On Relationships

The way I see it, there are all of these fine little lines connecting us and this year, I’ve been focusing on illuminating the paths between me and you, between me and the world. For the past four months, the word “relationship” has taken root in my heart and dictated my thoughts and actions. I have tried to call more, to write more, to text more, to show up more. I have worked on fostering new relationships, nurturing old relationships, and repairing broken relationships. I want to be intentional with my love and energy; I want to cherish each piece of twine that links me to everyone in my life.

But resolving to work on relationships is exactly that: work. And it’s hard work at that. One tether pulls on me harder than another and suddenly I’m neglecting one of the many precious people I’m connected to. Or I’ve ignored one path for so long that it’s hard to find my way back to that lovely soul. Or connections tug equally and I’m forced to make a choice between two people that I love.

I’ve found myself wishing for more hours in a day so that I can be everywhere, be everything, for everyone. I have this horrible habit of focusing on failure instead of success and, if I’m grading my current relationship work, I’m struggling somewhere at C level. I forget to reply or write back or return a call. I cancel plans or I make the wrong choice or I shirk my responsibilities. It feels like I’m failing.

I have to remind myself that resolving to change, to be better, is never easy. And failure is part of growth. And the simple fact that I care about my perceived failures shows that I am indeed changing and growing. The challenge now is to learn to handle the guilt that comes with loving so many people and not being able to be everything for them.

At the end of the day, it’s so easy to shut people out but it has been so much more rewarding to work on reaching out instead. And yeah, I fail sometimes (most times), but I’m trying, I’m learning, I’m growing and I’m better for it. By focusing on the wonderful web of relationships in my life, I have found my roots, my footing in this unsure world. And to whoever is on the other side of this string, I hope you feel that connection too and hope you know how glad I am to be connected to you.