Next time

Precocious kids are lonely kids. We try saying the things we feel to see if anyone else feels them and we get weird looks and silence. We bottle it up and try to play along and wonder why everything that was ever meant to be satisfying just isn’t.

We’re wrestling with a lot and (unless we’re really lucky) there usually isn’t anyone to share this stuff with.

So when you meet someone who gets it…any of it…and you both put down the masks you wear to protect this vulnerable side of you that no one ever seemed to understand before…a lot of feelings come forward. You can get greedy for this. You can even resent the person who gets it and then pulls back. Becuase you don’t want to have to go back into that pretend world all by yourself.

I think in these weird dimensions of time. They’re all happening at once. The present isn’t usually overwhelming unless I’m sick or lonely or grieving. Then the present can feel oppressive.

I got lucky enough to find a therapist who got it. I found a life coach who helped empower me to own myself and feel less afraid to inhabit what that was.

After that I found a handful of people who were autodidacts, iconoclasts, polymaths who got it. I can get needy around these people. I think that’s understandable. I don’t want to be the loneliest whale who communicates at a different frequency (I think that whale found a buddy). But it doesn’t have to be my whole reality. I can recognize my neediness, give it space, and not let it turn into resentment.

In the future, when I come across the next one…and there will be a next one…I think it would serve us both well for me to understand that they are just as limited as I am. And we are all broken in unique ways.

I could tell you things about my current self that are coming up in negative ways. I’ve been leaning into vanity and outside affirmation because I’m not in touch with my authentic self all the time. Sometimes I am and sometimes I forget and I go I to automatic behaviors. I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

I need to be aware of tendencies that I have to fix people. It’s not my job.

I need to be aware of intuition that requires contemplation. When I think something’s off, it usually is. But I jump to conclusions about what exactly that is when I might not have all the information yet. I need to slow that process down.

I need to be aware of having to be right. Having to be perfect. Having to dominate.

I need to stop being mean to people just because I find them insufferable. I need to stop proclaiming from the rooftops how insufferable they are. It doesn’t matter that it’s true. It doesn’t serve a purpose.

What is it I want to do with all the remaining time I have in this life? I want to cook great food. I want to catch buses for old ladies trying to make a connection. I want to laugh at silly things. I want to discover truth in unlikely places. I want to be kissed by someone who gets it and just appreciate it without needing more.

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