I am married to a lurker.
Mrs Paul is a member of many groups on most of the social media platforms. Yet she rarely “contributes” (which is word dripping with guilt). Perhaps she should “contribute” rather than just “take” (as we so easily label those who look and listen but never “contribute”).
She also says “I don’t mind” to a lot of those life-changing questions. Like what take-away should we get tonight … do you fancy watching a film … should we do this or that … ? It’s a real pressure for those who have to guess what she really wants as well as balance that with what I really want.
But after a few decades of marriage I finally twigged. She really and truly doesn’t mind (until I suggest something and she says “But not that”!) – and as for lurking on the edges of groups … she really and truly gets loads out of it. Much more than I do.
Jennifer got in touch tonight. She is fine, has seen the concern for her wellbeing, is truly touched, has stuff that may never become written words. This person has a style of writing that means she is in the words she writes. I get that. And, because of Mrs Paul, I get that watching and being in the words of others in this small group is wonderful. So wonderful in not having to contribute. That makes this space really safe. Thank you Mrs Paul. Thank you Jennifer. Thank you Stephanie. Thank you
Teresa. Thank you … … …
The list of thank you’s includes all of us.
Each of us have taken time out when it felt right. That is “Safe” with a capital S. Safe to read but not to comment. Safe to be here without having to be visible.
Each of you have allowed me to get that “safe” as well.
Just as I get that when anyone puts their fears or doubts or hopes or dreams onto a page in black and white – speaks those unspoken words aloud for the first time – ALL of THAT becomes Real. I get that real is harder to cope with than unreal sometimes. And right now there are all of those hopes and fears tantalisingly just in/out of reach. Even more now that it may feel like the last mile to so many.
The hokey-cokey has never been so popular – one foot forwards one foot back.
I can say with complete confidence I love each one of you. We are all different. All in this group have our own loved-ones. But here we can be visible or invisible – speak of hope or of fear – cry tears of pain and of joy – we can each be who we truly are behind the mask – especially because we don’t have to show that “real” even here.
Unless we want to.
Thank you for letting me see once again how much goodness there is in this world. How much kindness if we are allowed to be safe. How easy it is to be me when I have those around who never judge me.
This may feel like the last mile. Stay strong. Stay well. Stay being true to you.
Or it might not be the last mile. There might be so many more miles to come after this one. So many more chapters not yet written. So many more adventures. So many more cuddles and snuggles. This isn’t the last mile.
It’s just another mile.
And we – each of us in this small group – are the new experts in just-one-mile-just-one-step-just-one-thought-said-and-just-one-thought-unsaid – and always one baby step at a time.