NOTE: All conversations are being drawn from memory and may not be quoted exactly right, but the meaning is the same.
Last week ... Halloween night, of all nights ... I was out with some friends, one of whom I haven't spent time with in over a year. In fact, the last time I spent time with this particular friend, he was going through a difficult time and I gave him a place to crash for a little bit.
We reminisced about that point in his life. During our walk down memory lane, he looked at me and said, "Thank you for helping me out then. You really have no idea how difficult that period of my life was and how much that little act of kindess helped me get through it. It put me where I am today, in a much better place. And here you are again doing it for someone else."
That brief interaction hit me hard. I spent the rest of the night in a funk, although I'm sure no one around me knew it. I couldn't help but think that maybe, perhaps, I am destined to remain single all the rest of my days acting as a guide, a Samaritan for those I come across who need a helping hand to pull them out of the dark places in which they may find themselves.
I should have taken it as a compliment. It should have gladdened my heart. It should have lifted my spirits. But it didn't. I felt sorrier for myself. I felt more alone.
Seven days have passed since that night. I have had the benefit of space to reflect on it and its meaning.
And I've come to the realization that it is a good thing. What I did for him. What I'm doing for someone else now. My role in this world.
Fortune may smile on me one day and deliver to me someone who can love me, put up with me, stand by me, break me down and build me up. But if that should never come to pass I am still fortunate.
I have a lot of love to give. And I have chosen to freely give that love to those who need it. It no longer matters to me how long or how short their stop in my life is. It no longer matters to me if our relationship is platonic or romantic or simply in-passing.
It only matters to me that I can give. And I will gladly do so.