Yesterday, like every August 12th since before I was born, marked my parents wedding anniversary. This year they celebrated 38 years together and while I rarely think about their anniversary more than a moment to celebrate their togetherness, yesterday was different.
I spent much of the day wide awake after a sleepless night thinking about being with the same person for 38 years. To be frank, I was completely confident in my belief that such lengths of relationships are no longer doable and that societal norms are no longer conducive to such relationships. It is rare, at least in my field of practice, to hear people stick by one another in moments of trail and tribulation, to not have interferences of the materialistic world impact the family home, and so on. But, the longer I reflected the more I realized that maybe, just maybe, with the right person and a community of support it is possible.
Like most times my thinking process continued and I started to wonder about those children and youth in our societies that struggle to find the right supports at such a vulnerable age. I wonder about the narratives children and youth have which they store inside of them, holding onto them in fear of being misunderstood, shamed, or doubted for their thoughts. I am curious about who youth trust these days and who they lean on in times of need. And then, what about those that feel emotionally isolated? These children and youth may have many people around them physically but do they feel emotionally supported and held by those surrounding them?
It does not take a specialist to walk into a group of children or youth and find the one, two, three, (or more) that might be physically in a space but not emotionally, mentally, or spiritually there. How do we, those that have healthy supports and relationships, support those that may be on the periphery looking in and yearning for more?
My hope is that everyone can create a community of support for themselves and for others. But if you are feeling even remotely disconnected, isolated, or lost do not fear to turn to someone to seek help. Seek out a school counsellor, a mentor, a parent or guardian, a sibling, a friend, befriend someone new, or write me an email. Each of us deserves to have someone by our side, whether that be a lifelong partnership with a spouse or various fleeting and sustainable friendships.