Misgivings and Reminders

{{another unplanned post, but it is for release}}

This time of year does not get better, with each passing year. I am not sure why that is, but it always springs up this sense of dread as soon as June draws to a close.

Looking through journals, planners, and social media posts from the past two years (excluding deleted accounts), I try to make sense of it, like I am one of the members of the Behavioral Analysis Unit. (Currently, Criminal Minds is my sort of calm meditation.) My profile shows that it is around this time of year that I find myself feeling lonely–a constant that has stayed since high school.

It’s silly, right? I should have outgrown that stage by the time I entered adulthood. Everyone else has. Why haven’t I?

It does not help that the Internet permeates into our real lives–though it is now questionable if “real” marks an actual distinction, since the integration and ubiquity of World Wide Web in recent years. We pour ourselves into online spheres, whether it is the best parts of daily ourselves or the worst parts of our misery. Bottom line, the Internet becomes our collective release.

Sometimes I am glad that the Internet exists in my lifetime. Without it, I would not be able to stay connected to certain people that live far away from me. I would not be able to find my network to help me with my future journey in academia, literature, and media. I would not believe that a life outside my suburban bubble was possible.

I would probably end up like Madame Bovary, Jane Eyre, maybe. (I’m definitely Emily Dickinson, but with Internet access.)

But there are other times that the online world gives me dread, especially around this time. In the midst of world news, national news, and personal grievances, there will always be a subsection dedicated to happy forgetfulness.

Teenager-me is urging adult-me to be real here: I will always see posts made by former associations having a good time… and I am not there. Is it petty to care about that? Well, on behalf of teenager-me, I must say that it hurts us–to remember the times when we were still on good terms, to remember that we were part of a collective that fed each other with positive energy, to remember that our younger years were best spent with happy times of carefree spirit and hopes for the future.

But between that time and now, something happened to cause friction, which spread like wildfire, which fizzled out, which dissolved. Somehow, I found myself standing on the edge of the happy circle, with my back towards the deep canyon. But I prayed to not submit myself to falling backwards, in hopes that everyone will change their mind and invite me back in.

It is in these times when I feel lonely, that I remind myself that I have a brother. But that also has changed…

I only had one sibling. That one sibling lived my life, especially with me. He knew how I thought, feel, speak, and reacted to the world around me. He was my only witness to this life I am living. And sadly, we won’t get to see what comes next.

I have no one else close to me, whom I can turn to for help, for consolation, for defense.

But that is not to say that I am ungrateful for the friends, colleagues, and confidants that have been with me through this process. You have shown me that I do not have to walk alone; you will be there for me, if and when I ask. But can that replace what was taken from me?

The lonely feeling takes too long to pass, but it will eventually. It is in these times that I forget what “temporary” means. Maybe I do not need to be invited to every outing. Maybe I do not need to show off my “best” parts to the public, because we all know that our “worst” parts cannot always be accepted by others. But what I want most is to not feel lonely any longer.

What were my glory days? Folks say that they are the ones when you were young. That suggests that you would have used up all of your glory by the time you reach adulthood. It is like saying that you should be living as a miserable adult, with no way of thriving or striving in your older years.

But I say that my glory days are the ones where I feel most grateful for being alive. Isolated events spread out sporadically in this timeline, are my reminders of why I am still here. There were times when I could have clocked out… but I remembered to live for something beyond myself. In a way, I chose to live through the dreadful times of feeling lonely than to exit into an unsettling peaceful sleep.

How long will this lonely period last, this time?

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