Music, books and movies have always been emotional experiences for me. This week I realized why. I didn’t really have friends growing up. Or rather, I had friends but none of those relationships were real. Because I was not real. I lived in a box within a box. I kept myself closed off for fear of vulnerability, fear of judgment, fear of the love I so desperately craved. I was there for others but could never let them be there for me. I did not trust anyone with the deepest parts of who I was. I was alone for a very long time.
And so, I sought out music, books and movies to be my friends. Any time I heard something, read something, or saw something that resonated with me, I felt as if maybe, just maybe, there was someone out there who understood what I was feeling. These art forms became the friends I would converse with from within my solitude. In those rare moments, I felt heard, I felt seen, and I felt loved.
Today, I have friends. Real friends. Because I am real. I am no longer afraid of my own vulnerability. I do not concern myself with the judgments of others. And I welcome love, in all its forms, with open arms. I am never alone. And yet, in my private moments, it is music and books and movies that shelter me and give me strength. It is those unseen friends who make all the difference.
Perhaps, this is what art is for.