When I was roughly 21, I sat down and wondered what would become of me. I felt very alone at that moment, and wondered when it would change. I felt badly about myself and realized that something had to give, that I couldn’t go on like that indefinitely. And I realized that 1 of 2 things were bound to happen:
Either I was going to find someone to spend my life with successfully, or I would get used to being alone.
The latter frightened me terribly. Somehow, the idea that I would grow numb to the loneliness and find a way to be happy by myself, seemed horrifying. Perhaps more accurately, the need for such an adaption did.
I based this idea of mutual exclusion on the observation that, once people get used to being single, they adapt poorly to a relationship. Once they have established their own habits and way of life, it is very hard to change them to allow space for someone else.
The longer you are alone, the lower your chance of escaping it.
Roughly 10 years later, it seems I was right. It appears that 1 of these 2 did indeed happen, and sadly it was not the option I was hoping for.
I’ve noticed lately that I feel stronger, more confident when walking into some place by myself. When I face similar obstacles to those I did a few years ago, I can see much more determination and comfort inside myself. Essentially, this is quite welcome, as it allows me to enjoy tackling those challenges a lot more. It gives me room to improve at my job and life in general.
What I don’t like so much, is the implication that I just got used to solving problems by myself. It appears that I am learning to dig up the confidence that I would normally get from the support of someone at my side.
I could start elaborating about the suckage of being single all over again, but I have done so plenty in the past and that ‘cease and desist’ letter from the Linkin Park management specifically asked to stop whining so much.
And in truth, it’s not all that bad. Not anymore. You get used to it. After a while, it gets less awkward to have friends kissing in your ear. You start to feel less guilty ogling them barbarously when they’re not looking. You learn to parry the creeping thoughts, the questions that await you when you come home in an empty house, that once seemed so existentially important.
Those questions are the biggest hurdle. Those doubts that undermine your character, that force you to wonder about your decisions time and time again.
At a certain point, you lose your patience, and set your foot down against them. From that point on, I was surprised at how easily I silenced the voices, the questions, the doubts, the creeping thoughts.
I did right. Despite the outcome, I made the right decisions. It was good that I broke up with that one person years ago. There was no other choice than to walk away from that person who lost me like a bad habit. I would never have worked out.
This is how the world works. My conceptions are true, and unless proven otherwise, I can stick by them, feeling pride for the level of maturity that I reached.
My skills matter. I have a place in this world. My methods are effective. My faults are excusable.
The way I dress, the way I act, the way I decorate my own damn space, they are who and what I am and although there is no one to share them with, they have value. They make up my character and with that character there is nothing wrong.
I am worthy of love, regardless of the amount that I receive. I am worthy of respect, regardless of the mistakes I may have made. I am worthy of pride, regardless of any disappointment I generate within myself or others.
And so, I cast myself in stone, lest I crumble. I conclude for myself that my doubts are irrational and grow hard-headed, stubborn, to become strong enough to resist the pains life has in stall for me.
And with that, I lose more of my ability to adjust to my fellow man. So that if change would ever come, I’ll have a harder time adjusting to it.
It hurts less now, when I fail to ask someone out. I worry less about that text message I’ve been wanting to send forever. And that’s good, but to some extent I close my eyes to the steps I might have to undertake in order to improve the situation.
If this newly growing shell will save me from future heartache or cause it, is hard to tell. But it seems my money landed on the former, somehow.