I cherish the relationships I have with people immensely. My parents, best friends, all of the acquaintances that make an appearance in my life- they all give me purpose to continue loving and living. There’s something about social interaction that energizes my soul. I love starting a conversation with the cashier at the liquor store or stranger on the bus. I love being surrounded by friends and family. I love meeting new people at parties and forming new relationships with new coworkers. Part of my personality enjoys being surrounded by people constantly, even if no conversation or interaction is exchanged. I prefer to invite my cousin over to sit next to me while I watch TV without talking than being alone. That’s how much I hate being by myself sometimes.
Another part of my personality that I only realized recently is that I actually don’t enjoy being surrounded by people. I don’t know if this shift is because I’ve become more cruel and introverted or because I’ve lost all of the energy needed for social interaction to long days of school and work. I can have all my friends hanging out at the apartment but still choose to go upstairs and lay in bed alone. I can leave a party by myself without feeling the need to walk home with someone or force myself to stay and socialize. I’ve only started to notice this kind of “mad grandpa” behavior recently, but I’ve also gotten closer to figuring out why I choose to separate myself from what I used to enjoy more than anything.
Before, I loved having as many friends as possible and being part of different social groups. I loved hopping around back and forth between different personalities and social events and returning home at the end of the day thinking about how awesome it is to be able to relate to so many different types of people. After high school it seemed like my sphere of relationships started growing smaller. I stopped hanging out with so many people that I started questioning the kinds of friendships I formed. At one point I had people asking me to hangout and years later I’m going through my contacts wondering where all these people went and why they aren’t involved in my life anymore. I have this new, irrational fear of losing everyone I love. The only connections I want to make now are ones that aren’t on the surface. Sure, I love meeting people still and breaking ice. But once all that is done, I don’t really see any of them again.
I finally understood what it meant to be “surrounded by a sea of people and still feel all alone.” I had too many relationships I couldn’t hold onto and didn’t focus on the ones that could have mattered. Now, I prefer building strong relationships with the people I want to surround myself with. I want to have deep conversations and feel connected to people. I’m trying to avoid trusting and relying on “surface” friendships that don’t manifest into something greater once the party has ended or the tab for lunch is placed on the table. These fair-weather friends are great to have fun with, but not to rely on in times of distress. I need more meaningful friendships in my life and less artificial friendships that are founded on mutual classes or friends or organizations. In the end, I choose to be introverted and alone rather than constantly being around people I don’t feel “get me”. Still, I want to meet more people and hopefully find some that make it past insincere surface conversations. Don’t ask me how many units I’m taking or how my love life is going after months of no talk. You don’t care and I don’t care to have you in my life.