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As a twin, sharing has been a theme of my ENTIRE LIFE. I mean, share a womb, share a room right? While my sister and I did our part to maintain our individuality, we still "shared" a lot--you can draw a line down the middle of it all you want. No matter. The relevance of this verb is how I find myself. Over the course of the last year, I've been learning when/how to share myself with people effectively. There are many complications to this. I'm a porous person. I "share" a lot fairly easily with a large number of people. If I have a feeling and I need to talk about it, best believe whether you're on the barstool next to me or you're my sister, you're gonna hear about it. But, to me, this doesn't indicate a true sharing. It's reflexive. It's to get the feeling out of me! Not to have an intentional emotional experience with someone. The share is for me alone.

However, this openness can be mistaken and often does get mistaken as an attempt at "closeness." It can make people feel as though they have a proximity to me that perhaps I didn't intend. I've learned this year that I need to be more careful with emoting. I've taken care to note the difference between a friend, ie. a person I can and want to truly share with, and a follower, ie. someone who wants my emotional energy as a means to understand something more about themself. Someone who's sharing just for them.

Maybe there's a different word for this. It's a little seeking. It's a validation tactic possibly. But, I think we as a society have problem with those who seek validation because we as "capital I" Individuals want to believe we are contained perfectly within ourselves--that we don't seek. But, you can't make without measure; you can't determine who you are without drawing a figure for comparison. So being a follower isn't a bad thing, it's just important I think to realize when you are doing this. When you're seeking. Because in order to seek effectively you do have to take energy from someone and it's only fair bear warning.

So we've broken down one part of the share, the kind that's just for you. The not-share. The seeking.

The second part is the true share. Finding friends that I can relate with and emote to in a comfortable confident manner is so crucial. I didn't realize how crucial until I found myself mounting the biggest endeavor of my life without anyone by my side. For most of this year, I haven't had my compadre, my BFF, a close friend with whom I share. An unfortunate circumstance of my shocking life change, was the falling out of my two closest friendships which left me bereft of any extra space to put my feelings. So, it's been a year of what I call, "bucking up" and experiencing my feelings inside myself more fully. Which, while healthy and something I'm not the best at that I definitely needed to learn, is a frightening and revealing thing. I know and experience my interiority more than I ever have. And, as a result, I'm more self-protective than I've ever been.

"Back up!" I say to followers now when I don't have the wherewithal to give. And that's good. But also, "back up!" I say to my love when he asks me to share. Not an easy thing. Being in the most adult relationship I've ever been in, with an emotionally intelligent, generous, and kind individual, has meant that I'm in a much more safe position to share. It's also a fair expectation of a strong and healthy relationship. I'm just cautious after a rollicking young adult hood truly sharing with a few people who absolutely didn't deserve it and who took advantage of my vulnerability. Navigating this is so important but also touchy. How do we learn closeness in a fair but still earnest way? As someone prone to searching out the "formula" it's difficult to realize that intimacy has none. It's temporal and exists in the atom of a moment, your *choice* to engage yourself fully. Truly sharing is returning to this choice again and again, it's being transparent about your capability for transparency. You can take the sheet off and still be a ghost underneath and that's all okay. We're soft, friends. That's okay too.

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