I don’t mean for this post to sound quite so pretentious right off the bat, but I’m feeling rather contemplative and have the need (for speed) to get everything down.
I don’t think I’ll ever dislike summer - even though some are rougher than others, the general feel of everything settles something in me. and maybe it’s something cosmic, like how I’m a summer baby, or maybe it’s the fact I could listen to the sounds of summer nights from a sunset to sunrise - stare at the sky, mouth agape, the skies from twilight to dusk like works of art, clouds like wisps of cotton candy. whatever the reason, contentment resides deep for 3 months. and sometimes, I feel the desire to run and be recklessly young again. though my parents were notoriously strict with me, I still had the few summer nights of mayhem … and by mayhem I mean eating at the town diner and going to an elementary school playground. as tame as it sounds, I felt truly my age in those moments. in retrospect, it felt like I was living one of those teenage music videos, and that’s how I perceive them now. I long for that feeling again - of youth, of freedom, of carefree days. and more than that: of belonging and being with people that knew how to make the most of this small town of ours.
often I feel the burden of these memories. the person I am now, and have always been, is someone that enjoys being alone and knows the distinction between being lonely and being alone … despite not having been able to articulate it for quite some time, or be okay with it for that matter. that’s not to say I don’t enjoy company, but I realize now that though I was truly happy in those moments, I was relying on their acceptance of me to fuel my self esteem and sense of self worth. not to an unhealthy degree, but nonetheless, the reliance was there. I look back on those times fondly, but I’ve also given up the ghost in trying to ‘be like everyone else’ - shape my relationships the way that is traditionally accepted. everyone wants that group of close friends; the 3 girls and 3 boys clique that rely on each other for daily support from the small to the big. the way television has sold us this dynamic and relationship has been wildly successful, if people that have said “I wish I had a friend group like (friends/how i met your mother/happy endings/etc.” is anything to go by. and maybe that’s the way many people naturally group together and depend on one another, but it’s not the way I do. I have several groups of good/best friends that consist of 3 people or of 6 people, but we certainly do not do everything together. we have our own lives and other friends and families, and ourselves that we put time and energy into. life exists outside of the clique.
for years I wanted that small, intimate group of people that I essentially wanted to be codependent on/with. (and I had it at one point, but even that didn’t look like the way it does on tv. some of us were closer with others, some of us harnessed some irritation towards others, some of us were never on the same page as others. because friendships are these full, complex, time consuming things that aren’t all fun and sun shine. I digress.) but I realized that I’m not someone that does codependency at all.
I enjoyed being an independent person, but I simultaneously wanted to be reliant on this ideal group of friends. you can see there was a logical error here.
in college, I started to question all the social norms that I was more accepting of in high school. I came to terms with the person I always knew I was, but suppressed because being by yourself is socially frowned upon - long after high school, even. while in grade school they call you a ‘loner’, the older you get, people start to pity you instead of write you off. I’d always felt guilty about wanting to be by myself, and I can’t say that I’ve completely transcended social norms because it still bothers me sometimes, but I’ve learned that I have to stop ridiculing myself for behavior that comes naturally to me. I shouldn’t keep feeling guilty and upset with myself when I want to be alone, or haven’t seen my friends in more than a week. people may perceive this is socially unacceptable or strange, but why should I keep doing things only because other people have told me I have to be a certain way to be seen as normal. I don’t want to be normal, or seen as ‘normal’ by people whose opinions I could care less about … I want to be solitary and solid, I want to find my identity in myself and my God, not in others or their flawed perceptions.