The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

Real hugs (aka my confession to liking affection)

I cannot stress enough how much real hugs, the one that take your breath away, help me on so many levels.

In as much as I identify with being introverted, and introverted being not one to be the first to introduce myself, or share stories off the bat, and like crowds a whole lot, I do enjoy being with the people I love.

And a lot of that, I realized again last night, is getting these not fake hugs that encircle and make me feel safe. The ones that hold on even after the cursory 2 seconds.

I got a lot of these last night, and as I am not one for fake closeness, I breathed it in. I found myself again thankful for finding the people in my life that have stayed.

I am not known for my warmth, or niceness. My reputation at work or at home is one of being businesslike, even strict. I give people short leases because I normally have a short temper. Maybe that’s why when I get genuine, uncomplicated affection, I am extra emotional about it.

And boy have I been extra emotional lately. I should not have tried to watch Coco by myself for the first time. My voice still cracks every so often when I think about my grief.

Hugs help, and it doesn’t hurt that my friends have their comforting signature scents, ones that even when I smell it on other people, make me smile randomly because of the accompanying reassuring feelings that come with the smell.

If you are a friend and I am freaking you out right now because I can identify you by smell, tough. The creepy way I take down reminders of you is part of this package.

When was the last time you had a real hug? Who was it from?

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