Need, Want & Nature

Everyone wants something; it is our nature I suppose, to want things outside of ourselves. We start as infants being dependent on others, wanting little more than to be sustained in our needs, including being safe, clean, fed and touched. As we mature so do our needs, though truthfully it is really how we fulfill these needs that change rather than the needs themselves. With maturity our core personality come into play so some of our needs might also be more or less at play, specifically the need for touch and safety may be very different for each of us.

I didn’t start with need though, did I? I started with want, I wonder can we entirely separate want from need in all cases? Is it possible some of our wants, our desires are so intimately tied to our basic needs; they truly are what we need to sustain our lives in some form that is both sane and comforting. Is it possible, where we started with basic needs though they change in their make-up, change in how we express them do not in truth change all that much at all.

I want shoes, frequently I see them in a store, on-line or even on another woman’s foot and think, damn I want those. I don’t need them, in fact left to my own devices I am frequently barefoot much to the dismay of the poor young woman who does my weekly pedicure.

I want never to have grey hair, never to have a single strand of grey show on my head. It is unreasonable to want this. It is also unrealistic, nonetheless I want it and I want it forever and ever, amen.

I want to stop the world, now. I want off the merry-go-round and round. I want to stop being jerked around and pulled by my heartstrings by people who don’t truly have my best interests at heart.

I want to stop leading with my heart. I want to stop wearing my heart on the outside of my chest where it is easily the most vulnerable, easily hurt and easily sliced and diced.

I want to stop being taken for rides, where I am the amusement, the shipwreck and the battlefield.

I want to stop pretending it is fine, that all is good, that I feel good about paying the bill when it is presented. It isn’t fine, it isn’t all good. I don’t mind paying my fair share, I don’t mind going dutch now and then, in fact, I think this might be fair. Splitting the bill down the middle, compromising seems only fair and right. So why isn’t this happening? Am I too fast to say, ‘don’t worry, I don’t mind you beating the living shit out of me, I will take care of whatever it is so long as you have what you need or want.’tumblr-broken-heart-photography-broken-heart-3-by-mv79-on-deviantart--photos

I want to come first; every now and then, I want to be first. I want someone to think of me and my needs and put me and them first. Not all the time mind you, that would be selfish; but, every once in a while I want to be first. Not, how bad can I make her feel. Not what can I get from her today. Not how can I make her pay for what I want today, but instead, ‘how can I make her day better.’

I want my safety, my heart, my sanity, my health to be important to someone. Not as a secondary thought after they have considered everything they want and need, but as the first thing they consider when thinking of what is important. I don’t want to be more important, I just want to be as important. My ex use to say to me, ‘if we are ever confronted by a person with a gun I will not stand in front of you, I will tell you to run baby run.’ He thought that was funny, I never did. Now, not only do I think it was unfunny, I think it was sad I stayed in a marriage for so long with someone who placed himself and his own safety so far above mine, you see he wasn’t joking.

I want to feel protected, safe and valued. Not for what I can do for you but for the content of me. I want for anyone who has ever said to me, ‘I love you’ to actually show me by their actions rather than say the words. Words, they have little meaning if they are not backed up with acts of care, compassion, empathy and a giving heart. Don’t tell me you will do something, don’t make promises you have no intention of keeping. Stop stripping me down to nothing left.


I want someone to hear me. Just listen and hear me. I want them to hear the tears in my voice when I am lonely. I want them to hear me screaming when my skin is on fire from the lack of loving touch. I want them to hear me when I say; I miss being held in the night. I want them to understand this isn’t an invitation; it is simply reaching out to be heard.

I am tired of trying to do everything myself. I am tired of paying the bill when presented. My body is tired, my heart is worn out, my soul is shriveling into itself. I didn’t think I would have to work this hard, maybe I don’t, maybe I simply won’t anymore.

Our wants and our needs, though sometimes they are the same; to be safe, to be clean, to be fed and to be touched. Perhaps we simply need to learn to adjust our expectations. Certainly, I am learning this is what I must do, it seems I am enough to pay the bill when presented but not enough for much more.


  1. Sometimes its only natural that the turmoil of all of the above swirls and crashes on the shore in waves that spray out our emotions dear Val.. The good thing is that you are letting out your emotions and as you do, the tide will turn..
    Love to you dear Val.. xxx ❤

  2. I think we have what we need and don’t quite realize it. Folk will disappoint ’cause they are human and often, complex. Must be very careful about looking for whatever we think we lack outside of ourselves.

    • I think this is what I say here, that I tire of being all for others with no return. Relationships are thorny aren’t they? We are social creatures, it is our nature even for those of us that are comfortable in our skin and more comfortable in our caves. Still we need human contact, compassion and touch. It is how we navigate these waters that is difficult. The choice we make to lay ourselves bare, that is what hurts or lifts us up.

      I think I simply wish to be uplifted rather than thrown down. I cannot change my nature, this I know. But I can change my choices.

  3. Amazing post. I am sorry that life has worn you out and beaten you down this much. We all have the need to be appreciated and acknowledged once in a while, and so many of us don’t receive that! Hope it happens for you soon.

    • This was a bad day, maybe just a collection of bad days. Most days, truly I am okay. Not always great, but okay. I suspect, sometimes I get blindsided and then all that is in the back of my head, it comes tumbling down. This was one of those days.

