If you were to ask me if I feared being “alone” I would more than likely say no, though I do admit I have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) that can be pretty strong sometimes. I am naturally an independent person through the way I was raised. Heck, I even up and moved to the other side of the world without even blinking an eye right after graduating from University and I haven’t looked back.
Recently though, I have had the feeling of being alone quite a lot, even when I am not alone. When I talk to the people close to me about this, they seem to all point out that maybe it’s not feeling alone, but maybe feeling unfulfilled. I began to think what that could mean and I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t doing much for myself recently. What I mean by this is that all of my efforts in the past year or so have been put into things for other people mostly and not for myself. All of the things that I want or want to do, I push off to the side with the excuse of “I have no one who wants to do it with me” or “I will be missing out on something else, so I don’t have time to do that thing I want to do”. In return, it has put me into a slump where I am waiting on others to do things that I want to do for the “experience”. It’s basically that I am relying on others to dictate my actions and I have gotten so used to putting effort into something that is not for myself that I get hurt when they do not want to do something with me I want to do, when I would do for them if they asked me. See where that is weird? It is something I personally want to do but I am not doing it because I am waiting for someone else.
If I already know that it is weird, why haven’t I stopped yet? Well, if you break this situation down even further you get one more piece of the puzzle. As I get older, experiences matter a lot more than actual physical things to me. Sure, I have a whole list of designer things that I want from Prada, Louis Vuttion, etc, but spending time with the people who are special to me and doing experience things with them is priceless. At the same time, I can’t always expect them to be able to do those things with me all the time either. As time goes on, everyone’s lives get busy as they enter into their middle/ late 20’s and it is not easy to schedule things to do with those people. Everybody has their own ambitions and priorities and scheduling around all of those is impossible. Everybody else is being “selfish” and balancing their ambitions and priorities where they can, and I am still sitting here at a roadblock, bending myself to others just to be able to have just a sliver more of that time. Is it really worth that much time and effort and mental strain to keep on bending to others like that for just another small sliver? Or is it better to cherish the amount of time that you actually get instead? The balance of doing things with others and being okay with doing things on my own is a balance I have yet to find in myself, I suppose. I have gone to the extreme of not doing anything because no one wants to do it with me… and now maybe its time to go towards the other extreme and see what happens.
So now this brings me to the real point of this post. I have decided I need to start to tackle this issue head on and free myself of this “loneliness” mentality. It is not going to happen over night, but to start I will be going on trips to photograph and take video like I have wanted to for a long time. If my friends are free at that time, they are welcome to join me on my adventures, but if they cannot then I will venture out into on my own and have just as good of a time. There are so many things that I have yet to see in even the Kansai area and some of the things on my list include Wakayama, Kobe, and even venturing out back to Kyoto, where I lived for 2 years, and seeing some of the temples and areas that has to offer. Maybe I will even venture out to Okayama!
I hope this musing has helped you if you are in a similar situation. This mentality can be crushing and make you feel like you are so insignificant and not heard, but there is hope! You have to start with venturing out and finding what will help you.
P.S. Sometimes just one harsh talking to from a close friend can also help too, even if it is not what you want to hear. Cherish those people in your life, as they will be the ones that support you through this time of growth. It is one more reminder that you are not alone.