Chapter 10: Solitude

December 25, 2016

I have always been a helpful person. I lend my time, talent and experiences to people who are facing the same challenges I have. I believe it to be part of my role as a human being. But through the years, I took other people’s failures as my own, and that drove me harder to help, often times leaving my self lost in the fog. As I tried to unfold my own dream, I always returned back to making someone else’s dreams come true. I became very disenchanted with people and life in general. The end result was that by trying to make the world feel better, I had become a shadow of the person that I once was. The person that I was created to be. I remember a time when I literally wanted to crawl out of my skin. I disliked myself that much, yet I could not find my way back because my mind was filled with solutions to everyone else’s problems. Letting go of that was like letting go of my identity, yet I had no choice. Come hell or high water, I was going to survive this mess and find my smile again.

I needed to rekindle my passion for life, and I knew just the friend to help me do that. The air was crisp and silent. I walked along the stream watching how the water cascaded down the rocks, just as I had when I was a child. Fascinating to watch water in that way. It always finds a way to move forward. To make a new path. To find a way around. I love that about water. I reached a point where the little stream was hidden by fallen aspen leaves now grey from the winter temperatures. Small spheres of water created an enchanting geometric pattern that engaged my analytical side. “Do you know what the chances are of a tiny bit of water landing perfectly to form and maintain a sphere? Pretty small,” I thought to myself. I continued walking upstream and came upon a different type of leaf. It stood out in both shape and color from the greyish aspen leaves. “Ah, my little one. You have found yourself a bit of solitude.” What I realized, though, is that the little leaf was not alone. It was being supported by a layer of aspen leaves. Without those leaves, the little one would be swept away like every other one. What made this leaf capable of withstanding the momentum of the stream was the support it was getting from other leaves. And with that support, the little leaf could have a moment of peace in a chaotic world.

If only I had that type of support.” I’d been without friends for a long time. I had forgotten what it was like, and when I did have a close circle of friends, I was too young to understand their true value. I’d lived a life of moving around under the demands of external forces, and friendships were simply not realistic. I had also been through a time in my life when I thought everyone had my best interests at heart, only to realize that was not the case. The combination of those two factors somehow erased the need for close, true friendships from my mind. That little leaf reminded me of an important facet of life. I am an introvert, yet even I need the support of close friends. People who appreciate my strength and dreams enough to provide support when I need time to rest.



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