Alone in a Crowd

Today, Omar reminded me how alone we really are in this world.  Of course, she hadn't realized she'd done so.

My mother used to always tell me whenever I got down about how few friends or family I really had, "You were born alone and you will die alone.  Don't depend on anyone to stick around.  At the end of the day, you need to be happy with yourself and to hell with everyone else."

I started really understanding that in the last five years.
Sometimes I feel okay about it and, of course, other times, not so much.
Mostly because I'm a human being who longs for companionship in any form.

After her passing, while I always knew I was somewhat alone, I realized how much more so.
People show you every bit of their true colors when tragedy strikes.
Your relationships with family and/or friends either becomes stronger or non existent.
You either validate what you already knew or have revelations about things that were staring you in the face but you refused to see.

As Thanksgiving neared, I realized that I had fewer family members than I thought I had.
That my most loyal family member, outside of my mother, is the one that I've had the most ups and downs with... and boy am I grateful for her.
Friends that I had already cut off, made me feel better about having cut them off before her passing.
And friends that I haven't spoken to in years, people who've become acquaintances really, haven't really gone anywhere, even if we don't have the same connections we had in the past.

There's a certain amount of give and take in all of our relationships.
And if people are not willing to sacrifice a small part of their time, whether it's thoughts, prayers, a willing to listen ear, the common shoulder to cry on, or laughter to share with.... then they're just taking up space that doesn't belong to them, that they haven't earned and probably never deserved....

When you're young, you look around yourself, surrounded by so many people and feeling alone.
But when you get older, you're surrounded by fewer people and realize that you've actually always been alone and that, perhaps, you're better off.


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