In the class, primarily when we were focusing on the Self point, I was dipping into my needs, thinking over the things I need to be happy and content. When my needs are met, I can focus on everything else in my life much more clearly, because I’m not always struggling with those basics.
But what happens when a need can’t be met?
It happens sometimes that something we need just isn’t possible for one reason or another. Perhaps we’ve chosen a path that takes us away from an easy solution, or perhaps our partner or family can’t help us fulfill a need.
I have a need for winter. This is somewhat bizarre, being a born-and-raised-here Texas resident. I’ve grown up in this place where there are two seasons: summer and other. Summer lasts from early March (and sometimes February) through late October (and sometimes well into November). Other is a crazed mix of sometimes chilly, sometimes warm, sometimes hot, sometimes cold, sometimes rainy, sometimes ice, sometimes oh-gods snow (everything closes at the first dropped snowflake). We might have a week of weather cold enough to bust out my actual coat (which, to most other places, would be a jacket). We might have a week warm enough to wear tank tops and shorts.
Ya never know.
It utterly sucks. I hate the weather here with every fiber of my being. Every time someone says, “What a lovely day!” when it’s January and 75°, I want to scream. I start getting surly and wanting to punch people in the face. I wear my hoodie when it’s 70°, for crying out loud, because otherwise I might not get to wear it. I pretend like it’s cold by blasting the air conditioning in my car when I’m going places.
And for a long time, I struggled with this. I’m in Texas, I’m choosing to live here, so it’s not okay to need colder weather. And why is it even a need? Surely it’s just a strong desire?
Yes, it’s true that I’m choosing to live here. An out-of-state move is rough and costly, and our friends, my family, Pace’s day job, and our budding business are all excellent reasons to stay. Austin itself is a fucking awesome city – I love it here. All except the weather.
And the fact that, when Texas finally does decide to ditch the Union, we’re kinda hosed.
But that aside, I was beating myself up constantly because I need cold weather. I need four full seasons. I need a good freeze so the bugs don’t keep me isolated in my house for six months a year. I need the trees to actually change colors. I get dissonance when I go so long with no reprieve from the warm-hot-sunny weather. I get depressed and angry.
Regardless of how odd or silly or weird it is, I need winter.
It’s okay to need what you need.
We’re human. We have needs. Sometimes they seem stupid or ridiculous or even pointless – but they’re part of what makes each of us who we are. Being wholly ourselves, and accepting not only that we have needs but that sometimes our needs are weird, is awesome.
So now, I accept that I need seasons. I need cold weather. I live in Texas, but I’m not a Texan, and we won’t live here forever. Some day, we’ll pack it up and move somewhere where the blue birds fly beyond the rainbow… er, or where there are seasons and cold.