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It’s past 1:30 in the morning. I was tired a couple hours ago. Now I am barely functioning. Words are eluding me in my addled state. I can’t quite find the way to describe how soft, tender and full my heart feels right now. Or how lucky I sometimes am to know love in the ways that I do.

I ended a two hour phone call with one of my oldest and dearest friends who is currently in India, and I knew that part of my heart is existing in the world outside of me. She is carrying it through all her travels and adventures. There are people carrying pieces of my heart in Chicago, Nashville, India, England and San Francisco. They have a love from me that is unending.

I am lucky to know love in the ways that I do. For how often I know loneliness, I am grateful for the moments of remarkable intimacy I am able to share. I am grateful to my friends for their vulnerabilities and for allowing space for mine. For as often as I am alone, I cannot do this alone. I need the moments of love we create together. I need an hour or two of feeling held from thousands of miles away. And, of holding them in return.

I often wish I could do it alone. I become convinced that it would be easier, that it would  hurt less or that I would feel less disappointment if I didn’t want people with whom to share my deepest self. If I didn’t want then I wouldn’t have to feel the ache the absence   leaves. But the truth is, I have never wanted to do it alone. I have always and will always want to share myself in the most intimate ways with others. I will always crave feeling seen and being allowed in to see. It is how I most experience being alive.

The wish to be capable of doing it alone is just another way I try to protect myself from hurt and loss. It’s another lie I tell to try and make it better during the times when I am alone. The truth is, I only ever want to give my heart away and have it returned, again and again and again. Moment after moment after moment. To revel in the space that two bared hearts create. Where it is a precious thing to be human. And where all of life becomes worthwhile.