Not a story, but something that has been teasing on the edges of my thoughts this morning. Of course, this is one of those things that, as an adult, I feel like I'm not supposed to worry about or deal with anymore, like it's something reserved for dramatic teenagers donning their heavy black eyeliner, writing bad depressive poetry. God knows that was me not long ago in the scheme of things. I never got much into makeup, and by most accounts I wasn't all that outwardly dramatic as a teen, but i wrote the sad, emo poetry and internalized my drama into one long existential crisis, so I can't help but look at things like this that i wrestle with and wonder if I'm supposed to be past all this, that as an adult, it's childish to dwell on such things. And while there's always a certain amount of insecurity and reassurance being sought after, this isn't really that; I'm not looking for people to come forward and say "No you're not, you're wonderful and beautiful and are great"... it's just me acknowledging and wrestling with some thoughts.
I just recently (as in an hour ago) finished reading Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami, and one of the things the character Tsukuru deals with is the idea that he is colorless, without personality, he is an empty vessel.
"I have nothing to offer."
This resonates powerfully with me; in Tsukuru I found my reflection.
There is a common phrase or saying, that 'everyone likes to feel needed'.
I've gone through life feeling superfluous. Unneeded. I look at the people that I somehow manage to call friends and I know why I need them. I need their personality, their humor, their strength, and passion to fill me up, to make me less alone, to make me smile and create. Even those who are introverts like myself are a different kind, and they bring me out and make me feel and love and laugh.
The problem...is that i don't know why they need me. What use is someone who is empty? I'm not strong, I have no strong convictions, no solid opinions or skill in debate. My life has been placid, uneventful, boring. I don't have the personality or energy, the vivaciousness to be a party person or be invited out to events, and I have nothing of interest to offer to a conversation.
I'm not needed by anyone. I have no rights to anyone's time, I can make no demands of attention from anyone. They don't need me, so if I become too troublesome or a nuisance, what keeps them from just letting me go? Nothing.
So, I'm kept around because someone wants me around.
Being needed versus being wanted.
What's the difference? Which is stronger?
We always consider that being needed is stronger. A need is immutable, its a necessity that is unchanging. We need food, water, shelter. Need never goes away, never changes.
Want is fleeting. We want a cookie, a book, a car. Makes us happy for a time, until it's importance is worn out and can be let go.
Is it possible to live with just being wanted? To have people who say "I love you, and I want you here." To have friends who make the choice to continually want you around. Is it possible that choice is more valuable than necessity?
Am I worth less by being a want?
Is it ok to be the empty vessel?