Solitude is something I’ve grown accustomed to. There is comfort in knowing no other person can ruin the sanctuary I have built for myself throughout the years of constantly struggling and overthinking. When you’ve spent so much time getting to know yourself, you get to decide who you are and where you’re headed. I have an idea of what I’d like my future to look like, and it involves reaching some semblance of success. My present actions and decisions all cater towards the life I am slowly trying to build for myself, and yet I sometimes feel as though I am not doing enough.
I constantly question whether I should be doing more in order to secure the future I constantly daydream about. There are no comparisons being drawn between me and another individual, for I’ve never been one to juxtapose. However, there are times where I get too into my head about how slowly things seem to be transpiring. Am I behind? Is it too late for me? Did I make the wrong decision, and will this come back to me later on? They say the most important relationship in life is the one you have with yourself, but what if you no longer necessarily like what you see? What if the view we have of ourselves becomes distorted to the point where we are no longer able to differentiate between what is factual or what is real?
Fact vs. reality. True vs. false? Is there a way for us to figure out whether our realities are true? It is a factual truth that I am twenty-three and I will be turning twenty-four soon, this is also my reality which at times is off putting. I feel that I’m behind in life, for I should be a college graduate by now. Is this indeed a fact? I know it’s my reality, but is it true or false? “Imagine if you didn’t drop out, you wouldn’t have spent those two years in LA”, was a statement my friend had made when I voiced these concerns aloud. This is true, it is a reality, and I believe it is a fact. I would not have experienced living in that city if I hadn’t felt lost at twenty, nor would I be comfortable with solitude if I hadn’t spent those two years alone in Southern California.
My mind goes back and forth all day, everyday, in regards to other scenarios as well. Could I have done more when I was living in Los Angeles? What if I had stayed and struggled instead of playing it smart and moving back home to ensure my educational journey? I considered this to be the better option, but was it really? Am I pursuing the right career, or I am listening to what others believe is right for me? When two of my friends said, “I can see you being a creative director”, was this a true statement? Since one of these individuals is no longer in my life, is the value of their statement negated? What about the opinions of others when they claim, “You’re such a great writer, you should pursue that instead”, are their perspectives true? What about the fact that I sometimes doubt myself too much? I am scared of a reality in which I do not achieve the lifestyle I desire so badly. I am scared that I’ll get stuck living in a city I feel I’ve outgrown. Self doubt seems to forever pursue me as I go back and forth between countless scenarios, and I get lost in all the negativity that begins to surround me.
Am I truly doing enough?
Am I enough?
When I get into these phases, it’s hard to pull myself out of them. I spend too much time mulling over things I cannot change, and it exacerbates my insecurities to their core. Joan Didion once wrote, “Innocence ends when one is stripped of the delusion that one likes oneself”, so I guess my innocence is no longer intact, but I can’t remember exactly when I realized I do not always like myself. No one likes to admit this fact, even more so when you realize that the disdain you feel towards yourself is because of your supposed inadequacies and shortcomings. I ruminate over the mistakes I’ve made, the mishaps that have occured, and other afflictions that transpired as a result of my faults. Internalization becomes the reason for the phases I go through in which I desire nothing else than to be left completely alone, for I begin to believe the negative connotations I place upon myself.
Am I truly this flawed?
I am addicted to solitude but addictions start to become detrimental, and I am beginning to learn that it is in fact okay, to open myself up to the beautiful relationships surrounding me. We come across so many connections throughout our lifetime, that it can all become so convoluted. When exactly did we meet, and how did the initial meeting transpire into a stronger connection? Is there a moment in time where both parties decide to stick to each other, and does this decision come simultaneously? Or does each respective individual decide at their own pace that they want to stay in someone else’s life? What exactly drew each person to the other in the first place? Yes, the relationship one has with oneself is important, this I understand, but I am realizing that sometimes the relationship one has with oneself can become overly critical. This is when I finally reach my breaking point and decide to reach out to those I consider to be the pieces of my heart, who just so happen to appear unto the world in human form.
“I wish you could see yourself the way I see you”, is what I’m hearing more of nowadays, and it’s true, I wish I could see myself the way my friends see me, for they have seen me at my lowest, most selfish, and heartbroken forms. Yet they still regard me as someone who is wonderful and deserving of the goodness the world has to offer. This is something I fail to consider for myself at times, but these people constantly remind me otherwise. I do not know when I decided I loved them, I cannot even recall the first time we met. It’s been years since the trajectories of their lives began merging with mine, and yet I feel as though I’ve known them for a lifetime. It feels as though they’ve always been there, but it just took some time for our souls to meet. I cannot even remember when I decided I’d stay in their life, but I know I never want them to leave mine.
“You are so special”, is something I never considered someone would say to me in this lifetime, yet it was told to me by a friend with such intent that I know this statement is sincere. “You are so beautiful and smart and funny and strong…”, these are the words that were given to me by another friend during a time where I failed to see this in myself, and they reverberate in me whenever I need to feel secure. I know romantic love is meant to be the pinnacle of all connections, but I feel with such truthfulness that the love I receive from my platonic relationships will be the most genuine and benevolent type of love I will ever get to experience. When I forget who I am, I know I have these individuals to help me recollect what is factually true. I can be as vulnerable as I want to be with them, and isn’t that what everyone strives for? The chance to be vulnerable, to let your guard down once a connection has been solidified.
“Can you remind me of my worth in an honest way? Nothing blown up, just real.”
“Independent, self aware, unselfish, loving, important.”
I have a safety net to catch me whenever I fall into my despair, but I know that in the end however deep I fall the landing will merely be a soft blow.