Sunday, 3 May 2015

Pay Attention To Me! Wait, No, Not You...

And other problems of being a spiritually high-maintenance yet emotionally-unavailable introvert.

(I'm a fucking mess what can I say)

In a way, I guess, independence has always kinda been my thing.

Growing up as the second child of early-divorced family - alongside a tempestuous older sister of 2 years my senior - as a kid, I spent a lot of time having arguments fought above my head. I never remember this as traumatic, just a thing that happened that I had no intention of being a part of, so I'd steal away alone to read a book, scrawl on endless scraps of paper trying to plan a treehouse I could build in my Dad's garden, or spend perhaps a little too much time playing computer games.

And honestly, I was perfectly happy.

I had fictional friends and a head full of wonder - I didn't really need much else.

During school I settled at the sort of mediocre level of popularity where I could just about get invited to the pretty girls birthday parties, but still gained no bigger thrill than being the teacher's favourite and getting the highest scores possible.

However, at the end of secondary school that fell apart for me, in a traumatic and bleak part of my life. But that's something I've discussed before and is needless to say again.

But I had to save myself. I had no other option. I was all I had left so I rediscovered what I'd forgotten growing up safe in a bunch of friends - how to operate just as happily by myself. That was when I became really invested in my writing and attempts to self-analyse my mind.

Coming to Uni was like the golden gates of heaven had been opened, and I found myself thrust into a dazzling array of other lost teenagers who all seemed just as delightfully eager to make friends as everyone else. So we did as freshers do and settled into one big giant friendship group of casual acquaintances masquerading as new best friends, people we'd inevitably never speak to again after about half way through second year.

And lo and behold, at the start of third year I found myself becoming increasingly bitter and claustrophobic around so many people I'd never really clicked with in the first place, my soul drained from the constant pretence. Solitude became my friend again as I spent more and more time locked away in my room alone, unable to bear spending time with the people I had to live with. In the end,  history ended up repeating itself in the cruelest way possible, and everything fell apart into a devastatingly lonely and cold void once more.

It was so, so much harder to save myself the second time. Because this time, after perfecting the art of self-analysis to the point of borderline mania, I found myself acutely aware of social conventions, at an abhorrent loss as to how an adult comes to actually 'make a friend' and deduced some pretty tragic conclusions about the kind of human I must be if all I seemed to do was make people hate me.
.
But then, when all light seemed truly lost,

My band boys found me and bought me home.

They were the light I'd been so painfully missing and had been seeking for so long, that click I hadn't found with anyone else at Uni, but was so innate and powerful with them.

After 3 long and lonely years, I finally found my tribe.


I guess what I've come to realise, is that there are three important factors which interplay with one another to govern the sense of happiness and contentment in a person like me.


Independence: A positive - the ease and comfort in which you can lead your own life, regardless of other presences, progresses or interventions. Solitude: A neutral - when you choose to operate alone for either positive or negative reasons. Loneliness: A negative - defined by the lack of other people in your life and the desperate loss of them.

Independence is something naturally ingrained within me, my happiest most natural state of being. But through my unfortunate past and the darkness of mind bought with it, I've had to come to terms with the fact that my independence, or perhaps my solitude in my independence, isn't safe anymore. Sometimes the fear sets in and I suddenly realise that I am not enough to keep myself together anymore. 


I become self-loathingly reckless and desperate in loneliness.

It's so intense and alien a feeling for me that I simply crumple and pine for every lost person and lost time, nostalgia gripping me in it's choking embrace. Being so rare in kind, the missing of each glittering and powerful person, the Silvers I have lost throughout the years becomes crippling, and the sense of loss permeates through my fibre of my bones until I become saturated.

And that's when I panic at the incomprehensibly foreign atmosphere in my mind, and I find myself unable to distinguish between whether it is a specific human person that I miss, or the inspiring and spiritual charge of a person like this that I miss.