      Thank you, you are so right though. So many of us don’t get what we need. More importantly, so many of us don’t ask for what we need and thus too often go through life miserable.

  4. Dear Val, I know all that you have written and the thought uppermost in my mind is that it’s OK to have gray or even white hairs. My black hair is all white now, and after forty five years of doing my best in a marriage which didn’t fulfill my needs either, at 77 I’ve ended it, and am setting up a new life with someone I love, much younger than me, who gives me all that you listed.
    So what i’m saying is: that it’s never too late – you’re right not to settle for less – and white hair is OK.
    Being happy – as opposed to finding or looking for happiness – is our destiny….

    • Oh Valerie, Sniff. That is first. Second, your beautiful white hair is just that, beautiful, if my hair had a chance of being that, I would allow it to grow with glory 🙂

      I am pleased, joyful for you even. No one I can think of in this world or the next deserves more than you to have happiness. Thank you for telling me, I think I have been given a gift.

  5. I love your list of wants. They sound good to me and perfectly reasonable. Would love to have someone who loved me for me and actually wanted to be with me. It’s tough to find someone like that, though. But I would give anything to have no more gray hairs. I had my hair done about a month ago, and already I’m seeing those nasty white hairs popping out. I’d also add that I want to stop craving chocolate covered pretzels. I’ve eliminated just about every other sugary snack but that one. Sigh.

  6. WE are all entitled to have what we need to live our lives, but the sad truth is we don’t. I believe all creatures big and small, human or animal craves love, tenderness and touch. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies because of our generous hearts.
    I wish for you what you crave and need, Val. You deserve and have every right to these things. ❤ ❤ ❤

    • I think we all deserve these things. Yesterday was simply a terrible day. I think sometimes the world crawls inside of me, traps my heart and rattles my soul. Yesterday was that day.

      Today, well today is imperfect but a better day. Thank you Tess.

  7. As you would remind me…

    You are LOVED and strong and beyond deserving. The world is full of dumbshit motherfuckers who take from us. It is what men do. In fact, I guess, in many cases…it is what people do. Did you see the video I posted on my daughter last week with her impromptu dinner time speech “Some boys are cute and some are handsome, but you can’t trust them. You gotta KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!” This 1st grade phenomenon has a lot of youthful wisdom. Your rights are to be loved and someone’s priority. You deserve it. You are a beautiful, strong, inspiring woman and I think you haven’t yet found a brave man. I love you, Val – this is a beautiful piece. . . even though it was written from a place of pain. Life will get better…and you will get stronger. You said that to me…so I KNOW it must be true.

    • Oh honey, thank you. I don’t think I did see it, now I am going to go find it. You made me teary, good teary. Yes, I know I deserve to be a priority. My own first and usually, usually I am. I simply stumbled yesterday, into a small puddle of pain.

      Thank you for the reminder. I love you also.

  8. It is always frustrating to constantly give out more than we receive. That imbalance breeds resentment and eats away at our souls, making a healthy relationship impossible. You are right to want these things, and you deserve to have these things.

    • I know I am right to want them. I think yesterday was a terrible day for me. I think I woke on the wrong side of everything and felt bluer than normal. Sometimes it is good to throw these feelings out there, maybe for myself but maybe also to let others know, these feelings they are are normal.

      Thank you Carrie.

  9. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    You are not responsible for the terrible shit people pull.

    You are beautiful.

  10. Mr. Militant Negro says:

    Reblogged this on The Militant Negro™.

  11. I am sorry that you are feeling this alone and unappreciated. You need to put yourself first even when someone else doesn’t. I was involved in a marriage in which he came first, always, and I was too young to assert myself. One day, I realized that I, too, had a right to be first at times, that it was supposed to be equally fair. Please be good t o yourself. You deserve to be loved, above all.

    • I can do that, I have been doing that. I am finding though, the need for something more is weighing on me these days. That I miss the something more.

      I don’t think we are meant to be alone. As introverted as I am, still I don’t think I was meant to be entirely alone.

  12. I am sorry you are having a bad day, week, or month. Sometimes your struggles remind me of those of my daughter (near your age). All I can do is be here and give support and love.

  13. I think that Tejaswi said it all for me.

    And thank you for that song — so beautiful!

    • I think I am having a really bad day, maybe a bad week. Possibly a bad month as I am coming toward a birthday and feeling things pounding in on me. Thanks Elyse. I love that song, I love the feeling it brings out in me.

  14. I hear you 🙂

    Let me narrate this. Today, in the evening, I went to a friend’s place. On the way we decided to pick up some fried chicken from a takeaway. While we were waiting for our order, a young couple came to that joint… they did not look like they were very well to do, but they looked very much in love with each other. The guy ordered four pieces of chicken and a single plate of fried rice that they happily shared with each other. I was so moved. It is not like the boy had too much money to spend and the girl was happy that he had spent anything at all. Many years ago, I was reminded, we were happiest when there was very little to spend and yet my wife and I spent most of those years as if it was luxury and not a struggle. I completely understand your words here. Today, when we have the ability to spend more, to covet more perhaps, the same happiness does not exist. It is almost as if when our lives became comfortable, our demands of it grew. I felt nostalgic when I saw the young couple today, and I wish them luck and I hope their love remains to be as undemanding and pure as it is now. I may not be around physically, but I hope I can remain a friend here, in cyberspace where most of our voices are usually lost in the wilderness. You are never alone, I assure you 🙂

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