The long walk.

People tend to forget that life essentially is a solitary journey.
We come into the world, screaming and kicking, alone. We may have tender fingers and adoring eyes and soft voices waiting for us; we may have people to pick us up as we fall,  but it is our own willpower that makes us stand for the first time,on unreliable bones and wobbling knees.
We make friends and find kindred spirits and create memories with people who matter, and people who don’t. We lose ourselves chasing after people and find parts of ourselves mirrored in others.
We have friends, and best friends, and lovers and crushes and so,so many fiddly little labels for all our relationships. We take people and the tangles of our stories with them and file them into categories; because in the end, we are essentially alone.
We may have people to bandage our wounds and help us heal, but bodies mend themselves, cells multiply and divide to keep our heart beating, to keep our limbs moving, to keep our lungs working. We have hands to hold onto, shoulders to lean on, but pain is something that is strangely personal. People can sympathise and empathise and offer condolences and words of consolation that fade and dissolve almost as soon as they touch the air, but no one can take the burden of it away from you. You suffer you own pain alone; no one can feel for you, instead of you.
Yet we tie ourselves to others at every chance we can. We let ourselves believe that the thread of our relationships are strong and unbreakable, when they are but the gossamer that trembles and snaps at a harsh gust of wind. We build ourselves illusions of permanence with our rings and paperwork and vows and fervent promises of forever; and end up tumbling that house of cards with more paperwork and accusations and cutting, burning words.
Our timelines tangle and knot,curling and intertwining, and yet somehow, always end up snapping somewhere along the line. People leave, hands slip out of other hands, and only the echoes of their voices and laughter linger on.
But we keep building our little cocoons with people, wrapping ourselves in layers of memories; choosing to ignore that these very threads could end up strangling us once they’ve been snipped away. And as we go further and further on our journey, the web of our friends and loved ones keeps shrinking, until it’s just a few who are willing to stand by you through the final lap. Everyone goes their own way; and you must go by yours, and in the end, you are by yourself. You make your final exit alone, the way it always is; and that’s okay, because it’s only fitting that your journey ends the way it begins: alone.
Because in a world of a few billion people, you are always essentially going solo.
But it’s a funny old life, and it’s hard to walk down that long and winding road all by yourself. Because sometimes, what you really need is a hand to hold on to as you walk along.