Man, I’m not lying when I tell you I’m feeling alone. There’s a difference between being alone and being lonely. Right now I’m surrounded by people, but I don’t feel like I’m one of them (lonely) and my solution is to retreat and be alone.

Not being able to communicate effectively is frustrating.

I can do the opposite and dive into more people, but at the moment I don’t want to. I have the power to make a choice–and I choose to step further into the loneliness and retreat.

I like retreating because it’s hard work to put on a smile and be cheery and friendly and fun. Often, when I’m tired enough I just turn a lot of side-eye and throw shade. Moreso without recognizing it than doing it intentionally.

In my retreat I spend time alone. Binge watching TV, order fast food (in NY Pork Fried Rice w/ Chicken Wings from the Chinese joint…but in Medellín, McDonalds). My last roommate in Brooklyn would do a similar thing. It’s funny because I don’t think we ever called each other out for it, but sometimes we’d meet in the living room or kitchen and sulk.

Though we are two grown men that cook, both of us would have Chinese food in the kitchen.

I think I feel alone because everyone around me is intensely good at Spanish, they’re intensely good at the culture, they’re excellent at talking to anyone (because they’re good at Spanish and know the culture).

Meanwhile, I’m struggling on both ends.

You can call these first world problems. You wouldn’t be the first. I’d probably stuff you in the face if you did it to my face [note: irritable when lonely].

I think it’s normal to wish for someone when we’re lonely. I know I do. Someone to understand deeply and to feel close connection too. Someone to want you and someone to long for. As great as it would be to find an awesome Paisa (that’s what you call a woman from Medellín) to spend my time with and rid this feeling with. I think this feeling is real+normal. When I can feel comfortable being alone and embrace that aloneness without feeling intimidated or worried or anxious or irritable, that’s a better place to start new relationships. It’s also a better place to be–to exist, to live/learn/lead/follow from.

I slipped up and mentioned it to my roomate tonight after working out. I was thirsty for something that reminded me of home. So I went on an hour long quest for McDonalds. After two that were closed and three cab’s, I found one. He said we should go do ____ American thing. I don’t want that, the empathy/sympathy or actions. I appreciate it, but I’m just so used to tackling these things alone that I’d rather sit alone and tackle it. This might be a cool opportunity to learn how other people can help. Maybe it opens me up a bit more. I’m lucky to have such cool people around me that look out.

I only write that to say, I don’t want anyone to do anything differently. I’m making a choice to embrace the loneliness and step into being alone. I think when I can feel okay there, there is a lot more that I can grow. This feeling is just discomfort. And discomfort is what we feel when our muscles tare open..right before they heal bigger and stronger.

I want to observe the feeling with you. And share with you the spectrum of my expedition and emotions on it.

So the best way is through. I’m here. No turning back, only forward.

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