I so often forget that I need people.
This afternoon I had an appointment with my massage therapist. And as I was lying there she began telling me her life story. Maybe she was telling me because she needed someone to listen and I was there. I don't know what made her trust me with her story, but in her telling of it I knew it was something precious. I wanted to leap up off the table and give her a hug. I wanted to go sit by a river with her early self and listen to her and toss rocks into the water.
Later my mom and I went for supper. We got on the topic of friendship, and I realized just how distant things have become. Summer changes people, and I know this. Graduating high school and moving on to college and working and planning for a future changes people. I know it's changed me.
But I was thinking the other night how sad it is that in this season of life I'm feeling very untethered.
I know it's partly my fault. I get into these seasons where I am writing and thinking and processing and go very inward and I forget that I still need people.
I become very self reliant. I get so busy in the process of becoming that I forget. I forget that I need people, that I am not an island.
I think at times it gets lonely being by myself. For a while it's satisfying, and I'm creating and discovering and it's exciting and I love it. I love this time to dive deeper into myself and make art and make messes and make changes and discoveries. And then I seem to hit a wall. And it's not that I'm no longer enjoying the solitary process of creating and self discovery, but it's that when the creating process stops, or when I have this big discovery that I just have to share, or when something unplanned happens, life has already gone on without me.
And I know it's not true, and that the people I love are still out there waiting for me to catch up, but it feels like since they are not exactly where I left them when I wandered off into myself that it's harder to find them.
It's hard for me to look at myself in the mirror and admit that I need people. Maybe it's a pride thing. Maybe it's because despite everything I still like to think I'm invincible and don't need anyone or anything.
I feel like maybe I missed that day in school where they taught you how to be a good friend. I'm fiercely loyal to the people that I love. But I go into these places where I forget I need people. And I go into these places where all I need is people and I feel like I exhaust those I love. It seems like there's never this state of evenness, this state of the right amount of give and take.
I think everybody just wants somebody to listen. Everybody wants somebody to step in and let them know that they're not alone. If I'm being totally honest I wish that friendship was easy and I never had to work at being a good friend and that I naturally loved being around people all the time.
But I don't.
I don't because I go into these periods of time when I'm a solitary creature and I'm very self reliant and I forget that sometimes I need people to take care of me. And then I'm too proud to admit that I need people so instead I stubbornly hold myself away and wish for someone to break through the wall they probably didn't even know I had.
I forget that I need people. But I think everyone does. I think everyone who has ever existed and will ever exist needs somebody, even if they say they don't.
I think we need people in our lives to talk to and listen to and keep us accountable and teach us about life. We need people so we can feel connected, and be reminded that no one is an island unto himself. Everyone is a part of something so much bigger than themselves. And maybe I forget this.
I forget that I need my people, to stand with me in the good, the bad and the ugly, and to love and to grow with.