Some days I’ll entertain thoughts that can be so pessimistic and inward-looking, where I would tell myself of the importance to be independent and not expect to rely on anyone if I were to ever need any help because rarely would these expectations be met.
I thought that life is this journey that I’m on by myself, friends and family come and go, and I should not attach too much emotionally to anyone because I will only end up getting myself hurt.
There were also times I wondered if I’ve always portrayed a facade of independence or aloofness to the extent that everyone thinks I do not need emotional ties, be it family or friends. In my life thus far, I don’t recall if there were any occasions when I travel for work or leisure where my family would send me to the airport, waving me off as I walk through the departure gantries. Granted that these are short trips and not long goodbyes, there were examples of my brothers leaving for work or holiday trips where the family have sent them there, or made it a family affair to welcome them back. Am I worth less than them to not also receive these homecoming welcomes, or do they think I would not appreciate it at all?
But this actually means locking up my heart for the fear of hurt and denying myself the possibilities of receiving love, that could come from anyone and anytime.
It’s a limiting mindset that isn’t healthy and probably stemmed from times when I was disappointed by the unrealistic expectations I held. But I’ve been reminded time and again, whether it’s bible verses I read, podcasts I listen to, or simply other things I chance upon; I think the universe works in ways that aren’t coincidental or by chance. Everything happens for a reason and at the opportune time in our lives, and these are probably little notes to me that no one is made to live the journey of life alone. Maybe we can be alone and not be married or stay together with family, but we aren’t meant to go through life without close friends and loved ones.
The petulant childishness in me wants to reject this perspective and insist on that stubborn train of thought, struggling to stay where I am but it’s unhealthy. It doesn’t serve my mental well-being anything to continue with that kind of mindset.
We can be selective with who we would want to spend time with and devote more emotional time and energy to, but it doesn’t refute the fact that we all need to be part of a community. Family and friends may not always be around when we need them, and it’s ok. It won’t be the same people around all the time but at different times, different people will come and when the season is over, they will leave and someone else will come.