Loneliness

It could be considered sad that my first ~official~ post is about loneliness and not about something more exciting, but I’ve been thinking about this subject lately and wanted to give it a poke.

For those of you who don’t know, I’m in DC for the summer doing the classic intern-type thing. I’ve been here almost a week – a week filled with major growing up in my opinion. For example, I always took irons for granted. I’ve always had them wherever I’ve gone, be it my home in Minnesota (RIP) or my home in Wellesley. So arriving in DC and realizing I needed to iron out my crinkled work clothes came as a slight shock. Update: still don’t have an iron. Hopefully I’ll take a trip to Target tomorrow. I have to buy that along with a frying pan because my roommate does not own one(???)

Now I’m obviously not completely “adult” because my parents are funding basically all my summer (thanks guys if you’re reading this) so I’m not even spending most of my own money. But there are things I really never learned how to do like make any food besides pasta or remember that you do in fact need your key when you leave your apartment and that you really need to lock the door behind you because this is in fact the real world and not Wellesley (a fact I remind myself of every time I walk out the door).

What I’m getting at is that, in my opinion, growing up is a little lonely. It’s lonely because you make stupid mistakes that you don’t want to admit to anyone but yourself, and it’s lonely because no one is going through it quite in the same way that you are. I feel kinda dumb that I didn’t think to bring an iron, or that I haven’t really lived in the real world on my own even though I’m 20. Humans are pack animals; we enjoy our cliques and want to be accepted. To many people acceptance means shared backgrounds and opinions, so you gotta act just right and pretend like you know what’s going on even if you had no idea how to successfully wear a blazer until a week ago.

Humans also enjoy comfort and routine, and when you take a human out of her happy(?) routine and dump her in a city (hi, hello, that’s me) she can get a little lonely. Simply put, she misses her pack. The thing is, I know big cities. I can handle big cities. I just was not expecting the isolation that comes with actually living in a big city. I see all these strangers riding the Metro back and forth and I wonder if they have friends and I very much hope they do.

I often think about the many faces at Wellesley that I don’t see too much because their mode of operation is room -> class -> room -> occasional food -> room. If they’re happy with this, awesome! But I know Wellesley can be isolating and it’s very easy to stay in your own bubble within a bubble for an entire semester and not do anything, go out, or see anyone. Now imagine this on a city-wide scale and all the lonely workers going from apartment -> work -> occasional food -> apartment. This isn’t a novel idea but I think sometimes those people disappear into the woodwork. I don’t like that, and I hope that this does not happen to me. It probably won’t but it definitely can feel like it sometimes.

I’m going to connect this to Caitlyn Jenner really quickly too. I don’t watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians and I have only occasionally stalked Kylie Jenner on Instagram, so I honestly don’t know much about Caitlyn. However, I’ve been reading the news a lot lately because that’s a large part of my intern duties, and the amount of hateful articles and comments I’ve come across regarding Caitlyn has been ridiculous. Like why do you people care in the first place?

My point though is that I can imagine she must have felt very lonely for several long decades because she wasn’t living as herself. Remember when I said humans are pack animals? We want to be accepted and we’re terrified of fucking up. This is inevitable at one point in our lives, which is why our fear of fucking up is at a constant eleven on a scale of one to ten. So anyone out there who is criticising her and being dumb about this whole thing (definition of understatement), just remember that you’ve probably been lonely at one point in your life. Take that feeling, multiply it tenfold for a couple decades, and then, after years of this soul-crushing loneliness, push yourself to finally try to make some friends with the looming idea that you might say something incredibly stupid. That takes a lot of energy and soul and that’s probably nowhere near what she’s been going through. So like, lay off a little. We’re all human and not having a shared background with someone doesn’t mean you can’t try and understand them a little bit.

Anyways, I think I’ve exhausted my madly typing hands enough so I’m going to stop there.

If you read this whole thing, congratulations you’ve passed!

P.S. Also I discovered you can write in different alphabets, so नमस्ते to you all.

 

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1 Comment

  1. coaster

     /  June 9, 2015

    i love your thoughts on growing up/masquerading as an adult/big city life! i often think about what life will be like after wellesley, when we’re separated from our “packs” for the first time…

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