Humans beings are born with the innate need to feel. Throughout life – as a baby, a toddler, a child, an adolescent, teen, youth, young adult, adult and elderly person – this need is the focus of everything we do.
Babies cry because they want attention, they need to feel loved. Toddlers waggle their arms to be picked up because they want to feel comforted, they need to feel cherished. Even when we’re older, we date or marry people because we have this seemingly insatiable need to feel wanted.
But wait, you’re probably thinking, what about people who DON’T feel? Now, I know I’m thinking of it from a black and white perspective, but it is impossible to ‘not feel’. The first connection we make when we think of feelings is one of happiness; we assume that in order to effectively ‘feel’ it has to be good feelings. It doesn’t. Bad feelings – feelings of doubt, guilt, fear, depression – are feelings just the same. At the end of the day, everyone feels something. It might not be the same as we grow up, and yes, even evil people feel things too (though exactly what, we may never understand) but everyone feels something; and some to a greater emotional extent than others. Even psychopaths supposedly have the same breadth of emotions as everyone else, they just don’t ‘attend’ to their emotions the same way that everyone else does.
In general though, the most widely sought-after feeling is that of a need; to be wanted, to be loved, to feel like you matter to someone. This is what drives the majority of our daily lives, from childhood all the way up to retirement age. We want to feel like we have people who care for us and love us. This is why we at first develop friendships; from an early age especially, friendships teach us how we feel that we should be loved, how worthy we feel of this love and also how we feel that we should care for others. This is why that when we first start to develop friendships, it is so important that we are taught our self-worth and value; because when we have little or no self-worth, then we don’t have particularly high expectations for the love we feel like we should receive.
The start of someone’s life is the most important part; it makes them who they are. Each mistake, each tear, each success, each failure; but the important part of the learning and growing process is that they are all feelings.
For me, feelings play a huge part in my life. I get very easily attached to people who I feel are worthwhile people to have in my life, in both platonic and romantic senses, and at times, it can be very difficult for me to let go. My need to feel loved, to feel wanted and to feel appreciated drives nearly every single one of my relationships with friends and with family. In the past, as I think I’ve probably mentioned (or slyly indirected) I’ve lost quite a few people who I once considered my really close friends, or ‘best friends’ as some people would refer to them. And yes, losing friends is sad, and it hurts a lot, and it can take a long time to get over. To some extent, I would argue that I never really ‘get over’ things, but just learn ways to cope and move on.
So this is where the title comes in – after my long, and mostly necessary ramble. A while ago (about a year ago now, WHOA time flies!), I was chilling with Dezza and trying to explain to her my interpersonal relationships with others. I described it to her using the simple example of a tessellation diagram:
Imagine a blank white page. Now draw a hexagon. Now draw another one connected to it. Keep drawing hexagons until your page is a tessellation filled with empty-looking hexagons.
This is the structure of my relationships. The ’tiles’ closer to the upper left are some of the oldest ones; the tiles further down and to the right are new ones that are added. Pretend that there is a name painted in black on every single tile; these are all the people I interact with regularly, occasionally or infrequently. The oldest tiles, the ones that are broken and cracked, are often the ones that I have tried to remove, but with disastrous consequences. You see, the longer you leave these hexagonal ’tiles’, the more difficult they are to pull up without completely shattering the tile altogether; over time, and without care or attention, they become neglected, brittle and subject to fracturing.
On the other side, you have the newer tiles, that are being added as I write at this very moment. These tiles are the ones that are shinier and new, but only time will tell how well they wear. (That’s a bit of a mouthful: only time will tell how well they wear…) And then you have the tiles somewhere in the middle that are neither old nor recent but are very shiny; they are the ’tiles’ that I regularly attend, cleaning, polishing and filling in any cracks which appear when cracks start to show.
Some new tiles don’t last very long; sometimes the names written on them are quickly scratched over before the ‘paint’ can dry and replaced with new, more worthwhile names. Old tiles only remain because taking them out of the tessellation altogether would mean… well, it just wouldn’t be a tessellation; as much as many relationships I’ve had have been somewhat questionable, there is no doubt that I would not be the person I am today if it weren’t for the mixture of both good and not-so-good experiences.
And that’s it, I guess.
That’s the positive outlook of the whole situation; even though not every friendship and relationship I’ve had has been positive or edifying for me as a person, they’ve all crafted me in ways which may not have made sense at the time, but start to make sense the older I get.
The more you age, I guess the less you realise you know and understand about things. I’m not trying to make out like I’m an ‘old soul’ far ahead of her peers, but there are certainly (as it goes without saying) things that I’m still learning. I’d like to think I’ve become a lot more sensible in choosing my friends and surrounding myself with encouraging people who understand me and support me, and give me the opportunity and the privilege of being able to reciprocate as well. I don’t even have to @ anybody, because you all know who you are. 🙂
But yes, that’s it from me for the evening.
In the (fictional) words of Albert (and then Sir Robert Peel): There it is.
Love from The Faerie Squad Mother x
p.s. I watched the next episode of ‘Victoria’ and their incestuous cuteness never fails to simultaneously shock me and move me to tears.