I’ve been rather nomadic most of my 29 years and that loosely translates to some people know me, but few know me well. The irony is that I wish people knew me better, but I very rarely give anyone the opportunity to.
Here’s the rub of it:
Humans are social animals. Survival instincts have instilled within us the absolute necessity of requiring community so that we can thrive. As we’ve become more and more intelligent and more aware, some of us have gone about our lives thinking that we don’t need anyone else to survive. Ego has really done a number on us.
But, I think we can all agree that isn’t true.
Like many of us, I’ve built within me defense mechanisms to keep out perceived intruders – which are any human thing with a pulse and functioning brain. I have impossible standards for myself that I often never meet and those standards are then translated to how I deal with people and what I expect from them. The moment I fail will be the moment others will also be allowed to fail, to disappoint me and to inflict pain – and that just won’t do. I’ve dealt with enough pain in 29 years that I sometimes feel one more battle wound will be the death of me. Dramatic, I know. But emotionally, I’m just spent.
I haven’t had close friends because people aren’t perfect. We will hurt each other. We will let each other down. We will fall. And sometimes, that pain can feel overwhelming. It’s hard to know who will help pick you up in the aftermath. Life is hard. But I think it’s fair to say we’re all doing the best we can.
If you’re finding that this world is particularly cold, isolating, and harsh, I invite you to open a door in that wall you’ve built around yourself. I can promise you that it will hurt; I can promise that for a while you won’t understand why you ever did such a crazy thing.
But I also promise you won’t be alone doing this really scary task. I am trying too; my charge to myself is to let a few more trusted people see me fall, and maybe help me. There are two who have watched me spin out over the past two years, who have seen the dirty, broken pieces of my inner self and that is scary business. It’s incredibly terrifying to be so vulnerable and raw and honest – to trust them to not judge, begrudge, or cast me out because of my humanity. They have loved me and guided me in my nastiest moments, when maybe I thought that I would have left, too.