I'm pretty good at giving; I learned that from my mom. one thing that I am not so good at is receiving; I think I learned that from my dad. I left home at 18. I remember the first time I got the flu away from home, never had having a mother seemed so valuable as when I was puking alone. being on your own hardens you, it makes you tough. growing up, my father held the aura of a man who had survived alone in the woods for years--I wanted to be that man. so when it was time, I went out into my own woods, I fed and clothed and sheltered myself. I kept myself company many lonely nights, trying to ignore the scary sounds that hide in the dark.
and here I am, over a decade since I had my mom to feed and comfort me or my dad to keep me safe. I have taken care of myself, for that I am proud. but I am starting to think I may have over-corrected. tonight it struck me how alone I still feel, even though I have a loving boyfriend and family and many incredible friends. while making my bed tonight I was overwhelmed with how many times I have completed that act in the silence of an empty apartment. something about it saddened me so deeply. something made me long for another person to help me fluff the comforter like I know my mother would have.
there is tremendous strength in giving. I enjoy giving to others. I like knowing that in my own way I can help others with the unavoidable difficulty of life. but then, when I am in need of such comfort, I find I don't ask for it, or allow for it to enter into my space. in all my desire to be tough, I have forgotten the incredible grace that lies in softening. to be self-reliant is commendable, but to be open to other's care takes even more strength. there is a vulnerability to letting yourself depend on someone that takes a lot of courage. I think I have proven that if I had to, I could survive on my own. it's good to know that. I needed to know that. but, I am not on my own, and it's nice to have someone help you when you're tired of helping yourself.