So No One Told You Life was Gonna be this Way

I’ve been an adult for a couple of years now. At least, I think I have. It’s hard to tell, since I don’t really have a definition of “adult” I fully agree with. However, I don’t live with my parents, I’ve had a job for a few years, I’m 22, I’m been out of high school for a while, etc.

Anyway. In the little time I’ve been an adult, I’ve learned a few things. The most terrifying has been the fact no one knows what the hell they’re doing, but there are others. The one that’s hit me the hardest, and that I’ve been thinking about these last few weeks, is how lonely it gets.

Now, time for a quick funny story:
I like to come up with titles for my posts that incorporate puns or at least reference something, to make them sound clever and more interesting. When I sat down to think of one for this post I remembered there was a TV show with a theme song about how adulthood isn’t really what you thought it’d be like. What was the show? It was perfect for my article about loneliness….

Ah, yes. Friends. Sigh.


About a year ago, I was chatting with the mother of a friend very close to me. She was commenting on how great it was that me and my friend were close, and told me the friendship was something to treasure and protect. Then she briefly mentioned how she hadn’t had any friends for years and years. She said it without a note of self-pity or melancholy, which for whatever reason made it worse. Sure, she said, there were coworkers and people from similar social circles, but not friends. Not friends friends.

Is that what adulthood is?

I left high school six years ago now. In all that time, I’ve only made two friends, two real friends since then. Then there have also been people who moved away and naturally became more distant, people moving on to other stages in life, people too busy with work or studies, and of course the people who either rejected me or became uncomfortable around me after I came out and started my transition.

If a stranger asked me how many friends I have, I’d probably say ‘about six.’ Of those six, I’ve only had more than one real conversation with, or spent time around, one person in the last four, five months. By that measure, I only have a single friend.

One friend.


 

I love being introverted. I like how much I enjoy spending my time on my bike, at a park, listening to music, writing, even just walking. I find comfort in the bliss I feel from being alone at home, of spending a weekend cooking, exercising, reading, relaxing without speaking a single word out loud. It’s great.

Sometimes I wonder if I’d feel less alone if I were more extroverted and outgoing. If I could go up to strangers, be loud and fun, be the kind of person others instantly like.

I don’t know.

For the last few years I’ve worked on improving myself any way I can. I’ve tried to stop being so arrogant and mean and clingy, and everything else. I have worked hard at making myself a better person, and finding healthy ways to be happy. A big part of that is not depending solely on anyone else for happiness.

However, a person needs to have friends, don’t they?

Sure, your happiness doesn’t rely on them, but it’s boosted massively from occasionally spending time around them, speaking with them, knowing they’re there when you need them.


 

I spend most of my time at work. It’s at a call centre, and there isn’t much chance to get to know people if you’re focusing mostly on doing well, which I do. Even at my old job, I found it difficult to make connections. I’m quiet and reserved and though I love being around people and try to be friendly, people might confuse my quietness for aloofness and assume I want to be left alone.

How do you make friends outside of school, when you’re not outgoing and able to just charm complete strangers into friendship? I’ve tried finding communities to join, but it’s difficult when I don’t have much time to do anything.

By the time I’m thirty, am I going to be talking about how it’s been years since I last had friends, without a hint of sadness or longing in my voice? Will I be that resigned to a life of loneliness?

 

 

I try to make this blog positive and uplifting, but I feel anything but at the moment. The world feels so very, very massive, and so very, very cold and I feel alone. Utterly alone.

Yay adulthood.


 

On a much more positive note, this Friday will be the last one of the month, which means book reviews! One of the books I’ll be covering is one of the most inspiring and beautiful things I’ve read in ages. I can’t wait to talk about it! I only hope I can do it justice.

I hope y’all are having a great week. See you this Friday for the book reviews!

 

 

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4 thoughts on “So No One Told You Life was Gonna be this Way

  1. helq says:

    This is a really, really normal thing. Everyone nowadays feels lonelier than ever (thanks progress and technology (and also politics, and a lot of other interconnected “causes”, …)). It’s so freaking widespread and so freaking hard for our highly sociable human brains to process. We, humans, need to find a solution for this problem, but it seems we wont unless we change something (and it seems we don’t wanna change anything, so we’re screwed).

    This reminds me about drug addiction, and how people aren’t actually hook up to a drug but to anything that could give them (us*) some relieve in our lonely lives. Here a video about the topic from the awesome kurzgesagt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ao8L-0nSYzg

    This also reminds me how “extroverted” (actually, unbearable, like a child) I act once I get to know somebody, but what a hard time I have to get to know somebody because of my sicking shyness. I’m still in the University though and I still make new “friends” every new semester (new classes, new classmates), but I can’t help to notice that I lose all those friendships once the semester is over, in fact I think I have only a real friend (or two, depending on definition), and many acquaintances, so yeah, adulthood is awesome!

    * I make the same mistake again and again, I tend to speak as if I wasn’t part of the group called people.

    PS: You should write more about Bogotá, it’s nice to read about the city I’ve lived most of my life but I don’t really know

    Like

  2. EllieTaylor says:

    I think a lot of people feel this way. I know I certainly do. It’s difficult to meet people outside of the educational system and even harder to relate to people when we become “adults”. I’m 26 now and I would say that my best friend is my only true friend. We’ve known each other since we were 15 and she’s the only person who knows me completely, inside and out, aside from my husband who I’ve known since we were 11. I have one coworker who I would consider a close friend, but we don’t always agree, we have very different politics due in large part to religious differences and we don’t share any of the same hobbies. I think that the internet can be a refuge for finding communities of people with the same interests or hobbies, but it’s a somewhat misleading concept because these communities are still subject to humanity’s bickering and racism and sexism and just ugh.
    We may identify with groups of people but I don’t think it’s easy to say, hey you, person, we like X and Y and we should totally be friends. It just doesn’t seem to happen. Maybe ten years ago when the internet was a smaller place and the communities were less intense, but not now. I’ve even joined communities or forums purely to chat with people about books, or HP, Doctor who, creative writing, etc. but people become inactive, decide that there aren’t enough interesting people, or lose interest so quickly that everything that we imagine a community to be loses meaning.
    It would be nice to say, I’ve got five really amazing friends and we tell each other everything and even though we have disagreements we all stick together in the end, but life isn’t Friends, or the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and that sucks.
    I suspect that school sets us up for an unrealistic expectation of relationships because, at least in my life, people seem much more likely to be friends of convenience than of permanence. As I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to accept people at face value, and value the moments and memories more than the lose, but I too wonder if I’ll ever get over that loneliness. It’s sad but adulting is way less fun than I thought it would be when I was 14.

    Liked by 1 person

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