on feeling lost and looking for a found
When you’re feeling stuck in a place, it is so difficult to feel like you can move. It truly is like a quicksand that makes it near impossible to gain any momentum, but if you stand still you’re slowly sinking downward, being pulled in by what surrounds you. If I’m being honest, I’ve relied heavily on my waning mental reserves this past year and a half while being at home, living with a parent, as an adult. It’s been difficult, and I can feel myself retreating at times, and really wallowing in the isolation.
I’ve oftentimes written on friendship. The delight and dejection friendship and community brings to my life. It’s an area of relationships that I truly do hold dear to me. Friendship is a choosing to love the other without much else. Yes, it may stem from a basis of shared interests, or forced proximity, but to maintain any level of friendship should be seen as an expression of love. Of course, things can change, and the two people can have differing views and needs, but one would always hope to evolve as each grows, but that may not always be the case. It’s been a conscious effort on my part this past year to see what that means for me. Where have I changed in my needs, and who has changed in their needs and views of me? I’ve been hurt by some, and I’m sure I’ve hurt others—maybe unintentionally on my end, maybe unintentional on theirs. I’ve been doing my best to unpack whatever feelings that have come up from any loss, but also to be thankful for the time had together. In the past, though, I’ve found that I’ve focused so much of myself in the context of my interpersonal relationships, and they’d become some balm of distraction from my own inner unease. Am I truly okay with myself? Do I glom on to people and relationships as a means to make myself feel better? Where is the line?
I feel like we’ve been seeing more and more think pieces and articles discussing friendship. I find myself unintentionally eavesdropping on strangers’ conversations about making friends as adults, especially in a post-Covid world. I have these conversations with my friends in person, online, over text, voice notes. I used to feel like I was always the one putting in the effort in a relationship. Every so often, I still do. (Mind you: this is outside of growing and changing roles in our individual lives that require us to shift our attention to adapt to new and expanding facets to our identities.) Yet, I feel like I’ve now opened up my eyes to those who have been putting in the effort. Seeing outside my hurt feelings, and shortsighted moments of ego. To those who reach out, or send that text or meme that also has them thinking of me. To those who try, and are trying. But, what of keeping new friends? What of making new friends? When in-person friendship does still hold weight, how do I make this all happen? I feel like this is an ever-persisting struggle, and is the answer “activities?”
In my isolation in the suburbs, and this new phase of my life … I’ve distracted myself through my unemployment (my sabbatical) with my hobbies and finding ease in my leisure time. I’ve taken to more cozy gaming (please, if you know me, I am not one to deal with much combat), and reading a lot more. I’m back to journaling, and using a physical planner, and documenting moments of joy for memory-keeping. Picking up my knitting needles, and watching Korean dramas. I’ll force my best friend to watch only two episodes of Emily in Paris at a time, and we’ll text each other from our respective couches with our reactions. Though, I guess I’m not technically unemployed, as I’ve started working at a retail shop that, I feel, is quite fitting, and I remember the joys of helping people find what they’re looking for. These continue to be solo activities, and I’m reminded of a quick text exchange with another friend, as we were discussing calling ourselves “homebodies” and I felt myself bristle at that label. Am I a homebody? Has the pandemic lockdowns forced me into this comfort with always being at home? Do I still like going out? There’s nothing wrong with being a homebody! I just listed all these activities that are perfect for the homebody. I realize that I still yearn to spend time with my friends, but do I want to do that outside the home?
I feel like I’ve been wading through a fog, as I’ve been adjusting to a new environment, and shifting mindset about certain areas of life. This is to say: I don’t think anyone is ever not lost. There’s a sense of searching and wandering to find new aspects of ourselves. I’m realizing, though, how grateful I am for the relationships I’ve cultivated over the years, and will continue to work on those (and hope for the reciprocation). I know I’ve been quiet for a long while on the newsletter front, and I feel like I have more to say again.
How I Met Your Father, Season 2 (Hulu/Disney+)
Crash Course in Romance (Netflix)
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