In my past I always felt so alone. Even when I was with family, I never truly felt like I belonged. Through the years I had constructed layer upon layer of walls that I held up with a vengeance. I wondered why I dated men who were emotionally unavailable. You know the kind, the ones who can’t be your Superman when your psycho Lois Lane is falling off a building. In this case, the building of your sanity. I associated with people who I had to always support, people who always had some form of drama. Sharing my feelings was a foreign concept to me, and most of the time, I didn’t have the words for them. I still don’t sometimes, but that’s OK. Somehow, I had locked my heart up in a kryptonite box, behind a reinforced steel door, threw away the key, built a brick wall, dug a moat around it and placed piranhas in the water for good measure. Every so often I would lower the drawbridge and let someone in, but they always stood behind the locked door.
The last couple of years however, things had started to change. Maybe it was me, or maybe I was just lucky to meet a group of the most supportive people, but I had slowly began to open up, both personally, and in my writing. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a bare all piece on my journey with celibacy: https://azphoenix.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/act-of-celibacy/, right before I went off and taught a class. It was one of the most confronting things that I have done in a long time. For one thing, publishing my innermost thoughts online, and for another, standing in front of people who I knew for a fact had read those innermost thoughts. It was fucking scary, but in a strange way, being this vulnerable has also made me feel very connected to those around me.
Then my father passed away. Now, he is a story that I will write when I am ready.
It was what has happened since that has surprised me.
Having lived alone for about seven years now, I am used to licking my own wounds and getting on with it. In fact, I learned to get on with it at a very young age. There was always someone else to take care of. The things we get used to. A lot of times, they can be detrimental to our own health, acting out of habit than need. And in the long run, the stuff we push down just bubbles up like larva and destroys what’s closest. This time, I was completely ready to handle my business, spend a few days in my pajamas with a few boxes of tissue paper, and then wipe it all clean and get back to life.
Something unexpected happened. Upon hearing the news, two of my dear friends took immediate action. Mandy brought her 35 day old baby and a pint of gelato over, and gave me a distraction by way of placing the cutest little bundle in my arms to cuddle. Meriana came around after work, took me to the beach (in my pajama bottoms no less) and then proceeded to get me groceries. A few days later, my teacher Ingrid just held me while I completely broke down. This is not counting the phone calls, the messages of condolence and the hugs that I have been receiving for the past week. I swear, I have left a trail of tear stains over many a shoulder and my yoga mat will never be the same again.
In the world around not much has changed. It keeps turning as it was. Sydney traffic is still crazy and public transport can be unreliable, and people are still rushing everywhere. What has changed however, is me. Somehow, somewhere between the meditation and the asana, I am finding myself, and that is leading me to be able to share myself. I am a lot more vulnerable than I was, but I am also so much more part of something bigger. The people I have in my life make me feel blessed, like the heavens were somehow looking out for me, but more than that, even though I am alone in the modern sense of the word (as in single), I am so very loved.
And that’s just it, isn’t it? Being loved is not necessarily about the Instagram photos of your dates or the gifts that you’ve received from your ‘perfect’ partner. It’s not about how your popularity means that you always have someone to go out with on the weekend. And it sure as hell not about how some dude wants to jump your bones whenever you see them. Instead, it’s about the ability to just be vulnerable and to know that you are supported in these times.
A big thank you to the people I have in my life now. To me, having you has made all the difference.
Edited by fellow word warrior – Carolyn Eccles, http://lovewhatitloves.wordpress.com/