I’ve felt strong lately, but even on days I feel strong and happy, excited about my future, I find myself holding on to people. Past relationships I can’t let go of or temporary friendships I wish lasted longer. I’ve found myself feeling disconnected from people, like I can’t really reach them, and I’ve tried to solve this by over-connecting, wanting to be there all the time. Know what they’re doing, what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling.. it sounds insane and obsessive, and it is. I know this, but this is me being honest.
So this is what I’ve learned…
Because my own life has felt so empty and uninhabited I’ve taken every opportunity I’ve found to “move in” to someone else’s life. In every relationship I’ve had, I’ve moved in to their lives. Leaving my own behind. I’ve taken on their routines and habits, interests and circle of friends because I’ve had none of my own. And when the relationship ends I keep finding myself helpless and lonely, desperately trying to stand up on my own, because it’s not just the person I lose — I also lose their life where I was living. I took it on like my own home, and now I’m kicked out of my own home and I never know how to let go of people because I simply don’t have a life of my own that feels full and warm enough to go back home to. I find myself homeless over and over again because I keep building my home in other people’s lives.
A while ago I met someone here in Berlin, and I so desperately wanted to invite him into my life. Show him around. Take him to my places, my corners of the city, my daily routine and let him see how I live.
But I stopped myself because I simply don’t have a life I feel like I can invite someone into. It’s not full enough. Now, I love my life. I love everything I have in it. But there is something about me learning to live simple and on minimum. I do my things that usually go unnoticed and I create things that only my readers understand and then at the end of the day someone asks “so what did you do today?” And I mumble… mmm, I wrote and created something and then I read some books and did some things but whatever… what about you?”
You know those people you meet who just feel safe. They send out certainty and belonging, like everything will be okay for them, because they know how to make things okay. And if you’re lucky enough to spend a day with them they will go on with their lives and let you be a tourist in there. They make each moment their own, in small ways, like, having preferences of the music, the colors, the smells, the direction, the order of things. And they will talk about their lives in a way that doesn’t leave any space for questioning. It’s not like… hello, this is my life do you think that’s ok? Like I do… it’s more like “Hey, this is my life! It’s nice, isn’t it? Now show me yours!”
So I went to LA and I moved into my friends’ life for 2 weeks and every night I fell asleep feeling both proud of him for having created that life for himself, but also with a new realisation of why I feel so lost and lonely. I need to build out my life. I need to build it to the point of no longer feeling the need to move out of it. I must build my home in my own life. And it sounds so silly and so simple but if you get it you get it, and then it’s the most profound thought ever.
So, how do you do that? How do you build a life that feels full. A life you don’t want to move out of as soon as you meet someone with an interesting life?
So that, when you do meet someone with an interesting life, you will have one too, and you’ll be two complete individuals, who can invite each other into each other’s lives, but you’ll both feel home and secure knowing that your life won’t be inhabited or lost. You stand strong and sure in your own and so will he, or she. That’s a healthy relationship. To yourself and to someone else.