Home > Random Musings > Need



I am not good at needing people. In fact, the truth is that I’ve allowed myself to need very few people in my life. I’ve always occupied the role of the person people lean on. I’d rather listen than talk, and I talk to very few people. Not just idle chatter, but the important or embarrassing bits. I keep them mostly locked up, tied tightly together, precisely and without air.

At the end of the day, there are only a small handful of people that I trust with my secrets, those that remain unpolished and dull. Brilliant if only for their raw, unrefined nature. It is, I suspect, the same reason that I let so few people see me without a stitch of makeup on. (Not that I’m running around with three feet of pancake makeup slathered up like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? But I almost always put on a light bit of mineral makeup, because my skin tone’s uneven. And I’m neurotic.) I’m better at hiding things than I am at offering them up.

I can count on one hand the number of people I’d call up in tears. For me, that is enough. I would never want to be one of those people who blather on endlessly to everyone and anyone. My best friend has picked up the phone to incoherent sobbing or me talking as fast as possible, like a verbal band-aid ripping. If I can spit it all out at once, then I can breathe. Then I can be. It’s an imperfect, working theory.

But back to the point: I’m really very unfamiliar with needing people. I sat, the other day, with my phone in my hand, debating on whether or not to make a phone call. It was after a particularly tough day, and while I was no longer a complete wreck, I wasn’t exactly 5 by 5. Still, the urge to just talk things out, to share a bit of drama, was there. I deliberated whether or not to press SEND (shout-out to Patty Blount and her forthcoming book of the same name). In the end, I did nothing. In the end, I sat there wondering what was more important: the immediate or the future. I choose the future. I choose to be a grownup, knowing how much that sucks, sometimes.

And yet. And still. I wonder if that was a lie. I wonder if I was lying to myself. Because I have this tendency to push what I need, or want, to the side – in favor of what someone else might need. But I am also, apparently, terrible at needing people. I suppose if the circumstances were different, and I was less vulnerable, and things weren’t quite so complicated – I’d be better at it.

I sat there with the phone in unfamiliar territory. I figured out all the reasons why not and clung to them like some sort of righteous howler monkey. Maybe it’s just to say look, I can be an adult, when really what I want is to NOT be an adult for an hour. Or an afternoon. Or a whole day. And then I find that way of thinking to be weak, which I dislike. It’s the same reason that I loathe crying.

I am in an impossible situation that is possible, because it is. This willfully annoying paradox stitched together by wayward circumstances? It is temporary. I keep reminding myself of that. That things will smooth out, that they’ll get easier. If I’m just a little bit patient. If I remember to breathe. If I’m more, instead of less.

Perhaps if the need overwhelms me, two days from now, perhaps I will feel differently. Perhaps I will let myself fall in upon myself, without any eye toward the horizon. Perhaps I will allow myself a bad decision. But the truth is, even with everything a bit of a disaster, I’m doing my damnedest to be stronger than I think I can be.

And the only reason for that, darlings, is…

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.” ― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

“I was born with an enormous need for affection, and a terrible need to give it.”
Audrey Hepburn

Categories: Random Musings
  1. July 13, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Oh, how I can relate to this post. More often than not, I feel like I rely on others far more than they rely on me. Insecurity, much? Probably. All the same, I don’t think there’s anything un-adult or childish about needing to unload on someone. It says nothing about your lack of strength. Instead, it says everything about your being a human being. I think we all need a shoulder to cry on here or there. And for the record, you are welcome to call me sobbing or speed-talking any time. I am never to busy, or too anything else, for those kinds of phone calls. *Giant Hugs*

  2. Nicholas
    July 13, 2012 at 10:05 am

    As a guy who often struggles with revealing what is often perceived as emotional vulnerability I have to thank you for writing this. Just hearing the stream of consciousness that you went through is enough to remind us that we aren’t alone in this sentiment. In my experiences so far, when I’m honest with myself and doing everything I need to be doing, this sort of emotion comes pouring out and it having another there to hold (and observe) does indeed affect the vibration of our quantum nature. Again, thank you.
    “The sexiest thing is trust” -Tori Amos

  3. July 13, 2012 at 10:12 am

    “The world is no divided into the strong who care and the weak who are cared for. We must each in turn care and be cared for, not just because it is good for us, but because it is the way things are.” – Shelia Cassidy

    Even with those we feel closest to, it can be difficult to let our guard down. But allowing ourselves moments to vent, cry, scream in frustration is so important. Just as proper rest and treatment of torn muscles makes one physically stronger, giving proper attention to our feelings…really owning those feelings…strengthens ones soul.

    Love and hugs!

  4. July 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    A lot of this sounded (well, read) like some kind of mirror-of-words. (Not the makeup bit, though.)

    Being a grown-up about a situation usually carries some sort of benefit, and I wind up asking myself: do I want my life like THIS, or like THAT?

    Some days it helps, some days it doesn’t.

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