Lonely in a crowd
We've all heard and possibly even felt the notion of being alone and sad in a crowd full of people. An odd concept, yet when you nut it out a perfectly logical one. Perhaps because I'm a ridiculously introverted person who doesn't gain energy from being around people (that I'm not close with), but this seems to be a rather common notion that occurs in so many peoples lives.
Recently, I was surrounded by family and friends for a meal yet despite all of the loveliness from the 'setting', I felt so alone and alienated. I sat there listening to other peoples discussions, going from group to group trying to find some sort of discussion I could contribute too. Yet this didn't really happen, rather I just observed, smiled and cut some cake for people. However the questions that did find me were about the future and school results, which (not to condemn those who ask these questions, but) made me feel more and more unwanted since I'm not following the typical Uni path that is so familiar and expected. So I stuck it out, yet couldn't ignore how deflated I was afterwards. This night occurred after possibly the best two days ever in a REALLY long time. I'd just caught up with those I have wanted to see in ages, ate amazing vegan food and was out and about all day. I went from being surrounded by those who truly 'get' me and my plans, to those who hadn't even heard of my next life phase (because that's very VERY important ergh!). Sorry, it just feels like I'm only ever asked this question these days.
I can usually brush these things off, but this time it sort of stuck. My flow of inspiration that had been turning my cogs for so long ran out, and I felt slow and agitated. I know I've said it before, but I really do mean it. That being, when I'm literally 'living my gap year' (like now, writing a column at 5:30 am, about to do some Duolingo, then write an email, juice, walk the dog and Pilates), I am really very happy. I am passionate about life and excited to move it forward. So I took what I could from this knowledge, and got back into mindfulness colouring. I switch on the 'Carol' soundtrack and shade in a tentacle of an octopus. It completely brings be to the present, and eliminates the past. It motivates me to keep going and finish the octopus (or whatever it may be). A hour exercise that combines the elements of this year that I want to hold close. Being present, motivated and inspired. It's good.
When I'm in this sort of situation however, I do feel like I don't quite fit into a box that society finds easy to send down the production line of life. Really I'm happy with my rather uncertain, yet authentically honest future. However it's not what's been or what's mostly happening now. Perhaps with becoming vegan not just a year ago, I'm more tolerant of the uncomfortable conversations that follow and people's lack of understanding - yet I have to say that I still feel very alone in this crowd of people I know and love.
I'll just have to show them I guess.