time and it's always interesting to get out in the real world and put blogs with faces and voices. I'm always fascinated by that and it's kind of cool having met a good cross-section of my fellow Nashville bloggers in person now, I can hear the person talking when I read their blog. (Sure, we'll go with that explanation for the voices in my head....works for me).

I know I was introduced to a good-sized group--there were about 13 others. Some had blogs, some didn't. It was interesting to see the non-bloggers react to the bloggers and vice versa.

I have to admit that going into the meeting, I was a bit nervous, as I usual get in situations where I dont necessarily know anyone. As in--having met them in the real world. When I get like that, I tend to pull back a bit and observe the group dynamics, trying to figure out how everyone relates to each other and how I might fit in. For me, the hardest part of coming into a group as an outsider is that it takes some time to figure out the lingo of the group and the backstory if you will. To figure out how people relate and interact. So, I will admit I was a bit quieter last night than usual....and the aspects of my personality that I show here on my blog may not have come through as much. Plus I probably talked LB's and Amanda's ears off when they talked to me one-on-one because when I get disconcerted or nervous, I tend to blather on at great length, only pausing to catch my breath when I start to feel a bit dizzy. I keep having to remember--it's not all about me.

You'd think a kid who grew up with his father career military and moving around a lot wouldn't have these hang-ups. And when I was younger, it was easier. I think part of it is I got very comfortable in Knoxville--it was the only place I've ever lived more than four plus years....and I was so used to the nuances and dyanmics of the group I was involved with there that I got a bit more rooted than I normally tend to do in one place. (It doesn't hurt that God's House is in the city either...:) )

It's difficult sometimes to get outside of our comfort zone. I know I struggle with it and I'm working on it.

This group dynamic and coming in as the outsider is something that has been weighing on my mind a good bit lately. I've been thinking and praying about the decision to change churches. The one I am currently attended just isn't meeting my spiritual needs and I really feel like it's time for a change. Part of me gets excited because it's a change and there are endless new possiblities. But part of me also gets nervous because it's new and different and how will I fit in or will I fit in? It's easy to go to my church on Sunday and during the week and people know who I am and I have a certain place within the dynamic of the church family. I know the nuances and textures...I know the in-jokes as it were. I can reference my love of UT sports in passing and people get it. But if I go to a new group, they don't know that I bleed orange (well, unless they drop by the blog) and such. It's been a difficult decision for me and something that has weighed on my heart and mind a good bit in the past couple of weeks. There is nothing necessarily bad or wrong with the church I attend--but it's not meeting what I need or want a majority of the time. There are flashes of it in there from time to time...

Anyway, I guess you could say I'm a bit nervous or feel uneasy by this as I've blathered on about this for a good bit now and am now talking in circles. So, I'll wrap it up and thank y'all for reading.

And a big shout out to the crew I went to the movie with last night. Thanks! Y'all are awesome and I hope to see y'all again to hang out soon!

posted by Michael Hickerson at 11/20/2005 11:48:00 AM | |
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