On my way inside a new neighbor approached and asked how old my daughter was. In ten minutes she shared the following with me:
- She had a daughter also, same age. Had her prematurely when she was in her late 40’s. Explained that she, her daughter, was born with mild cerebral palsy.
- She has been divorced since her pregnancy and has 50/50 custody with her ex-husband, who hates her, verbally abuses her and whose current wife hates her also.
- Her mother passed away three years ago so all she has is her father. She has no siblings. The loss of her mother is still raw, to both her and her father. He walks over to meet me also.
- She is a middle-school counselor, has a guinea pig and a cat.
- She watches Hoarders and has decided she is close to becoming one. She begins to make apologies for the messiness of her home which I have not seen.
- She tells me she is happy we met, that she needs a girlfriend and has good vibes about me.
I smile at her. I can feel her pain and sorrow. It emanates from her energy space and I force myself not to take a step back. I attracted her. We hug goodbye.
I walk inside, close the door and smile to myself. I remember when friendships were simple and approaching someone on the playground and sharing something, a word, a snack, a game, anything, meant a friendship was forming.
I walked to my room, sat on my bed and cried. Word dissection mode.
I tire of being ‘needed’ and rather prefer to be wanted, not for what I can offer, but for who I am. There is a difference.
I build walls easily, atop unpredictable underpinnings. Few attempt the climb. It is easier, perhaps safer, for them, to fly away.
My misery does not love company, and under a guise of friendship, I cannot be the carrier pigeon of anyone else’s sorrows.
Besides, I’m an eagle.
What am I grateful for?
- Hopscotch on school playgrounds and kids that let me join in, neither needing nor having want of me there. Our presence in the moment is the joy. Kids get it. Love. Freedom.
- Washing my face, looking in the mirror and being reminded that I need to walk what I talk: Step out of my mind and play. I’m ready.