Can we be vulnerable for a moment?
I had an epiphany today. I'm increasingly aware of the strength it takes to be vulnerable. Not only that, but I feel we learn incredible amounts and create deeper connections as we are willing to be vulnerable with one another. So, here we go.
As we get old enough, we make blueprints in our minds of what our lives might be like and begin to set ideals and expectations. We have goals we explicitly state, and then unspoken ideas of what things might look like.
I was old enough to leave for college and I knew I needed an emotional break. | A split from the reality I knew at home in order to reset my mental status. So I left to New York for a year. Eventually I came home and resided in Saginaw for a couple of years- but that need to remove myself from what I was familiar with and those familiar with me was strong. It was almost necessary in order to figure out what kind of fabric I was made of and subsequently how I wanted it to be sewn (and patched, and re-sewn).
I never connected my absence with how it may have affected those I left behind, because I knew I needed it to continue a process of growth and avoid stagnancy. Today, I made that connection.
For more than five years, my sister has lived mostly in another state that's takes a full days' drive to visit. Timing of having children on my part has been such that we've been able to visit twice in that long span. In order to become the person she is now, she needed space. I'm certain for reasons of her own, and I make no assumptions as to the motivational drive behind them, but adjusting to taking care of oneself emotionally and physically leaves no room for stagnancy. As she's moved back into my parents house during the season of covid, a different kind of growth has had to take place all over again. Adults who return home have an adjustment to make for which I have no envy.
I'll not blame the epiphany on the intensity of pregnancy hormones, because it detracts from it's importance as a whole, but let's not pretend it's not a factor. I recognized today that I have been living in a place of scarcity when it comes to the emotional connection I'm willing to offer as part of our current relationship. Christmas, she'd come home. Summers (sometimes) she'd come home. A couple of seasons, she was in a relationship. The ebb and flow of availability both of time, information, sharing and life events is more complicated long distance. As a preservation mechanism, I have adapted myself to a lesser emotional connection.
I'm not exactly sure how things may change moving forward, other than acknowledgment and openness. I know that the older I get the less interest I have in self-preservation and the more I want to invest in whole-heartedness and over-abundance. I would rather know I invested as much as I could while she lives close and it be for a short period of time than to have preserved the walls of my emotions yet waited for the other shoe to drop.
If I'm able to teach my children to be open even if there's a chance you may have to adapt sooner than you'd like for the sake of full and rounded relationships, I hope they catch it. The ultimate resonance is when we make these decisions to be open and vulnerable (sometimes daily) we say "you're worth it" and "I love you" to the people for which we claim to care. I'd much rather be shown that care in the actions of someone in how they engage with me than in written word or a quick phrase as we part ways each time, wouldn't you?
Let me leave you with a link to a a little balance. Hormone balance, that is. Whether pregnant or simply attempting to grow as a person, we could all use a little extra support. 😉