DISCLAIMER: This will not be the best blog post you will ever read. I had my reservations in sharing this seeing as it comes from a touchy subject that has been a heavy cross for me this past year. The first draft of this was written in January of 2016… I found it buried in my drafts, never posted. Upon clicking it I realized this was quickly written once upon an evening that I was low on sleep and feeling just frustrated with this certain season in my life. To put it simple, this is me complaining and being a total brat. But to quote a friend, there is beauty in raw vulnerability. Please take this for what it is: a selfish girl (working on it) feeling frustrated in social complacency while wanting authenticity when you’re in your early 20’s and processing plain loneliness. You’ve been warned. Let’s begin.
Powering on my computer was a joke. It took forever and I was lacking patience. That menacing little Apple logo against a white screen, turning on and mocking me. Not to mention the loading bar, take forever and a half to make it’s way from the left of the bar to the right. Then it stopping in the middle for whatever reason just to be cruel to me.
After my laptop finished making me feel perhaps even more pathetic than I already do, signing on, I couldn’t help but think about how much I appreciate how socially acceptable blogging is. When appropriate, even the most closed-off people may aimlessly rant about their current miseries and frustrations… and us, the audience, actually respect their artistic honesty? In the world of fiction, my alter persona should make a point to thank Carrie Bradshaw for the most perfect voice-over blogging. I hope to master this craft as well as you did. Consider this rant mere practice.
So tonight I found myself at dinner with a friend of mine. A friendly meal that started off with pleasantries. After the simple hellos, and introductory small talks about life… the seconds eventually began to drone on as the friend kept ranting on and on about events that I didn’t go, involving friends who no longer are involved with me. And yet this friend is telling all about these fun excursions, hoping to make me feel like I was there? As if I won’t remember how surface level I feel with everyone in their awesome stories? As if I could somehow forget, for a quick moment, the idleness that is the joy of being 23 where your peers aren’t married yet so they have liberty to be selective with the better friends whose lives are more fascinating or seemingly more free than mine.
I sat there at that table, nodding and listening. In honesty, I couldn’t help but look a bit in the distance fading away from that conversation. Floating to the streetlights outside this restaurant. Is this how it is at 23?
Earlier that day I grabbed lunch with my boss, his wife, their daughter, and our priest. We had lunch, explored organic and natural conversations. There was just goodness to it. Simple. Easy. Real. And yet, incredibly rare.
But is that seriously what the wonderful year of 23 is? Real conversations with fully adjusted, socially aware, and considerate people are the ones who are already knee-deep in their vocation? Excluding the toddler. If so, I want to start a coalition of young adults to reform our generation against the hook-up culture, surface-level friendships, and mediocrity as fully inducted members of society. But perhaps that’s for a blog post of another day. I should set better goals.
At 23 I find myself in friendships with good honest people. People I know and trust and whole-heartedly love. But I can’t help but think to myself, “What happened?”
When has this turned into a game of catch-up? Where scheduled meet-ups are for being fully updated on life events and less of camaraderie… just know the bare minimum?
When did it become a one-sided listening session?
When did we limit conversations?
When exactly do these relationships turn from excitement to convenience?
But more pressing, when did I become so selfish?… I fade back to reality, adjust my folded arms and look back at the face of my friend who has yet to notice that I wasn’t listening. They usually don’t. This is 23. A time of finding meaning when you have reached a stage where people have chosen to be meaningless.
Alas, this is 23.
(for a more cohesive excerpt on real loneliness check out Laura Pena’s recent writings)
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