I sat in my bedroom listening to the spring peepers chirping all around and really feeling at home for the first time in a long time. Home. Really home. In a place where I could finally lay down roots – my own roots. And just when I think I am finding my footing, I go ahead and meet someone and start trusting someone and then I remember why I came to this mountain all on my own anyway.

I don’t need you here. I never needed you here. My upbringing taught me nothing if it wasn’t how to live on my own. I’ve always been a bit of an outsider. A loner. The life of the party who knows everyone everywhere but who at the end of the day just wants to retreat to her own mountain all on my own. My safe space. My roots. Home.

For a while I believed this was all worth sharing – and I guess I believe that still. We joke about who’s “invited on the island” and certainly I do invite friends here. Some of my friends are more like family to me. And without them, life would be a lonely place. So of course I want to share this with them. I always will. But somehow whenever I stop for a moment to think about really sharing my life beyond on just my terms, I’ve rarely been able to find someone to truly be a partner in all that.

I’m a tough one, I know. I don’t want your help, but I appreciate it. I don’t need you here, but I want you here because I love you. I don’t even like saying that, but something this time was different. Or at least I thought so.

Even so, I don’t regret a second of it. I learned so much about life, about love, about you, and yes even about me. I remembered why it was worth it to try again. I remembered what it was like to have butterflies in your stomach at the thought of seeing someone you were looking forward to kissing again. I rememberer I didn’t really have to do this alone if I’d stop long enough to let someone in. So I stopped. And I started to let you in.

And then I was also I reminded that I can take care of me. After all, that’s what I’ve been doing all this time, isn’t it? I’m not a kid anymore, and even then to an extent I knew how to take care of myself. So while I don’t want to necessarily do this alone, I also don’t want to do this halfway. I’m me – and all of me – and I am passionate and I believe and I love completely. I won’t ever give up my life or my friends or who I am, but I will always make time for those who I love. Because even when I’m reminded that I can do this myself, all I need to do is look around at all the wonderful people around me and realize I never really was alone after all.

Thank you.