In Which Emmie Finds Some Focus
It’s funny how sometimes one aspect of your life drives you to question and evaluate all the others. For instance, as I’m beginning to let the whole concept of getting married sink its way into my brain and wriggle its tendrils around, I’ve been doing a lot of questioning about who I am as an individual. I’m already pretty solid on most of it. It’s been several years since my last real existential “who am I” moment, though the big picture of self I hold in my quirky little brain is always evolving and growing (I hope) — but I’ve never been someone who wanted to lose herself in a relationship. Codependency isn’t particularly attractive, and I’ve always been pretty independent. Actually…”pretty” is an understatement. “Obstinately” is probably the better qualifier for that adjective.
I’ve had a couple talks with good friends lately of the introspective variety. One was today, and it sort of addressed the independence we both feel is due to our upbringing. Neither of us had a lot of say in our circumstances growing up, and we both had to become adults long before we hit that magical voting age. I’ve always been more comfortable around older people than peers, more at ease with adults even as a child, and I’ve never hesitated to go where I needed to go. That’s a huge part of who I am, a core personality trait, I guess. Part of it is that I’ve never put down roots here (here being America). Another part of it is that I’ve always sort of been an explorer at heart. Going into the rest of my life, I want a partner in crime…which segues into the second meaningful moment a friend very kindly gave me the other day.
Different friend, different day, but he said something that was a bit more insightful than I think he even knew. He told me that what he wanted for me above all was an anchor. I assumed (and I think I’m right) that he knows me well enough to not mean that in the sense of something to tether me to the ground (or bottom of the sea…hopefully not the latter), but rather someone to be a constant in my very fluid world. Someone to appreciate me, he said, and to stay with me. A successful marriage should be just that.
Between these two conversations, I’ve been thinking a lot about the inner me. I’ve also realized how grateful I am to have found some good friends here. That’s definitely a point to hold in gratitude and a certain amount of humility. Good friends aren’t easy to come across. But I digress…Inner me. (It’s 3 a.m., and the brain’s getting a bit flighty.) I have held myself aloof a lot in the past, in the sense of shying away from people out of…focus on other things, I suppose. There are a few things I hold in great esteem, and the gift of time is paramount among them. If someone is willing to give you their time and attention — that is a precious gift in my mind. It’s one of the few commodities we can’t just make more of. So it means something when someone wants to spend it on you. Friendship is built on that use of time. For me, friendship takes quite a bit of time to develop, and it needs that as well as that ineffable catalyst that sparks between people. Lately, the more I find myself being truly comfortable in myself, the more I’ve focused on those around me who seem sort of naturally comfortable with me.
I’ve always gravitated toward the few Very Meaningful things, places, or people instead of the many Meaningful things. Some people have a myriad of acquaintances, but that’s never been me. I have a few relationships that I’m very invested in, because that’s how I do companionship. Whether someone does it that way or the other way, it’s kind of six of one to half a dozen of the other when it boils down to it, but as I think about the Very Meaningful aspects of my life, I realize that I have been very lucky. I’ve known true love in more than one sense of the words. I’ve been able to reconcile a difficult past with a brighter future, and the focus I’ve gained is the focus of a woman who is learning herself better every day. And that is something I can be proud of, something that I hope will benefit those I care about. They certainly deserve the best me I can be.