All my problems were solved with four words

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Well, not all of my problems are solved, but one big problem was solved with four words yesterday:

People Give You Energy

Over the past 8 months I have been in what seems like a funk. It is hard to describe, but mainly I am unmotivated, dissatisfied, and even depressed at times. All of this bothered me, I could not figure out what my problem was. I chalked it up to be 23 and not even close to getting married with no plans for the life and the future. Little did I know the secret to some of the problem was in four letters that were uttered by my dad yesterday. After sitting there and trying to figure out what was wrong with me again (he is a psychologist, it is only natural for me to sit there on the coach and talk) he listened to me talk for about 10 minutes and then said, “People give you energy.” At that moment I realized that he was exactly right, I had no people, therefore I had no energy.

I love blogs, I love twitter, and I love interacting on all of these platforms. Some would call it an obsession, but I call it love at first site. I have twitter open all day as well as check blogs all the time. I do not know how to describe it, I just love the interaction. I did not know how to describe it at least not until yesterday. The reason I love twitter and blogs so much is the interaction with people. The energy that I get from being others gets me going. The problem is, it is limited. It is almost like I am filling up my energy meter, but it is not enough and so the engines are only firing half of the time. I tried other solutions, hanging at starbucks, meeting up with friends for lunch, but nothing seemed to help. I really think that I have lost productivity and have moved more into a funk because I do not work with people.

I use to love to work for about 2 hours and then go and hang with my buddy Nate in his office. We would talk for about 20 minutes (I was getting refueled) and then would go back to work for another 2 or 3 hours. I looked forward to working, getting things done, and having great conversations. That all stopped once I started working from my basement. The problem is my interaction is so limited. I started to use twitter as a way to help, but it is so limited. I would get a @ reply or DM and would reply right back and then have to wait for a response. I would receive an email and respond and expect an immediate response, only to have to wait and hope and check often. I was taking over, I was becoming obsessed with interaction and it was getting me no where, except for more drained.

Honestly, I do not know what it looks like yet to work from home and still be with people. I am open to suggestions, but I am stating to look for ways to get refueled. The hard part for me is that the team that I work with has other jobs, they work at offices, have families, and get to interact with a variety of people daily. Me, well I am kind of stuck with interacting with…well my dog.

What do you do when people give you energy but there are no people to get energy from?
Can anyone relate to this?


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Kyle Reed

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Kyle Reed is a connector looking to connect with others. A 20 Something that is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community. Also a team member of the 8BIT Network and brand evangelist. Find me on twitter: @kylelreed, lets chat.
  • Tom

    I can relate directly and inversely.

    First, working in an office has the implicit advantage of being able to interact with people. The thing is, when I really wanna get busy, I put up DO NOT DISTURB on our internal IM client, put on noise cancelling headphones, and get down to business. I absolutely do not wanna be interrupted.

    Then, there are times during the day where I'll stand up and chat with the guy on the opposite side of the cube.

    On the flipside, I'm working from home today. This means hours where I can totally hyperfocus on what I need to do without being bothered or disturbed by anyone. Sometimes I need that, too.

    • @kylelreed

      Ya I am with you. I need that silence to get work done, but the problem for me is that what you are doing today is an almost every day occurrence for me. Now I have been going to starbucks and working there, but it is limited.

      I think the main thing for me is the team aspect. I love that idea and working, planning, being around a team. That is what I miss the most.

  • Becky

    I can definitely relate to this! I actually work in an office with just my boss. Occasionally we have a part time person come in and help out and I feel like my life is transformed. (My boss sometimes leaves the office for hours at a time and I am here alone.) I get energy from people as well. I long to be around others. But sometimes that just doesn't happen. I have to make an effort to meet with people after work, during my lunch break, or on the weekends. Its worth the effort I make to connect with others when I am not at work.

    • @kylelreed

      That would be really tough, but you are right, worth the effort.

