I’m sitting here with Shaan of Shaankun.wordpress.com, whom I met in person two days ago when I picked him up from the airport.
Shaan and I met online about 1.5 years ago, when I stumbled upon his blog, his posts drawing me in (and often frustrating me) with their sad honesty. He was depressed, I was depressed, and somehow my reaching out to him helped me. I just felt like I wasn’t alone, even though I’d never met this guy, and even though our lives couldn’t be more different.
At one point, I posted this blog for him about my own fight with depression. I was climbing out of it at the time, and in my giddiness, I thought I could help him. He thanked me, but told me that he honestly didn’t identify with a lot of what I said.
I was a crestfallen, having had spent at least three hours on the damn piece, but it reminded me: we can try to be helpful to others, but sometimes we’re just not. Sometimes we just have to be supportive by listening, and that’s it. I realized that I didn’t really do it for him at all, but rather he inspired me to write about my own journey. He helped me bring that post to the surface of my own mind.
I offered to talk to him in a chat after that, and that’s where our friendship really took off. We shared our struggles with sadness, shared our histories and laughed together. Shaan has an extremely dry sense of humour. He makes me laugh when I feel down.
At one point we broke into a conflict, with me serving as the cheerleader trying to get the sad guy out of the emotional gutter. He said to me:
“I just want you to accept me for the way I am. I’m ok with who I am, it’s you who’s not ok with it.”
I responded by saying that just as I had to accept him for who he was, he had to accept me for who I was: someone who cares, someone who wants to share what they’ve learned to help lift up those people I care about.
Shaan and I have taught each other a thing or two.
At one point I suggested that if he ever wanted to see Holland, he was welcome to visit me. When we decided to arrange that, our respective family/friends were skeptical:
“You don’t even know her. Maybe she will stand you up at the airport.”
“You’ve never even met him. Don’t you think that’s dangerous to have him in your apartment? You’re nuts.”
But I trust Shaan, and he trusts me. There is such a thing as trust in this world…I believe in my instinct, and I was right…Shaan is a pure heart.
So like I said, we’re sitting on my couch under some blankets because my attic apartment is cold in this crazy wind storm. We’re eating stale popcorn for breakfast, content to just look out my window, watching the trees dramatically sway and the seagulls playing in the wind above them. I have a great view of the tops of the trees. It feels sort of like a tree house. We’ve been doing this pretty much the whole time, have great gaps of silence before breaking into another conversation. It’s beautiful to be with someone that you can just be silent with.
We had a fun time last night after the party I threw with my neighbor, me dancing like a goofball and lip-sinking a song I dedicated to him by pointing my finger at him as I sang. He told me he felt like he was in a Disney movie.
When I asked him in a later chat which superhero he would be if he could choose, he replied:
“I’m the Incredible Sulk.”
@Shaan, you’re awesome. 🙂 Thank you so much for visiting me.