• Brooke Thomas


Photo by Monto Fotografia via Unsplash

In response to discussions on the walls we build and the people we attract. We are all just looking for connection and compassion.

I tend to stay to myself. It’s not just that I like alone time (I do). It’s that it is easier to maintain emotional equilibrium—alone. I’ve spent a lot of years in my own company but, despite being often on my own, I’ve had little patience for my own foibles. If I can’t really accept myself, how will I let another in?

I am often ashamed of the walls that I put around myself—which is why I experience surges of excitement and dread when someone approaches me. Sometimes, I will let a kindred spirit in, and then we will be bound forever. Typically, these walls keep people away, though. That is, unless, they are (emotionally) hungry for connection. I have collected the stories and bits of spirits of so many who just want connection. On the train, waiting in line, on the street—these malnourished souls find me. I hear about the pain of an ended relationship, financial problems, or the memories of a partner who’s passed. I meet these exchanges with a mix of impatience at disrupting my solitary self and awe at the privilege of seeing someone so intimately.

Maybe I mirror their deep insecurities and fears. I may not share these, but, somehow, they have intuitively sensed— “You are like me.” They may seem careless to share so much with a stranger, but they are braver. They are seen with dignity as I take their truths behind my walls

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