It's like when you are totally baffled by a school assignment that everyone else seems to completely understand. You can't understand why everyone seems so serene and you think the issue must be you until one day you hear a couple of your classmates talking before class starts about how they are clueless about the project and then you are flooded with relief; even if you still don't know how to do the damn project, at least you know that other people don't either. I don't know why, but there is an amazing amount of relief in knowing your not alone, even if it doesn't take care of the problem itself.
I guess my struggle the past couple of weeks has been that I feel like I'm the only one who feels completely overwhelmed with all the work being slammed on again and who feels so alone and unable to make friends in this new environment. But the small bit of experience I've acquired in my short life tells me that I'm probably wrong. Almost everyone else is probably screaming inside about the work; if they don't, it's probably because something is wrong and they don't care about school any more or they've had a lot of therapy and developed very good coping mechanisms. And I think many people feel lonely, even if they have friends, and many people feel lost when it comes to making friends, opening up, and developing good relationships. Even if they have friends, doesn't mean they have fulfilling friendships. We learned that from my popular workaholic friend who confessed he just had a lot of acquaintances and not many genuine friends (of course, I don't think I'll be calling him a friend any more from here on out because of the way he's treated me recently, but that's for another day's discussion...)
I feel pretty isolated today. I got to my class early and was sitting listening to the conversation going on between a few guys tossing words back and forth across the room like a football. Well, maybe they were a bit too nerdy for that metaphor. But anyways, I felt like I should join in but it was one of those situations where you can't figure out the rules...Can anyone enter this very-public conversation? Can women join in? Will they stare at you and get quiet if you say something? I ended up saying nothing, just following the banter and laughing at the appropriate moments, which I think was for the best. But overall I've been suffering from all of the pressure I've put on myself to be more outgoing, to make friends, to be normal, whatever perception I've developed of what that is.
I guess at the end of the day I wish I could just be honest with people. I don't need any more friendships where you expend so much work to keep it going only to just exchange a meaningless "Hey, how are you?" "Oh, I'm good! You?" every so often. I want genuine friendships. Beyond that, I wish - even though I know it will never happen - that we could all be open with how we hurt, whether friends or not. I wish people, including myself, didn't have to feel like they were the only ones. I know it's not easy to open up about things, but when we do it really opens doors to have the conversations and relationships we've always wanted.
So here's my honest list:
- I feel like I'm a person most people don't like, especially young people, and don't want to be friends with because I've never had many friends, even when I was little, and most of my attempts to make friends with people in college were either rebuffed or the friendship eventually fizzled out and died.
- I feel really lonely sometimes. I guess I said that, but to expand on it, I decided to end two more of the last remaining friendships I have with people from my old school. The relationships are just too painful and my friends don't seem to give a damn about me or expend much effort into enriching the relationship. One friend never really opens up any more even though I keep sharing personal things, which feels like she isn't respecting the currency you have to pay to keep a friendship going. So I feel even lonelier because I don't really have anyone to talk to about my feelings apart from my mom. And because I can't figure out why people aren't excited about being my friend.
- I like the guy who sits next to me in class but I'm too shy to talk to him. Oh my gosh...he's cute. And smart. And funny. And nice. And well-spoken. And he said his dream job would be to be a historic reenactor. Can you get much better than that? I guess you could get someone with a job that makes money, but I think that the epic failure of my last crush taught me that that's overrated. Anyways, I'm afraid to talk to him not just because I'm shy, but also because I feel like as a general rule men just don't like me unless they're creepy and whenever I've tried to make moves to get to know a guy I liked in the past, he was uninterested and it was devastating. I mean, if this guy liked me, wouldn't he have talked to me by now? I don't know. The point is, I sometimes feel unlovable, unattractive, undesirable. I'm in my 20's and have never dated a man. Never even been close to doing so.
- Today I feel fat. I think it's connected to feeling undesirable. Why should the extra weight matter though when you've got brains, wit, creativity, the voice of an angel, compassion, and loyalty? I guess I feel discouraged because I rarely ever get to show people the inside of me because of my shyness and I know my exterior isn't dazzlingly beautiful enough to prompt people to pursue getting to know the inside. And I'm still getting used to this new shape I'm in and I wonder how it looks to others and how people perceive it.
- I cried in my car after eating my Chipotle meal alone sitting in the front seat because I was just so overwhelmed by everything. I was so afraid for anyone to see me crying. I don't know why because I'm sure other people would feel compassionate or even relate. Isn't that like everything in life? We're always hiding the things we think are ugly even though most everyone else has the same thing too.