Monday, October 01, 2007

Hugging the Space Away

I had to be the shoulder to cry on last week to two new friends. One because of terrible news from home of a relative’s death, the other from having to say goodbye to her boyfriend who stayed only for the weekend. As I put my arms around each one, I felt very keenly, how I was purposely causing the “space” between to disappear. And for the first time in the past couple of weeks, I didn’t mind.

Space—a word that people do not generally associate with Asians. But as a friend once said, and only half-jokingly, “Those who generalize, generally lies.” How true! Because in my case, space is so important. If I could get a restraining order out and keep people at about an arm’s length away, I would…generally.

Now that I am back to dormitory living, space is fast becoming a rare and, therefore, precious commodity. When I was shown to my room a couple of weeks ago, I felt relief wash over me just realizing that I don’t need to share my room with somebody else. But the relief was short-lived since a closed door does not seem to guarantee unlimited enjoyment of private space.

Well, wholly my fault, too if you think of it. My extroverted nature started making friends to the detriment of my introverted side. And so like Smeagol and Gollum, the battle rages, and the points actually go to the extroverted side. You see, I cannot ignore a knock on my door, even though I should actually bury myself under a pile of books stacked up beneath my desk.

But as I hugged a sobbing friend, I realize that part of what makes one human is the need for comfort from community and a sense of belonging—which I would not find if I choose to simply stay within the space. You cannot hug yourself properly, nor can you cry on your own shoulder.

It’s reassuring to know that one day when I myself will need a hug, I will get one.

So you see, Simon and Garfunkel, I can't be a rock, nor a mountain.

18 comments:

snglguy said...

"I'd rather be a hammer than a nail. Yes I would, if I only could... I surely would." - Simon and Garfunkel

Hope your shoulders are wide enough, for there will be more of those where it came from... :-)

the philosphical bastard said...

ah yes, space. i miss that.

carlotta said...

not just reassuring, but also comforting to know there will be someone to give you a hug. =)

lazarus said...

when we distance ourselves too much, it seems awkward to cry on another's shoulder, unless we really know them (or we think they know us) for a longer period of time.

But others don't recognize space when in tears.

Jap said...

I so need a hug right now, Gypsy. Save some for me ok? hehehe

Wdoodle said...

Most of the time having space is overrated. No man, in your case woman, is an island. :-)

rowena said...

hi, i bet you're such a good friend that's why you're always a shoulder to cry on with your friends. i would be glad to have a friend like you...take care in your "new home".

niceheart said...

I also want my space and that's why I always look forward to that time of day when my kids are all tucked in bed and I am alone by myself. Oh please don't get me wrong. I love having my kids around and once you have a family, you actually get used to having at least one person beside you and even following you to the bathroom. :) But none of the kids follow me to the bathroom anymore. :) This is also the reason why I lock the bathroom. Which the husband sometimes don't understand. I just want my space and sometimes that's the only place I can get it.

But seriously, this is a really nice post, gypsy. A hug even once in a while is comforting not just to the huggee but also to the hugger. Are there such words. :)

exskindiver said...

you are a good person gyps.

ipanema said...

it's nice to read that you were there when someone needed it.


BTW, I have something for you in my blog. :)

Major Tom said...

This is so true. You know what I've realized just most recently?
It came to me that my love for blogging had introduced to me a newer set of realities where
for a long period of time, I can be with my lonesome. But last night, some old friends came calling and we went out
and gee how I realize that somehow, it would feel so good to ever meet with friends again for a long, long time and
not be lonesome for such extended period. There must be a middleway that we all should take on being
solitary for work and study, and then being with friends and companions for pleasure and recreations.

Gypsy said...

Snglguy, oo nga no, panahon mo pala sila S & G..heheh...

Paolo, am missing it, too..:(

Carlotta, true. I thought I wrote comforting actually and double-checked when I read your comment. :)

Lazarus, actually depende din..I know some people who would rather be alone when sad (but that's not me, so I'm more tolerant. :)

Jap, *tighthug* O, ayan, feel better now? ;)

Wdoodle, well it depends, in my case, it is under-estimated (by others).;)

Rowena, ay sana totoo ka but the truth is, I think we don't have much choice here who to hug, hehe.

Niceheart, ay naku, I hear about that "following you even into the bathroom" syndrom that kids have--I don't know how you moms survive it!! Kudos to you--or can I just hug you? :)

Chesca, trying..with much patience..hehe.

Ipanema, sana pag sad ako hindi vacation break kundi I will just have to hug the apple tree outside..hehe. I am tagged again! Ay! dami ko na talaga utang sa yo..sorry!! I should make a to-do list of based on all your tags hehe. Thanks pala.

Major Tom, yeah I know what you mean...but finding the balance is always a hard thing to do...

vernaloo said...

"You cannot hug yourself properly, nor can you cry on your own shoulder"

ahhhhh so true :) is this original? let's submit this to Hallmark hehe the line is sooo hallmark-y kasi hehe just messing mare :)

Seriously I never experience having a room all for myself. Since birth I was already sharing it someone..with sibs, with dormmates/roommates, with cousins and now with my sister (again!). That's why I appreciate it very much when I am alone in the house..solitude is bliss. But more often than not I still prefer having someone around.

It has its ups and downs but you've always been a glass half-full kind of person Gyps...you'll like it. Also one of the best feelings in the world is to give someone a hug when they needed it the most.

kayni said...

That was very nice of you. I'm so nervous moving to the apartment on my own. It will be very interesting how I'll manage getting to know my neighbors. Anyway, keep writing. I'm just so busy with work and taking care of the apartment business.

Ferdz said...

Nice dorm room. I guess people find you approachable and console their problems to you. Bait kasi talaga ng mga pinoy eh. hehe

Gypsy said...

Verns, welcome back, mare! Missed you--yup original yan, ehem, maybe I should apply at Hallmark and come up with more cheesy sayings..hehe.

Kayni, happy moving!! I'm excited for you--at least for me, it's a good thing to get your own place. ;)

Ferdz, come to think of it, tama ka--siguro mas marunong lang makisama ang pinoy, nasa kultura na kasi natin. I know other pinoys abroad actually who are also the ones others run to.

intsik said...

hi dear! how are u doing? that is sweet of you being a shoulder to cry on to your new friends. mas angat tayong mga pinoy diyan. :)

i missed my room when i was with the pharma industry pa sa cebu. solo at carpeted pa talaga. with all the aesthetics. hehehehehe

confidante said...

I have too much space right now. All I really want is a crowd for a change. Maybe, I'll change careers, whatdyasay?