A drop in the ocean, a straw of grass on a field

There are eight billion people on this planet. Each one struggles with life’s hardships, with connection, with purpose, with survival. Throughout the years of my life, I’ve asked myself what makes me unique, what gives me purpose, what excuses my existence and the damage I do to my immediate surrounding? Not being anyone in particular, not someone special to anyone, I stand as a straw of grass on a field. One of eight billion straws. Lost as an individual yet found as a part of everyone around me.

As of late, I’ve been thinking a lot about the role other people play in our lives. The purpose of friends, of the best of friends, of lovers. Why do we seek them, why do we request them to fulfil us, to justify our existence? Each of us, unnecessary as individuals. Each of us, required as parts of a composition. Why are we so desperate for companionship? What is it that truly drives us to seek out others? Are we all simply trying to fill a void in our lives? If companionship truly is sought only for fun and pleasure, then why is solitude considered so sad and painful?

I don’t know if it’s the pandemic that makes me think like this or if it’s the years of both chosen and accepted solitude from truly intimate connections that started to alter the way I see these things. Ideally, I’d like to imagine that it is the healthy reduction of the self and its dependence on external stimulations that shows its face as I am becoming more secure in myself. A stronger spine in my straw that no longer needs to lean on its neighbours to reach for the sun. But I ask myself, can a straw of grass stand by itself? Can a drop of water exist in isolation from the ocean? Does it not independence-itself through steams and streams to only eventually return to the universal source from which hence it came?

When I was growing up, most people of importance in my life lived rather solitary lives. My parents got a divorce before I had any memories, and never remarried. The same for both my grandparents and the aunts and uncles we sometimes met with. Solitude of the individual was the norm in my life. Yet with the influential mind of youth, I was manipulated by social structure and mainstream media into the belief that this was something to be frowned upon. Today still, the forever-alone meme demonstrates how a solitary existence is often seen as a sad and pathetic one, often used to express self-pity or seeking attention and thus confirmation in another form than through love. But now after decades of me trying to fit into the field, to find that thing, that who, that will confirm me as an individual and not a part of a whole, I’ve come to this peaceful realisation that I don’t need to. Knowing myself, I will most likely spend life as a solitary drop in the ocean, going wherever the stream carries me. I don’t need someone to confirm me. Anyone in my life is there for fun and pleasure, not to complete me.

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