I have written a lot of empowering pieces about the importance of being self sufficient in the past, but having turned 18 this year and being considered a somewhat more official ‘adult’ in modern society, the most bizarre, paradoxical thing has happened. I realized that I need people more than ever before. Not because I’m afraid to spend time alone, not because I need help jump starting the car, but because I realized that I would not be where I am today without the love and support of people around me. For the longest time, I had convinced myself it was a weakness to show people you care, to speak openly about your insecurities, or to feel a craving for company. I thought it was a fault by being such an open book, and letting others dissect who you are. Since entering the precipice of adulthood, I have come to the conclusion that real courage is seen in the way you allow others to see you. I say ‘allow’ because most of the time, we do not give permission for ourselves to be authentic. We create an ideal image that we project into the world, or sometimes we distance ourselves. The problem with that is, we will never find real happiness because profound connections to other humans are derived from honesty, from vulnerability. You will never do justice to yourself if you don’t share your ideas, your love, and your truth with those around you.