Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Who are these faces ?

Dear diary,

Everyday I wade through life meeting countless faces ,rubbing many a shoulder and shaking several hands, before walking home to enjoy my own private space . While some of these social meets are pure networking opportunities, many times, I have met people with whom I share similar wavelengths or can enjoy a laugh or even share a personal moment. Sometimes these moments become intimate - not necessarily physical, but also emotional and then I do not know what to call these relationships. For want of a better word, I call them friends .

And then there are people who are around me all the time. People who are related to me, is married to me, who has nurtured and managed me, people with whom I share a bond, And I call them family.

Sometimes there is a blur between the two, when friends become family and family become friends. But then to me, that doesnt matter. I remember when I was 17 and I was still in high school. I made a promise to myself - that I will try and be independent - financially, mentally or intellectually and even emotionally. While I have managed the same to a large extent, the emotional bit has always been a bit challenging. And that is when I learnt not to have too many expectations, except to people with whom one Ive been extremely close to. And these are people, Ive learnt to trust and believe in over the years and very few friends , besides family belong here, And even then, my dear diary, I have maintained a certain discretion - as they are individuals first and then my parent ,sibling or spouse.

But this is not to say that friends are secondary. There are times when I have leaned on them and they on me , but then neither can be a permanent crutch for the other. I have gotten up and moved on several times and have been grateful to my friend for being there and I have also offered myself as a crutch when the need arises. But then, dear diary, there is a difference between being there and being used na.and very often the lines are blurred as we are dealing with feelings here . Yes, I have been used and thrown and there are times that I have used, but I believe that I havent thrown anyone as yet..but then I am also human . I do not believe in formulae, my dear diary..

But then I refuse to believe that anyone unconditionally offers themselves to the other - be it friends or family. There is always a need that one is satisfying - be it loneliness or a feel good factor or just a selfish need to feel special and cared for, or show off to the world that you are loved and cared for . I think its also a hidden urge to prove to oneself that one is not really alone and hence the success of so many social media sites that seek to satisfy this gratification. You know, as Im writing this , there is probably a desire inside me that someone out there is reading me and nodding their heads ..

I have always been a private person and even though many people think that I am quite social and an extrovert, I draw a line when it comes to me and people. Be it family or friends, I realize that 9 out 10 people I meet and have met in my life are mere acquaintances. I am happy to share a conversation with them, laugh with them, crib to them, spend some time with them, even let them touch my life to a certain extent , listen to them, offer myself as a crutch to them, but then I draw a boundary . Call it a safety net, but it has worked for me.I go that far and no further. And I avoid favours for that brings in emotional dependency, because it weakens me further and creates a false sense of obligation. In rare cases I have opened my doors to strangers and very few have actually become part of my life . Most of the time, the relationship has either drifted away, in some cases, it has failed . But what I often realize is that when i have had have zero or little expectations of people, especially friends, then the relationship survives .

Expectations I realise only sets the field for disappointments , which in turn result in failure. Sometimes when my emotions for someone are not too deep, then the disappointment does not really affect me and that I believe comes with emotional maturity. I have faltered many a time here , but then I realize that my emotional investments on people have also been very low. This is probably one of the reasons that I do not go out for parties, or prefer big groups of friends or care for attending marriages and social dos. If I feel like connecting to the people I want to connect, I just pick up the phone or drop them a line or meet them over for lunch. And then I am done, until the next time the need arises.

And believe me, everything is a need - emotional, intellectual or physical. As we evolve, our needs change and with it , our circle of friends and family. Ive often seen the pattern in which people seek out each other. While many are out of sheer attraction,lonely people look for their types and intellectuals find their own group.But who are these faces ? What do they actually mean to us ? Do they just gratify our immediate need or give us a sense of belonging or a sense of security that we are not alone..Do we really need them ? And if we do, where and how do we draw the line..


Bishwanath Ghosh said...

So far this is the best of her monologues!

Lakshmi said...

Thanks BG..

Ed Pilolla said...

what a rich piece. this last paragraph especially is so profound. we certainly energetically draw people to us, all as gifts and tests and so much more than i understand. the duration and quality of durations are questions i only want to get my arms around. great stuff.

Lakshmi said...

Ed , and that often leads us wonder, doesnt it..the duration and the quality of duration..sometimes you wonder why people walk into your lives and before you know the answer, they are gone as well

Faith said...

Hi, my name is Faith.

Just read your piece and thought wow, someone was able to put into words what am not able to...am not much of a writer and and am terrible at expressing myself. Many people think am an extrovert but am really an introvert.

chellsie said...

chanced upon your blog and really liked what i found here. :)
this post is especially neat. Puts into words what most of us have felt at some point or the other!
great job, lakshmi!

Lakshmi said...

Thanks Faith and Chellsie