  • Crystal Renaud

    i have the opposite problem. i am an introvert, so people rob me of energy. i come home from work and i have to have time alone, in order to refuel. seems this season of my life hasn't really allowed for that. i come home and have to keep working…. now on ministry stuff which is all people. so i am drained… because i am never alone. funny how people can be so different.

    i suggest you get out of your basement. unless you work 80 hours a week, you have time to join a bowling league, or some sort of activity that isn't even related to ministry. Just you and some guys hanging out. would be good for you on many levels. you'd get out of the ministry bubble and at the same time, reenergize so when you are doing ministry… you have the energy to do it.

    • @kylelreed

      Exactly, I have been working on finding this place where I can fit in and be energized. Right now I am playing in a basketball league, as well as I play drums at 3 different churches (rotating each sunday) and so that gives me some time out with practice etc…and I know this is going to sound like an excuse, but this area is pretty lame for 20 somethings. But I am working on it.

      It is funny how people are different. I actually am a little of both. At times I am introverted and want to be alone, but at other times I am extroverted and look for people to talk to. It is weird.

  • Brett Barner

    I can relate, but sometimes I find myself always surrounded by people so much, that I just enjoy some time to myself.

    We've been being pounded by snow the past couple weeks which means I've had to shovel a lot. Naomi asked me the other day if I really enjoyed shoveling, and I replied, “No, why?” and she said, “Because you just seem to enjoy it”. That's when I realized that I didn't enjoy the shoveling so much, but I enjoyed the time by myself where I could just “think”.

    On the flip-side, Naomi is an elementary school teacher and when she comes home, she asks if we can just talk because she “needs some adult conversation” or interaction.

    Winter always kills me in terms of zapping my energy, but that might be just where I live, Cleveland: The most miserable city in America according to Forbes –

    • @kylelreed

      that is just depressing right there.
      It is funny how you are having to shovel, but it works out because it gives you some time alone.

      • Brett Barner

        FYI, St. Louis – #7 Most Miserable

        • @kylelreed

          Doesn't surprise me at all

  • jaycaruso

    It's interesting to read this because my issue is just the opposite. I can't seem to find 30 minutes or an hour in my day that I truly have to myself until after 10:00pm at night. And at that point, I'm starting to get tired so my mind is not functioning as well as it should be.

    I work in an office but don't have the ability unfortunately to just keep everybody away. Whether it is email, IM, the phone or somebody just walking into my office, I'm interacting all day. My only time away from it all is lunch and I don't do any work at that time so it doesn't count. When I'm home, I spend time with the fam, there's dinner, etc. When I want that one hour or so to concentrate on blog entries, my photo business or something else, it's so hard. I'm thinking about scheduling an hour or so at Starbucks or somewhere else each week so I do get that time.

    • @kylelreed

      See that would overwhelm me as well. It is almost a love/hate relationship here

  • Joshua Hunt

    I know I've been harsh to you in the past in some of my blog responses, and I don't know how not to sound harsh w/o saying my thoughts on this post. Know that I love ya dude and we've got history that goes back to those days on F2 in college. Tough love brother, tough love…we all need it. Sometimes. Some call it 'a kick to the nuts'.

    You brought this upon yourself.

    We've both gone through periods of unemployment. Over the past 18 months of unemployment, I've only worked 10 months out of that. The longest period of time I went unemployed was 3 months.

    Kyle, you told me yourself you stopped looking for jobs awhile back ago. You won't have what those other guys you work w/ if you don't find another job. Scratch that…you already have most of what they have…a family…no, not a wife and kids, but you still have your family! …acknowledge that

    You can't expect the perfect job to fall into your lap. You and I both want that perfect job…hell, everyone does. but the problem we both face is that we have a very short span of time that we worked a full-time job after college. Suck it up and find a mediocre job to get you your “energy fix”. DON'T JUST WORK FROM HOME! Find a part-time job! You enjoy going to Starbucks…apply there. You love reading, right? Apply at a library.

    Sound like amazing jobs? Not really….But, do you think I actually wanted to work in some of the places I did over the past 18 months?…sometimes, yes, other-times, no. I thrive off of people too….thus another reason why I applied to work at Busch Stadium. Not a real glorifying job. I sold beer and sweat to death through the summer heat.

    David didn't become King overnight and neither will you or I.

