I had a conversation with a friend about capturing moments. She described a glass case holding gelato, macaroons, freshly toasted nuts, strawberries, and pineapple. This glass case was on a table in the middle of a cottage filled with all the people she loved. There’s a fire burning in a hearth, and the full moon and the milky way are on full display in the clear night sky. But none of that matters, because the best parts of that time are inside the too-warm cottage — the people she loves. 

From her words, I could feel the warmth — not from the hearth, but from the comfort and love she felt being with those people. As an introvert, I sometimes feel the pressure to keep a conversation moving along, to fill empty space with words, especially with people I’m unfamiliar with or have just met. There’s a pressure to look like everything is okay, I put on a “life performance” to make sure I’m perceived accurately. 

The warmth from loved ones comes from absence. Absence of having to perform, because you’re already KNOWN and SEEN by these people. Absence of the need to pretend like everything is okay because, at least in the moment, everything is actually okay.

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