I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be together with people. I love being around people. Even when I went through my very quiet phases of life, I loved being around other people. I wanted to go to big crowds. I wanted to be surrounded by other people, rather than my house- and I did everything I could to do that. Extra projects in school, plays, youth groups- you name it I tried to do it.
In college it was the same, I joined clubs, created clubs or organizations, ran clubs or organizations- in some ways that was the greatest time, because communal living leads itself to having people around all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I was really happy to go back to my single room- but during the day I wanted to feel their energy.
Today, I am constantly creating things. I desire to be around people, and at times I feel like it is difficult to find one or two people to come to something with me- but if I create an event, usually with another person- then people will have to come, and once again I will be around people.
Now, as much as I enjoy being around people- I find it very difficult to become close to people. I don’t really like sharing or making myself vulnerable (I’m working on it). Part of me just wants to be around others to have that energy. And another part of me wants something closer- something that shows me that the other person really sees me. (This could be why at parties I end up having really serious conversations- even though it is unintentional on my part.)
I was thinking about all of this for two reasons- one because I was talking to my therapist today about it. But before that conversation, I was thinking about it with regards to Parshat Pekudei. The Hoshen (breastplate) [and later the way the tribes walked through the desert] make me think about this idea of being together and being apart. In both the Hoshen and in the way the Jews walked they are all together, all the time they are held together by the metal (the Hoshen) or they are totally encompassed by God (as they walk). Even though they are together, they are completely separate entities. Each tribe has their special stone or camp to walk with. Each has their uniqueness- and in some ways does not connect with anything else around it- but at the same time they are part of the bigger picture.
So may we all find our own ways of being unique, but at the same time realizing that we are (and have what to offer) to a world greater than our own.