Relationships are peculiar by nature– in the same breath they can be the most beautifully rewarding and the most utterly exhausting aspects of life. I learn this more and more every year as each step seems to take me farther away from those I dearly love. Sadly, I often take the same approach to maintaining relationships as I do with maintaining my plants and my plants are nearly dead. Sometimes I underestimate the amount of nurturing certain relationships require and they end up withering from lack of sunlight. Other times, I overcompensate and add too much water, drowning both of us. Needless to say, relationships are quite fragile!
My time in New York continues to be a lesson in nurturing relationships in a healthy way. Whether it’s keeping in touch with dear friends from college, maintaining a closeness with my family, or growing in my dating relationship, I am learning to approach each one in its own particular way. Some have been easy as if no time has passed between conversations while some have been hard as if each passing moment is a like a year. Each one requires its own specific kind of maintenance which can take time to figure out but, when I do, the beauty of that relationship becomes all the more evident.
Just as each step takes me farther away from these cherished relationships, each step also brings me closer to new ones that are just as beautiful. One of the greatest aspects of my life in New York is the wonderful people with whom I live. A house of eleven people (plus various guests here and there) sounds like an overwhelming living situation but, in actuality, it is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. If not for these wonderful people and the relationships I formed with them, I would feel lost and alone in this great city. In fact, I used to dream of one day living on my own in the city but I realize now what a lonely and miserable existence that would be. From lovely conversations in coffee shops to passionate rallies at Occupy Wall Street, relationships with friends far and near have made my life all the richer.
Our lives on their own can be such tangled messes and, when our own messiness becomes entangled with another person’s mess through relationship, they can seem like one gigantic, mangled up ball of thread. But when these threads continue to weave and grow together, the product is a stunning piece of art. While this artwork can be an incredibly difficult masterpiece to create, I find that I much prefer it to the solitude of being a single tangled up piece of thread on my own. So thank you for making this art with me; the tapestry we are creating now spreads from Virginia to New York to California and many places in between and it is more than enough to keep me warm inside this winter.