Beginnings are always tough. Mostly because they involved having said goodbye to something. I am the typical “don’t know it until you don’t got it” kind of a person. Therefore, beginnings are especially tough for me. I am constantly looking back, missing the glorious days of familiarity, and it doesn’t even matter whether it was actually wonderful or not. But wouldn’t you want to have something to miss, anyways? Or maybe it’s nice not to look back and just move on forward. There always needs to be a balance, but more on that some other time.
I recently had a new beginning: new place, new people, new world. It’s daunting. It’s exhausting. It’s exciting as well, but my mind and body can’t handle this much input all at once – though you’d think if I hate it so much, why I would do it so many times. I wonder the same thing. And everyday people ask me the same thing. “How’s it going?” And I’d say “Tired”, while rolling my eyes. And then I’d come up with an explanation to why I am tired – jetlag, much stuff going on, little sleep, so on and so forth.
The thing is it’s true. I am very much tired. But is that all? A few days ago, one of my closest friends asked me how I was doing. And since I trust her and lover her, I told her how I actually was: I was sad; I was nostalgic; I was homesick; I was lonely; I was scared – I was worried. I was all these things, and yet I would never say this to just about anyone, when I have no problem dishing out the oh-so-casual “tired” to everyone I talk to.
Unintentionally, we’ve all built our identity and self-worth so much from others. We’re worth it when we’re popular; we’re worth it when others tell us we’re beautiful; we’re worth it when we have much to put on Instagram and Facebook where everyone can see. And so, telling people that we’re feeling lonely is so much harder than telling them we’re tired. Like there’s a degree of “coolness” in feeling different kinds of lousy.
But really. Being vulnerable and revealing your heart to others is risky. It’s so easy to shake off being tired – sleep, rest, good food. It’s quite self-manageable. But what can you do when you feel alone? In theory, we’re supposed to be content with ourselves and be able to be “alone” without being “lonely.” But life gets more complicated. Lots of things are easier said than done. So what would be a quick fix? Being with people. And just how do you do that?
It’s hard asking others for what we want. It can be tough to let others know that you’re struggling. It’s a tough world out there. You might get hurt. But at the end of a lot of ‘I feel alone’, maybe you will come across someone who will say “You have me.” Then all will be slightly better. And the world is not that bad after all.
So maybe, just maybe, when you’re asked how you’re doing, tell them how you actually feel once in a while; you might be surprised.
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