(Warning: This is more like a personal blog post but I’m posting it here because it sort of explains why I rarely reply to anything on time –which is right at the end so maybe just scroll down? If you are my parents, then reading this may make you realize your daughter isn’t who you think she is, and I would appreciate it if you treat this post as a diary entry and (other people’s) diaries shouldn’t be read :) )
When you are more like a grumpy cat lady and less like the 22 year old you actually are, there are few things that annoy you more than lovey dovey posts. You know how there are a bazillion emojis? None of them reflect my facial expression when I come across a lovey dovey post. Sometimes, while scrolling down Facebook, I fear that I will basically roll my eyes out of my head. Some posts are so cringe-worthy that all I can do is stare at them, speechless.
I know that you’re now thinking that this is going to be one of those whiny ‘I’m single posts.’ You aren’t wrong. But it’s so much more than being single. It’s about the state of being alone. It’s about feeling lonely.
Whenever I put up a post that is basically saying I have no friends, classmates and people I’ve met at work or events or online come to my rescue and defend our friendship. And of course, I am friends with all these people. I care for them and at some point or another, I loved their company.
But I’ve begun wondering if it’s fair to call them friends. I haven’t spoken to some of these people in months, if not years. And even then, the conversations never go too deep. We discuss matters that aren’t too personal; work, books we like, memories.
And most of these people are the kind who I can’t openly say certain things to. Our relationships have never been at that level of comfort or whatever the word is where I can talk to them at one in the morning or leave a long message about how life is a shithole, without worrying that I’m being a bother. Even that’s with my closest friends. Others, despite having spent close to eight years studying together, aren’t people who I can be myself with.
And this isn’t the fault of anyone. I’m not saying my school friends are people I don’t like, because I like them a whole lot. But they aren’t people I can relate to and that’s why I find it difficult to call them my friends.
Because here’s the thing. We use words like friend, love, kindness very loosely. Just because I’ve known someone for a long time doesn’t make them my friend and it doesn’t mean I should love them. We often feel obliged to call people our friends but why? Someone I haven’t had a meaningful conversation in two or three years isn’t my friend. They are people I know, people I may care for but aren’t friends people who you can reach out to when you need someone?
The problem with thinking this way and also having trouble talking with people is that you start to lose a lot of people-you-know. I remember how, just a few years ago, I used to have three or four Facebook chats going on at the same time. Besides anything work related or something very general, the only reason I even open Messenger is because of a group chat with some of my closest friends or to talk with my closest friend from school.
Looking at how my life has been over the years, it’s very obvious and clear that I don’t have that many people I can talk to. And of these, currently, sadly, I want to talk to none of them. Now, this isn’t a reason for anyone to feel sorry for me. I’ve figured out ways of dealing with crap in life despite having no shoulder I can cry on.
But what happens is this. Now I have no sleepless 3AMs where this loneliness gets to me, mainly because I go to bed quite early. And I find ways to keep myself busy. I have work. I have hobbies. I have books to read. I have tons of ways to procrastinate.
But there are times when I need to talk to someone and then I find myself going through my phone contacts and finding not a soul I can talk to. I go through my Facebook friends or Messenger chats and find none where I can go on a long rant about my feelings.
(I’m leaving Twitter out of this because while I’ve met some of the nicest people there, who have always come to my rescue when in the midst of a shit-has-hit-the-fan moment, things are a bit different over there. Twitter people understand, I hope.)
So when I can’t find someone to talk to, what do I do? Well, I write about how I feel. I either tweet or blog about it and I sort things out in my head. But I’m left with this sinking feeling that I’ve managed to distance myself from people to the extent that I now have no one I can really talk to.
This realization, no matter how many times it hits me, is always a shock. No matter how many times I realize that I quite frankly have no friends, it still scares me to a point of wanting to build even higher walls around me. And it makes it more and more difficult for me to be able to just talk with people.
