Dear Neighbor (A Confession)

Rows-of-terraced-houses-002Dear neighbor,

I hardly know you, yet we’ve slept just yards away from each other for years.

I’m sorry for diminishing your identity to the house in which you live.  And for thinking you disappear when you step inside.  You actually do disappear – at least in my story.  In my own, self-absorbed story.

I’ve never considered the fact that you live inside of that place.  I’ve been so busy pondering my own life and have failed to even think about yours.  Me, the thinker.  Failing to think.  What’s the point of reflection if it’s only about ourselves?

I can make a lot of excuses – most of them originating from my introverted personality and my east coast roots.  I’m just not the gregarious type that gets energized by being with people… People in New Jersey don’t talk just for the sake of talking… I don’t naturally strike up fun conversations anywhere.  Why would I do that on my front lawn?!  And, of course, the fact that I am “so” busy and “so” tired weaves itself into the justification, too.  Oh, and I’m ashamed of my yard and the house projects we haven’t finished.

I’m embarrassed of my complete lack of loving you over the years.  The yearsMy shame perpetuates the cycle and keeps me inside.  Inside my house.  Inside my own life.

I wonder if you think we’re rude.  I wonder if you think we’re typical in neighborhood social norms.

I don’t know what this is going to look like, and it terrifies me to navigate it, but I’m going to start thinking about you.  And after welcoming you into my thought life, I want to show you I like you.  And eventually love you.  I plan to convince you you’re not an interruption in my own story.

Forgive me,

Christan

2 thoughts on “Dear Neighbor (A Confession)

  1. Excellent, thought-provoking post, and while I might pat myself on the back for striking up lots of conversations with neighbors and strangers, alike, how many of my communications are “at depth”? Moreover, how many neighbors don’t I not know? They’ve come and gone, and I haven’t even known their name. And there were ones about whom I complained–because, say, they let their dog bark on the front lawn or put up a fence when it was against our bylaws–but I never got to know them. And though the saying attributed to Ben Franklin says, “Good fences make good neighbors,” that is not ultimatley true. Fences separate, and my complaining about a fence hardly makes me a good neighbor either.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Lynn

    Like

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