I spent some time last night speaking with an old friend. I needed the reassurance of someone who knows me, of talking to someone I don’t have to explain every single nuance to.
She’s my oldest friend, and one of the only ones I’ve held on to.
She talked about her gradual conversion to Judaism, and her difficult but satisfying adherence to scripture and law. She spoke of observing Shabbat, of how at first she grew weary and annoyed at the restraints placed on her. But then she noticed something. She began to examine her own feelings towards others, began pondering what was of value to her. And meaning came clear for her on a silent Saturday afternoon, and showed her that Shabbat, for her, was meant to tell her what she needs. She needs people, people to surround her, to be with her and near her, to hear her and support her.
This week, despite the horrendous gaping hole I’ve dug in my own heart, despite my confusion and fear and pain, all of you have been there. You have commented, emailed, even called-reached out to say “hey, I’m here and I’m your friend.”
I cannot begin to express how incredibly safe and warm you have all made me feel.
In the past little while, I have actively pushed away everything in my life. I have kept clear of commitment, closeness, any type of friendship, all the while crowing that I don’t need people! people suck! PTTTTP!
I’m a liar.
I need people. I need the reinforcement of someone saying “No, you ARE a good person.” so I don’t start thinking I’m a shitty person, and acting accordingly. I need someone to laugh with. I need someone to cry with. I need someone to just BE with.
I’m not alone. For once, the scared lonely little girl has stood up, dusted herself off and looked around. She’s nodded and said “I’m not supposed to be here anymore.” She’s leaving. That child I’ve been carrying, that scarred, unsure, stuck little girl, she’s finally decided she wants to leave.
I’m not alone. And I never really was.