I have been on a very big Saturday Night Live kick lately. I watched Kristen Wiig’s last episode. I had a Google search marathon of pictures of young Jane Curtin. I came across this Amy Poehler quote:
“You can’t do it alone, as you navigate through the rest of your life be open to collaboration. Other people and other peoples ideas are often better than your own. Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you. Spend a lot of time with them and it will change your life. No one is here today because they did it on their own.”
For some reason, I remember learning the word together and how to spell it. I was in first grade and my teacher was explaining how it is actually three smaller words combined- “to” “get” “her.” This was obviously easier for a bunch of 7-year-olds to remember than trying to sound it out. I was a strange kid, who loved words. I loved learning the definition of them, how to spell them, and of course writing them. The word together quickly became one of my very favorite words. I think it began with simply liking the combination of its’ letters, but it seems with every passing year the meaning of the word together grows more and more important to me.
I am not sure if it is because I only have one sibling, a brother four years younger than me, so I never really had to share things or maybe it is because I got made fun of by schoolmates, but I enjoy being a loner, a hermit. I live by myself and I enjoy it. I can be alone for days and not mind it. It doesn’t help that I am obsessive compulsive and a bit of a control freak. This means group projects with slacker kids in junior high basically gave me a heart attack. The only sport I have ever thoroughly enjoyed is swimming. (Swimming is not a team sport.) I am that obnoxious person, who instead of asking for help, stresses herself to a near death state just so she can do everything herself. I despise asking for assistance from even my own parents or best friends.
Here’s the thing, folks… this is not healthy. This isn’t how we are supposed to function. We aren’t designed to wander through life without involving others in our day to day journey. (I felt odd using the word journey, but then I was reminded of Frodo and he obviously needed others involved in his journey with the ring so perfect example.) There is a reason solitary confinement is thought of as a severe punishment. There is a reason studies have shown people living alone without much interaction die sooner than people surrounded by loved ones. There is a reason you get warm and fuzzy on the inside watching all the people reuniting at the airport in the beginning of Love Actually. There is a reason we are born into families, not hatched out of robot eggs in a factory. There is a reason the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes.
There are a number of reasons I got this tattoo. There are a number of persons, places and things it reminds me of on a daily basis. This is the main one though.
” Thus began our longest journey together.”
– To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill A Mockingbird has been my favorite book since I had to read it in school. I adore Scout, I admire Atticus, but my favorite character is Boo Radley. Here is a true hermit that came out of his private, safe world to help another human. I am crying as I write this because other people are absolutely necessary.
Every single person is dealing with things. Sure, each person’s problems are not on the same level of intensity or urgency, but everyone is attempting to mend something or figure something out or accomplish something. What I am trying to say goes beyond being kind to strangers and calling your father to catch up. What I am trying to convey is it is crucial to depend on others and allow others to depend on you. Whether in business or in love, we will all come to a place when having an open mind and, I can’t believe I am about to say this, having an open heart is going to make all the difference in succeeding and finding happiness.
Next time you want to hide out in a bathrobe or say with nervous laughter, “I am totally fine handling this on my own” don’t.
Taylor Aileen Harrison
You can read more from Taylor on her blog.
Featured image via.