I have a friend who is my rock, my anchor. I have another who makes me laugh. A third is sympathetic to my every woe, and another bolsters me when I’m down. I have an upbeat boss and an intuitive coworker, a wise mother, a supportive sister, and a visionary father.
I am grateful for their presence.
When I feel agitated, I know who to seek out: the anchor. When I lose my perspective, I latch onto the one who makes me laugh. When I need advice I call my mother, for insight I find my coworker, when I’m riddled with doubts I talk to my sister. If I want to feel like the world is dandy I look at my boss and his bouncy stride.
These are the roles that I’ve assigned to the people in my life, and if they stray from their roles, I become unsettled.
I don’t want the rock to become needy, or the humorous one to become cynical. I don’t want to reach out to my sympathetic friend and hear, “oh, get over it.” I don’t want the upbeat one to become depressed, the insightful one to act dense, the wise one to turn stupid, or the visionary to stop dreaming. I don’t want the one bolstering me to suddenly want me to bolster them. And I don’t want my dentist to be a hypochondriac.
Is it too much to ask for them to stick to their roles?
Well, yes, it is too much to ask. We all have our many sides, and we’re entitled to own them. There will be a day when my boss comes to work with his feet dragging, or my insightful coworker looks at me with a blank expression. There will be a time when I’m the one being the anchor or the bolster or the fountain of wisdom, or the one saying, “Don’t stop dreaming, kid.” There will come a time when I’m the caretaker for the one who cares for me.
And that’s okay, because it makes me stronger.
It reminds me that I’m all that I seek in others.
It reminds me that I’m more than the one who is anxious.