There’s a Yoruba saying that translates roughly to mean “people are people’s clothes.”
(That probably reads like a horrifying cannibalism fetish short story but let’s not go down that road.)
The point of the saying, at least to me, is that people find comfort in other people.
We shelter one another.
For people like me who have a history of deliberately isolating, the notion of being sheltered by someone else is equal parts frightening and unfamiliar.
The first person I run to when I need someone is… myself.
I enjoy being needed but I try not to need anyone.
But all that self-nurturing, ‘island living’ and leaning on oneself is tiring.
Listen, you can only do so much for yourself.
The stress and the drain will hit you eventually, and it is in that very moment that the value of being watered by someone other than yourself becomes clear.
You cannot be your own everything.
That isn’t sustainable.
And even if you, like me, believe strongly that you thrive in isolation, what happens when you have to build a bridge toward someone else for your well-being but there’s no one because you’ve pushed them all away?
We need people, no matter how briefly or intermittently.
It’s a cold world after all and at the end of the day, who really wants to be alone?