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When I left work this morning, I took an Uber home. I was going to walk like I did yesterday, but the laziness got the better of me and I got a car instead. Work was fine, same old same old, watching the tire fire burn from my balcony perch. But there was an anticipatory feeling all day that as soon as I left the building, I’d be sad again. There’d be no joints waiting for me at home. All I’d have is myself. I really didn’t want to feel sad, either. I was hoping I’d peel away from it. But in that Uber, all I could think was, well, I’m no longer of importance to anyone. No one needs me, I fulfilled all my duties today. There’s nothing left for me. I’m flying solo until further notice.

Terrible. That’s not how I wish to speak to myself. It’s been a struggle not to beat myself up all these years for every minor “infraction” I face. I still have trouble, though I feel it’s getting better. But this feeling of not being “needed” never really entered my head. Why would someone think that about themselves?

Well, maybe the truth is we don’t need anyone else. Not all the time, anyway. It’s nice to feel needed in certain situations, but do we actually physically need another person to always be there? I’m not talking about life-or-death caretaker scenarios. I’m talking about “needing” someone, or something, in your life. Is it really that crazy to say we merely want people around us, and don’t necessarily need them to be?

I don’t want to think that no one in the world won’t “need” me someday. My children will need me to take care of them, to keep them safe from harm and help them grow into well-adjusted people. That’s fine. That makes sense. But as we emerge from a gripping global pandemic where we were told we’re all in this together, I’m finding more and more that this “need’ to be around large swathes of people isn’t as prevalent as it once was. It’s just not a need. It’s a want. Sure I want to be out and have fun. Hell, I’d go to a sweaty mosh-pitting club at this point if it means a night out. But, in the end, I don’t really “need” to do anything. I don’t even need to be around anyone. The pandemic tested a lot of limits of friendship I feel, and I think a lot of us discovered what it is we need versus what it is we want. And I guess the real need I’ve found is the need to be needed by me.

Right now, I’m all I’ve got. Even if I find my soulmate, I don’t want him to “need” me to complete him. We’ll complement each other and be happy we’re together, but he won’t need to be with me. He’ll just choose to. And we’ll go from there. But until that day comes, should it ever come, I’ve got to put my needs first. And right now, that only entails the return to me. I need to complete this journey because I said I would. And it needs to come from just me. It’s nice to have a support system and I’m appreciative of that, but it’s not a necessity in order for me to complete it. Something in me has told me for years things are not as “authentic” unless it comes directly from me, only by me. While I’ve found that no longer to be true, I can’t ignore the desire for my own personal journey to salvation. And with the added clarity component, the path ahead of me is opening up in new ways I could only once imagine.

I’m hoping you’ll find your version of this path one day. Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll get someone to join me on mine. You need not let me know now. Only join if you want to.

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