Oddly, one of the things that stuck out to me most was touch. Hear me out. I didn't really ever hug non-family members until I was 12. I'm very reserved tactilely. I'm rarely if ever the one to initiate a first hug with a new person. I let others break the touch barrier, as Laura calls it. As in other areas of my life, when it comes to physical contact, I'm paralyzingly timid. Some of you may disagree with that statement about timidity, but it is true, nevertheless. I naturally assume that there are certain boundaries around other people, and the thought of crossing those terrifies me. So, I don't cross them. I let others draw me closer emotionally, confidentially, physically. I fear that this has the tendency to make me seem stand-offish, when really sometimes I crave being close to someone more than anything. I'm just too afraid to demand it or even to ask for it.
That's why a friend leaning their head on my shoulder or playing with my hair or using me as a pillow or leaning back against my knees makes me so happy. It makes me feel enveloped in love. It makes me feel wanted.
I think that other people tend to do these things automatically, unthinkingly. I love that.
I know what it is to be deprived of touch. I'm not saying I was neglected as a child; I've always had my mother to hold me close. But, the world is a very big place, and your family can't always be with you. I know what it is to be isolated, to ache for a hand to hold or someone to hold you.
There are few things in this world as comforting as touch.
To my friends: Thank you.
Listening to: Hank & Katherine Play Super Mario Bros. Wii
Reading: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman