Belonging

Ever since the first year of my life I’ve moved, on average, once every two years. This has been by my family’s choosing, of course, but hasn’t come without its fair share of struggles. Though there’s been both ups and downs to this kind of nomadic lifestyle, I want to briefly touch on two topics that have been weighing on my mind lately and have prompted me to splay my thoughts out in this post: friendship and belonging.

Whenever I move somewhere new, it feels like a fresh start: an open invitation to make myself out to who I want to be and create a community around myself that reflects my values and that I can rely on. So often I take my friends for granted: they have been there for me when business issues are weighing heavy on my mind and also when my favorite artist comes to down and I need a concert buddy with an hour’s notice. With that said, however, I would say there are two types of friends in my life: “superficial” friends and lifelong friends.

Superficial sounds like a harsh word to describe someone I would truly call my friend, but my definition of that is of someone who shares common interests me, but I don’t feel like I connect with on a deep, emotional level. I rarely get pretty deep emotionally with many people regardless, but I want to be sure the person I’m discussing what’s on my mind can empathize and hopefully even offer some advice, solicited or not. That brings me to lifelong friends: those select few in my life who I know get me on a level deeper than just a mutual love of Tycho or ramen and know when I’m not feeling 100% (and vice-versa).

The thing is, however, I don’t have many lifelong friends at all… that’s not for a lack of amazing people in my life, either. I think it’s self-inflicted and plays into how much I feel I belong in a community. With the constant knowledge of my next impending move always on the horizon, I feel as if I have a fairly strong apprehension to make deep emotional roots in a community and “drain” my emotional mote, so-to-speak, allowing potential lifelong friends to enter my life. I think that it’s no coincidence that the majority of my life-long friends have known me since I was young. My youthful state of mind then was less risk-adverse and was more open to possibility. I would like to think the same is true of myself now, but after some introspection, I’m  afraid not.

I’ll be moving for my Praxis program in just a few short months now and have decided that I’m going to build a bridge over my protective emotional mote for the little while longer I’m here. Though it might take more time than I have here to totally drain the apprehension I have left, I can start by allowing more people into my life and saying yes to more connections that I have been. Even though I might be hurt in the process, there’s only one way to find out.