Have you ever played hide and seek? Maybe, kick the can with the neighborhood kids when the street lights turn on? Perhaps you may have played sardines..? In each game the purpose is to be found, you are hidden alone or with a group and someone seeks you.
THEY SEEK YOU OUT and they FIND YOU, if you let them.
If you have played, were you disappointed to be found in the beginning or proud to be found last? Were you ever hidden so well that no one could find you and you sat, barely breathing, still as a statue as all the seekers looked in vain? Did you jump out and crow over your cleverness or did you wait? Holding out in silence as your name was shouted and olly olly oxen free was called ending the round and proclaiming you as winner?
ARE YOU HIDING STILL?
Did the game go on with out you, because you could not be found. It was as though you were never playing at all.
How hard is it to find someone who is determined to stay hidden? Hard and discouraging. The end result is that the seeker will eventually give up and the hider will be left. Alone.
I have come to the conclusion that while I have been seen, been present in my new life, I have been hiding, holding back. Keeping my hands and feet inside of the car at all times, as it were. I have tucked away bits of myself, told them to sit quietly and wait.
No one wants to release all their crazy out to every person you meet… but maybe if we did a little, if we were simply who we are, trying to be our best selves? You finish that thought, the ways to do so are personal to each of us.
I recently went on a little road trip with the fam and ran into much loved friends (and missed seeing others). These people have seen me at my best and worst. They have weathered storms with me and worked with me. They have been my champions, rescuers and my introduction to what friendship really looks like.
I have learned friendship does not have the boundaries of distance or time. It does not need to have constant validation. Friendship is an abiding connection, unbreakable and elastic. Those you can count as your friends, your village, are a gift. I do not need to see these wonderful humans every day for my heart to hold them close. But when I do see them, they raise me as I raise them. Together we instinctively give each other just what was needed, making a good moment richer or a giving a breath of air when the hard times are drowning us.
I have two nephews (and many more not mentioned here that I happen to also love very much) that both recently showed me that same concept in very different ways, unique to them that have been impactful as I have pondered this process.
One is a charming and clever man, growing into his life a little bit here and a little bit there but, he has been HIMSELF in every moment. Himself has gone through many evolution’s and perhaps will go through more until he finds his place. He has not hidden behind convention or tidied away the surprising facets of who he is, he has folded them together and mixed and come up with a purely unique, brave and adventuresome soul.
My other Nephew, a creative and genuinely kind young man, shared with me an insight (that I have passed on to whom it was intended) about our place in the world and the equality of humanity. He, in acknowledging that sometimes we hold our selves back out of fear that we are different, said that if we look inside, we are all made up of the same earth. No matter the different appearances on the outside, we were all made of the same contents. We all have the same abilities to varying degrees and the same potential for success.
There is a sweet song on Sesame Street sung by a scrappy little girl and her kitty (also various other characters). “Somebody come and play” She laments that there is no one who is there, no friends to play with and sings about wanting a connection. And then a friend comes out of hiding and her day is made.
No more hiding, Olly Olly Oxen free friends. Come out and let’s play again!