“The life of a Jeremiah is unattached, unmarried and unemotional”
This is a 2008 quote on my “daily quote calendar”, which is random things friends say or quotes that inspire me, or occasionally my words. Some of them are confusing or are no longer true after many years. It symbolizes my thoughts of 2008 well. I was done in many ways and started counseling because I had rejected so many people…including a girl that rocked my world… occasionally. I was living in a dank basement, unemployed, and often had more time on my hands than things to do. So I joined clubs and groups and made friends in a new city and let old ones go.
For some reason at this time I stopped communicating with people I didn’t physically see much. There were a couple friends that got a monthly email or call, but I planted and rooted myself in this city. After a couple years, I had good friends, better than most friendships before. There were still one or two people I would fight for overseas, and the same amount in this country, but those who knew me best were the ones who drank, ate and hiked with me.
This may seem normal to all of you, but this was different for me. A professional said I was stopping living in the past and instead starting to rejoice in the present. As I found friends that cared about me and had invested in my life for more than a year I noticed something. They touched me.
Not in a weird tabloid way, but hugs were more regular than handshakes. I was okay with being stuck in the backseat of a car or close together on a sofa. It often wasn’t my favorite. Occasionally I had to escape to the single chair in the corner of the room…my old standby for safety. But, still when I took the 5 love language test, I scored 0 on touch. Not once did I prefer touch to a gift, service, time, or affirmation. But in more and more situations I was willing to be physically close to those I was emotionally close with… except when they heard I had space issues and tried to invade them. I did still push, hit, and occasionally kick when that happened. But a couple people noticed I had changed. I did flinch when close to people, and occasionally sought it out. This was never truer than with Simon, the dog- a minor character in a forthcoming book.
Simon is the dog of a good friend. And his love language is most definitely touch. He needs to be in contact when he lies near your foot and if you move it, he moves so it is again near. He often is as ok with having your hand sit on his head as pet him. Simon is my friend and often made a bad work day better when I would just sit with him…being touched…by a dog.
Then, I met the beautiful Hannah. A girl who has no space bubble and rates touch as her desired first love language. She broke the awkward touch barrier before the food came out on our first date. She grabbed my hand on the drive home from our second date. She pushed me over and sat next to me in the small loveseat at her house instead of sitting in the chair near when we talked. It was momentarily overwhelming those first few weeks but it never was as awkward as expected. No longer is it weird to be leant against or have a leg or arm next to mine no matter where I am. Now, I miss her touch if she sits across the room or doesn’t let her arm rest on mine as I drive. She thinks it is because I like touch. I say it is because I like her touch. Something I wouldn’t have said 5 or even 1 year ago.
So I guess I should delete that quote…