    There is a fine line where social media is a great tool to use and thrive from…and where it becomes a dangerous way of never having to physically interact w/ someone else. We need that physical touch. A high-five. A fist-pound. An awkward side-hug. You have what many still need…a solution. Now it's going to be up to you to take what you know and apply it to your life.

  • Shelby

    I definitely can relate, but the things is I'm around people a lot living in a college dorm, but I don't connect with 99% of them I just pass by them a smile, or nod, sometimes a Hey and thats about it. I do spend Tuesday nights with friends, and attend a bible study Wednesday nights, but a lot of the time at school I find myself in my dorm, on twitter, facebook, blogs, seeking interaction that way. and I end up just wasting away my time alone.

    Your dog is way cute? is it a poodle mix?

    • @kylelreed

      No he is a wheaten terrier
      Best dog we have ever had, love him.

  • Mark Blake

    The problem I face so much is the “yeah we should” problem: When you and another person are in agreement that you should get together, but the conversation goes no further than that. To fight it, when a conversation gets to that point, I get out my calendar and start asking when would work for them.

    It is so easy to be busy these days that we often participate our way right out of a core group of friends. Why don't you try to cultivate a group of friends who want to intentionally get to know each other better and have a set day and time that you meet up, each week, and operate with a sense of commitment?

    Build up a group that wants to do life beyond just participating in someone's day when you just happen to schedule an appointment by coincidence.

    Just my two cents worth.

    • @kylelreed

      Mark, I know exactly what you are talking about. The agreement that goes no where….I hate that.

      The hard thing for me is that I have always had a core group of friends, from high school, into college, but now I am back at home and am realizing that friends from high school have moved on and gotten married. that is the hard thing for me, is to connect with them. Also working on developing that core group again, but difficult. Hard because people my age seem to be only meeting in bars and I am not much of a bar scene type of guy. But you are right, and i have friends around, but often seem to be more paralyzed then anything and working to get more energy throughout the day to move that into the night.

      • Mark Blake

        P.S. I've been in the same season plenty of times before Re: wife, job, future, etc – and I came out of it each time with some renewed passion or a new direction that I never saw coming. While you're stuck in your rut remember to stay faithful.

        I don't say this hardly enough – especially not on the internet – but I'll pray for you about this.

        • @kylelreed

          Thanks man

  • Shellie Kubicki

    First of all, I love the new pic at the top of the page!

    Secondly, I didn't realize how much people gave me energy! Moving 1700 miles Sept 1st, I found 12 step meetings within the 1st couple of days. It was hard over those couple of weeks of packing up, traveling, and unpacking, not to have a people to people contact! If I didn't have twitter or blogs to peruse I would have gone out of my mind. I have never spent so much time not working. It's hard for a potential employer to look at me (a pharmacist) and then look at my past bad acts. I hate that addiction consumed me for the time it did, but I have this whole new world of hope! I can work and not be obsessed with my drugs of choice. I have done it. For 2 dif employers. I miss the work environment. It does energize me! I love the 12 step friends I've made. They, too, give me energy. But, God is the great energizer Bunny. He continuously gives me energy & hope. But, I have to be willing to accept it. Humble myself to accept it. I can not live this life alone. Loneliness leads me to put myself down. I can rise above myself and be that beacon of light God wants me to be.

    P.S. My daughter is 23 and lives in Austin. She graduated last May with a degree in Marketing from Baylor. She did not get a marketing job, but is working at a resort/spa in Austin. For now. She stays involved with a new church & their community ministry. And with a Life Group. She told me the other day she's not sure she wants to be an adult! Better than a year ago, at this time, when she said she didn't want to graduate (in other words, I don't want to be an adult yet)! Being patient for my will to be done is tough. I have to remember it's not about me. Or my self will.

    PPS I did the protect my tweets thing, so you can't see mine, but I started following you about a month ago. You do matter and you do make a difference.

    • @kylelreed

      Good point, and thanks for the encouragement on the picture, I have had some dislikes…glad you like it.

  • Becky Miller

    Hey, you're an extrovert! That's a vital thing to recognize about yourself. Knowing that people give you energy – just that knowledge will help you a ton.

  • Ched

    “love at first site”