“I think it’s funny how that works,” she said.
“We walk around with these masks. We hide away the parts of ourselves that make us human — the parts that have built us into who we are today, the parts that are the cornerstones of our stories, our lessons, our scars. We tuck away the things that we feel ashamed of — the mistakes we have made, the people we have hurt, the hearts we have walked away from when we should have stayed.
And we ache. My god do we ache; but we never acknowledge the cause of it all. We never acknowledge the heaviness, the emotion within us that we keep to ourselves, the fear that courses through our bones whenever we think about burdening another human being with problems we don’t think they can relate to.
We convince ourselves that we are the only human being in a world of billions, to feel lost at times, to feel lonely. We convince ourselves that people wouldn’t understand the damage within us, the questions that bang against each other in our heads. We convince ourselves that no one has time to listen, that those who ask are only just doing so out of obligation rather than genuine interest.
So we give up too soon. We don’t get to know people, we fear that they will run away the moment they see our bruises, our baggage. We convince ourselves that they wouldn’t have ever been able to shine light into the depths within us, that they couldn’t possibly comprehend what we have gone through, or what haunts us at night.
But we are wrong. We are so wrong. Because we aren’t the only human beings to have felt loss deep in our bones, to have had our hearts broken in irreparable ways. We aren’t the only people who have stories building up within us, questions we wish we could ask. We aren’t alone. We aren’t alone.
And I think that’s what makes it so comical, so heartbreaking. We are all searching for connection, and yet we are all avoiding eye contact. We are all searching for people who understand, but we aren’t staying around long enough to realize that every single person has felt the same before. Instead, we convince the outside world that we are fine, even if we are aching for help, and that is why we don’t get it. That is why the distance between us and everyone around us widens. We are all running away from each other, when we should be running towards one another.
But here’s the thing — when I stopped convincing myself that others couldn’t understand me, the world opened up to me, it said “I am going through this with you.” People started to express experiences that related to mine. They spoke their heartbreak, they expressed their deepest fears. When I stopped convincing myself that I was alone, I realized that I was surrounded — by human beings who just wanted to connect, and that was beautiful. That was when my healing began, that was when I started to realize that we need each other more than we will every truly comprehend.”