“You’re not going to have a lot of people you can talk to about this. There is never a crowd on the leading edge.” — Abraham
The above quote was shared on Facebook this morning by my dear friend and fellow edgewalker, Katharine. When I read it, I breathed a deep sigh of recognition.
Those of us who find our places at the edge, where we are ever watchful for what is emerging and always pushing the boundaries of what’s acceptable and comfortable for the masses, do not hang out in large crowds.
Instead, if we’re brave enough to stay on that edge and do those things our hearts call us to do, we often hear words like “You’re doing what? What does that mean? Why are you wasting time with that? Aren’t there things you could do that you’d make more money at? I don’t understand.”
But edgewalkers can’t move back into the comfort zone where their loved ones want them to be and feel any “real” comfort. They need to be pushing the boundaries, living with the questions, embracing the risk, and being true to the restless wanderer at their core.
For an edgewalker, true comfort is in discomfort.
An edgewalker needs the edge. Like a bird needs the sky. Like a fish needs the water.
Finding your place feels authentic and energizing, but it can also feel awfully lonely. It’s hard to explain this driving need to be at the edge. People in the centres of the crowd don’t understand. They want to draw you back into the crowd, for their comfort and yours.
What do you do when you know you’re called to the edge and nobody around seems to understand?
Find other edgewalkers.
Reach out to people with common questions. Go to gathering places where edgewalkers congregate. Enter conversations on social media. Ask someone you admire out for coffee. Take relationship risks.
Dare to tell your story and ask your questions in public. Lots of people will look at you strangely, and sometimes you’ll go home feeling dejected and embarrassed, but more often than not, there will be at least one person in the room who will take you aside (possibly in secret) and say “you said the words I most needed to hear tonight.”
Chances are, there won’t be throngs of people, because the other people in the room are still clinging to comfort, but all you need is a handful of people to make a circle.
Find your circle and then take even more bold steps toward the edge.