The act of waking early is made tolerable only by the honesty of life when the world is still shrouded in shadow. Boarding my plane this morning, cabin lights dimmed and many having already found their way back to sleep, I saw this. // In my mid 30s, more and more I hear the idea repeated that “I have to be by myself”, or “I have to be okay being alone”, or “I need to learn how to be okay without anyone”. We’ve placed independence vs interdependence at a premium. I wonder where that idea is coming from and why. Our history as a species lends itself to connectedness and togetherness. We evolved not in isolated mansions on hills and ownership over acres, but as tribes who depended on each other for survival. History and science show that we are our best selves when we rely on each other, when we have and hold accountability, and when our tribal underpinnings and relationships are woven deeply into the tapestry of our day to day lives. It seems paradoxical in this day and age that we have to be alone to find ourselves when at our most basic biological core, we are meant to be together. Don’t get me wrong, a little self reflection is needed. The complex dynamics of relationships can be very challenging, but the reflection of ourselves in others and our unique ability to love and commune is what makes us so special as an animal. It’s the give and take, the feedback, and the lessons cultivated in the social milieux that offer the strongest foundations and most growth. // I saw this this morning and thought of my tribe, my failures, my family, and togetherness. Whether romantic, friendly, or simply necessary, I want more of this. I don’t need to learn to be alone. I want to learn to be together.
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