having no one present; on one’s own.

Being alone is a strange concept for me. I approach the topic from many different perspectives, all conflicting.

I am an only child and therefore have a nurtured independence and comfort in my own company. I know how to pass time and even sometimes enjoy the time I have to myself in between social interactions. When I was younger, I would go as far as to say that I did not appreciate being bothered once I was in my own head space.

In high school, my friends were not the most social. We didn’t party every weekend or underage drink. We didn’t spend much time together unless it was someone’s birthday, it was school organised, or it was free, which in small town Scotland, didn’t happen much. This also meant that I don’t exactly remember how I spent my youthful nights. In the most part, I would go to training or study.

The experience of moving into a flat of seven people, all of whom had different characters, childhoods, and experiences, changed me from alone to lonely. Two of them socialise if and when they choose, and appreciate their own space. Two of them use drinking and reality television to socialise with whoever will open a bottle with them. The remaining two, I can’t define. They are neither antisocial or hypersocial. They are what some may call balanced, or normal. I do not feel akin to any of these. I feel like I need people. I don’t care what we are doing or if we are doing anything at all, but being alone is not something I would now ever choose to be. Even to sit in silence in the company of another is better than to be left alone, with the company of my thoughts, and often my demons.

No one really tells you that your years of adolescence will be your most emotionally and mentally challenging. You’re told you will be shaped, you will be defined and you will become an adult in an adult’s world. What they don’t tell you is that for those years you will live a life of pure and terrifying uncertainty. Your thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, outlooks and opinions can change at any moment, for any or no reason. The little things will make you think and the big things will make you think of nothing else.

Today I made a decision to stop aiding the emotional turmoil of being an adolescent. I decided that I need to create a level of consistency and direction in my thoughts, feelings, wants, needs, outlooks and opinions. In order to do this, I need to stop worrying about what other people think about them. To put it in a cliche: I need to work on me, and I must do it alone.

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