I don’t really know how to even start this post.
I have a lot of mixed emotions regarding this matter, and I don’t know if I will fully be able to put into words or express them enough to do them justice.
Let the stream of consciousness begin.
In a world full of people, how is it possible to feel so lonely?
I suppose this is the conundrum I face – as an outgoing individual that thrives on personal relationships, conversing with people, meeting new individuals, etc. It is impossible to befriend everyone. This I know. But why is it something that I desire?
People are fallible. That is the ultimate definition of being a human; we all make mistakes, we all fall down. Yet I expect everyone in my life to act towards me the way I would act towards them, even though I personally know that I make so many mistakes myself.
Not everyone you meet can be a friend; not everyone you meet and consider to be a friend will in turn consider you to be a friend of theirs.
It is often said that it is more valuable to have a few close friends than a dozen acquaintances – I believe this to be true. Yet it is in my nature to befriend everyone I meet, and try to become close friends with them despite the odds being against such an occurrence.
It has come to my attention, as I go through my 20s, that I have lost touch with quite a few people I determined would be in my life forever. Whether it be through distance, through difference of lifestyles or life goals, through choice or just through the passing of time, people have faded away. Sure, many of those individuals I wouldn’t mind catching up with again, bringing back into my life, but at some point the effort outweighs the potential reward.
I realize this goes against how I started this post. I tend to contradict myself at times.
However – when there are people that you WANT to keep in your life, ones that you WANT to be there with you through your experiences, that effort seems feasible and much less like work.
This is where it gets tricky.
See, it’s hard to assume that everyone YOU want to be there also wants to be there with you. You come to learn that people you considered to be close friends actually want to keep you at arms length. This is when the heartbreak, disappointment and loneliness come in.
I have recognized that I put a lot of effort into things that don’t always benefit me in any way. This is a common theme. There are many things in my life that drain my energy, sucking the life out of me, and I THINK it is rewarding, only to realize that I am more miserable than I was before extending such effort.
Multiple people have even pointed this habit out to me, stating that they notice I place more value in many of my friendships than is returned. Unrequited, I believe is the correct phrase. I have even been given homework by my therapist to determine WHY I try so hard in friendships that don’t warrant me doing so.
I guess this blog post was to attempt to see if I am alone in this, if this is something common for adults to struggle with and come to terms with.
It is both a blessing and a curse to be as outgoing and relationship-oriented as I am; I have always said this. At times I have claimed I would “become a hermit,” change my outgoing ways and become introverted, never to go out of my way again. Of course, that did not happen, just a dramatic overstatement in a desperate attempt for someone to understand, for them to tell me that it was okay – for me to get the attention and love I sought.
At this point, however, I don’t feel it necessary to take it to such extremes.
I merely write this post in an attempt to “vent,” to see if anyone can relate to such emotions. Also, to serve as a letter to myself – to let myself remember that I DO NOT need to put so much energy into things that drain me. To let myself remember that some friendships are not satisfying, or healthy for that matter, and it’s okay to let them go. That just because at one point in time they were beneficial and mutual does not mean that is the case now. And most importantly, for me to remember that my self-worth does not depend on the amount of friends I have, but only how I feel about myself, and the positive relationships I surround myself with.
To end on a positive note, there are relation ships I have that I know I can count on. It is truly a blessing to have positive, reciprocal relationships, and it is to those people that I say thank you.