I don’t know if you’ve seen them, but there are these posts people share on Facebook. They are sort of ‘feel good’ posts about various things. For instance, ‘the truth about what long distance relationships do to you.’ ‘To my best friend’s boyfriend…’ ‘To the one that is in love with the woman I couldn’t make mine.’ I’m sure you’ve come across at least one of them. Anyway, these posts always start with ‘oh life is shit’ but then end with this pumped up, almost forced, optimism. A post on how it is to be single when all your friends are getting married will end with some shit about how everything happens for a reason and your current loneliness will only make you find someone who will be utterly good to you so like, be strong (even though your fist is clenched so tight in an attempt to not burst into tears.)
The reason I find these posts to be utter garbage is because they sugarcoat the truth and they rarely tell us what life is actually like. Like, I’m a few months away from turning 23. I’m still young. I have a whole life ahead of me and I’ll meet so many new people and I’ll fall in love and find happiness. This shit sells because none of us want to hear the bitter truth. But here it is:
I’m nearly 23. Most of my friends are either in relationships or are married. They are happy and even if they aren’t, they pretend to be. They have people who will listen to their troubles and worries and surprise them with gifts. They have people who like going on long trips with them or sharing meals. They have people who love them and make them feel needed. And it feels like shit when you’ve never had that. It feels so unfair and fucking awful when you wake up knowing there will be no text from an SO waiting for you. When you have no one to just watch the goddamn sunset with. When there’s no one who you can just sit in silence with.
But it’s not only about these little things. It’s about seeing your body reflected in a mirror and wondering if ever someone will find you attractive or desirable. It’s about wondering if ever you’ll feel love when someone’s hand touches your skin and their lips explore your body. Because we all have needs and some of them, we can take care of by ourselves but it gets to a point when you want someone to make you feel loved.
And finally, it’s about that moment when you are surrounded by people but feel utterly alone. Last week, I spent quite a few hours by myself. I was in a café, a place I love, having delicious drinks. I wasn’t waiting for anyone. I was just whiling away time. And I found myself wishing I had someone to be there with. Someone who I can tell anything to and who feels comfortable enough to tell me anything. Someone who will know what bothers me the most and what makes me the most happy. Someone who I don’t need to pretend or have my guard up with.
And it need not be a significant other. A romantic partner. A boy/girlfriend. It just needs to be someone I click with. Someone who I can be completely honest with.
And not having someone like that fucking sucks. That’s the truth. It’s shitty when you see how happy people are together and you feel like you can’t be part of that. You feel awful when you have no one to talk to when you need to get something off your chest.
So here it is. Not sugar-coated.
I’m 22. I’ll be 23 in January. I’ve only ever loved a handful of people. I’ve felt loved maybe once or twice. At this point of life, I have no hope of meeting someone (great), because I’ve managed to cut myself off from any way of meeting people. I talk to nearly no one, and of those I do talk to, none of them can be the kind of person I really need in life. And so I am unhappy. I am scared. And I constantly worry that I’ve driven into a dead end.
And that’s the truth. It sounds whiny. And it is. But that doesn’t make it any less important.
And please, if you read this and feel the need to tell me that I can talk to you, always, any day, about anything, don’t. This isn’t about needing to be told I can talk to you. It’s about not being able to talk to you about what is eating at my heart, what is most important to me, even though you are seated right across from me.
This is like a never-ending speech at an event, but this is it, I promise. I haven’t been replying to many comments and tweets and even messages. I haven’t been talking to many people. If I haven’t replied to something you posted or sent me, you may be thinking, ‘she’s complaining about not having friends but doesn’t make an attempt to maintain any relationships.’ You are right and wrong there. I do my best to distance myself from people and not get attached and this is because I sort of see myself as a fly in the room and it’s a shitty feeling I can only ignore if I don’t have a room to be in. No one’s bothered about flies that aren’t near them, right? Like, say you walk past a tap on the road and you see a fly buzzing about? You won’t feel pissed off or annoyed, right? I want to be like that fly.
The other reason I haven’t been doing a good job of talking to people is because it really exhausts me and I haven’t had a time to ‘charge my batteries’ so I’ve just sort of… been waiting for my batteries to be recharged. And I have no say in how long this takes.