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Pictures, Memories, Villages



We have all heard the age old quote, “It takes a village to raise a child.” And my boy? Does he have a village. He is surrounded by love and friends and family day in and day out. Children deserve villages, always. There is nothing but profound joy knowing my child has that. But when I look at pictures of my son and I, all I have is selfies. There aren’t pictures others take of us, unless I ask. After a while, I stopped asking. The sound of asking, annoyed me more than it did the people I was asking. I stopped asking and people stopped taking pictures. Every year since my son’s first birthday, I ask everyone around us to write letters for him to open on his 18th birthday, one day I’ll ask his teachers to do the same. But for now, the only letters I have collected are signed by me.

I want to scream at the top of my lungs how badly I miss my own village. But I am in a period of my life where I am figuring out who brings to my life, and who takes from it. Friends from all avenues and lengths of shared history, are growing in separate directions from my own life’s journey. I am trying so hard to figure out who will be in my life years down the line, and who are just temporary friendships that may have created beautiful memories with me but are simply growing in a different direction. And in order for me to find the distinction between who stays and who goes, I can communicate boundaries, but I cannot influence behaviors. I just have to sit back and see what time brings. Because that’s how life works.

But it is lonely. It is so beyond lonely. I crave my own village. I crave friendship and memories and celebrations. I want people to tell I passed my most difficult midterm with flying colors, even when it felt impossible to get there. I want people that make these interactions feel enjoyable, and not transactional. I want someone to take pictures of me and my son.

I also recognize that I cannot act on loneliness. My mentor has told me time and time again the only connections worth time and energy after friction, are the ones where both parties show consistent change over time while respecting both parties. Lately, it feels like every friendship and family connection is under repair. In this season of my life, I can no longer ask for someone to take a picture, until my own voice annoys me.

This does not mean I am closed off and a newer colder version of Claira, it means I am protecting myself more than I am worrying about hurting others’ feelings. Only time will tell, but this interim- kind of sucks, a lot.

Because I miss connecting with others. I am spending a lot of time creating and working on school and making my home as comfortable as possible. I am practicing self care and spending time with my son. But I miss sharing that with a village.

Time will tell.

Be Safe,

Claira

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