My cousin is the big sister I needed in this life. We spent a lot of time together in my teens, as she’d lived with us while going to university. I think she also kept me from losing myself in utter loneliness, but she was also one of the only people I didn’t mind being around all the time.
It’s a tremendous gift in life to have those who can actually see you. And, wherever my fear of abandonment came from, she was one who never did.
I was always heavy into spirituality, consciousness, and philosophy, and all the “new age” and self-help stuff you could imagine. We read a lot of the same books and could talk about the deep concepts of this life. We both love animated films, and could watch Aladdin weekly if needed, or Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Well, I could. She was definitely a hell of a lot more grounded than I, and I didn’t know how much I needed that.
And she’s an accomplished athlete, which provided me with someone who was always willing to walk, hike, bike, or face some insanely accurate tennis serves. My ace percentage was near zero, I’m sure, and I broke a lot of rackets.
She was the social one, having and hosting parties — some of which got a little out of hand — which I just didn’t get at all. I tried. I did have an occasional gathering of friends, but I couldn’t really get into the whole drinking-till-you-puke thing, and most often was just a designated driver. I think I might have hit the clubs twenty times, ever. I’m not big on crowds.
One of my favorite places, for a short time, was an after-hours space that could only serve bottled water, but served up excellent, smooth, house music one could close their eyes and get lost in. It was the antithesis to the noisy, violent drink-fest down the road, and I wish I had gone more often. They didn’t last long.
My cousin was also extremely tolerant of my eccentricities, and often shitty moods. I can recall times when my “just being honest” was more accurately “just being a self-righteous, insensitive, inconsiderate asshole”.
Dear parents: your kids will take on a lot of your pain. If they’re born very empathic or sensitive, they’ll absorb all of it, and have no idea what to do with it.
Well, some will drink, and do drugs, I guess. Some will channel it into sports, religion, or a passion that provides the escape, or their own partners or kids. Some will get counselling. Some will bury it…for a time. These days, some won’t be able to handle it at all, as we well know.
Not that it’s an excuse, but a certain perspective and an effort toward understanding. Reconciliation however…seems to be forever ongoing, and may never arrive. Life can kick you around, a lot. While all these elements shape and define our identities and personalities, the pressures of career, purpose, keeping it together, survival, competition, providing, and most often being our own worst enemies, are off the scale.
I don’t have many friends, and I haven’t always been much of a friend to those who stick around. I am grateful for the strength and counsel of the patient few. I hope I’ve been able to provide some of that to others in return.
I write and I share in an effort to foster conscious awareness. It doesn’t always work, and deep truth can be a moving target. My motivation in this life has always been founded in love, in our collective awakening, and in elevating the human experience.
And, to once in a while, get to know myself a little better.
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