Tonight, the band boys, my best friends, are busy with their coursework and can't hang out. And I'm sitting here pretending it's all cool, when really I'm going out of my mind a little bit.

And being such a happily autonomous human, when the loneliness snags you, it's quite the sad realisation of how little options you have when your closest friends are busy, and you realise shit I actually don't have any other friends.

But the painful irony is I have so few friends because I deliberately choose to operate alone. I simply cannot muster the enthusiasm to entertain mere acquaintances or small talk. My spiritual sides craves constant fulfillment.

I need these great looming thunderfoxes of passion, enthusiasm and determination that fill me with electricity and zest for life, who's radical ideas and thoughts bounce off mine gaining momentum toward something positively divine...

Or nothing.

Those people are so rare to find, like my boys, that when they are unavailable or I feel aren't paying enough attention to me, I genuinely feel this almost childlike sense of wounded pride.

It's almost comically tragic how I'll wilfully - if not directly request to be - ignored and neglected by the majority and relish in my solitude, but there are those very few whose ignorance of me is the most frustrating and painful thing in the world to which I find myself able to concentrate on little else til they appease me - because I think so fucking highly of them to begin with that I just crave the honour of their attention.

But maybe...

Maybe that's actually it.

The only way a massively independent introvert who prefers solitude to small talk can ever get lonely, is when that higher level is unfulfilled, that dazzling layer of silverness; the midnight talks about the origins of the universe and excitably whispered plans to take on the world, when that sense of acceptance within this small, almost secretive community of big thinkers and dream-chasers seems inaccessible, and just as before we ever found our tribe, we feel singular again.

But it's not just the home that we miss, the common enthusiasm which unites these rare souls. It's the unique manifestations of this philosophy, each individual character built so different but so perfectly from the same original building blocks of passion, spirit and heart.

It is simultaneously the type of person and the specific people that we miss, because, in fact, we are all made of the same, as if when the universe began, the atoms and stardust that would later go on to build us, somehow were drawn to one another, magnetised by this certain inexplicable force we now all recognise in our bones, and in those of one another.

*

I guess in the end, being a 'spiritually high-maintenance yet emotionally-unavailable introvert with a love hate relationship with solitude', was never gonna be an easy ride.

(God I even hate myself for writing that.)

But the main thing I've learnt from a) being a constant mess and b) writing this blog post, is that there is nothing more essential, life-changing and astronomically empowering than finding your tribe. Whoever, or whatever they may be comprised of, I can tell you, there's a certain kind of loneliness that is entirely inescapable yet remains undetectable, that only becomes apparent to you when you finally find your tribe, and you realise just how much you were missing before you did.

And that's why we gotta stick together. That's what I've always wanted to do with this blog, spread out across the globe and seek the silvers bring them together to create this powerful inspiration grid of extraordinary individuals that can genuinely go on to change the world.


Perhaps I'll never truly find that balance between independence, solitude and loneliness, but maybe that's okay.

There will be losses, there will be loneliness, but there is also unlimited scope for new people to cross my path, and bring another unique aspect of their own creative enlightenment to help keep this spark alive.

And as long as I remain able to analyse the frustrations of the human condition until it makes sense to me, and keep seeking these incredible humans to collaborate on life with, then I know I'd sure as hell rather be a highly-refined and elaborate fucking mess perfectly encased by a handful of precious gems, than a rusted old coin in a sea of pennies.


“People inspire you, or they drain you. PICK THEM WISELY.”







32 comments :

  1. Wonderfully captured what I've been feeling pretty much my whole life. Thank you for touching my heart.

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  2. Absolutely adore this post Katie. I have this thing where I enjoy being alone until I have no choice but to spend an evening in my room because my group of friends are busy. I really related to this, nice to know I'm not the only one!

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  3. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I relate to balancing act of being independent and introverted and feeling lonely. I have yet to find my group of true friends who I can physically go (my friends are basically all online at this point) to if I'm down or feeling emotional. It really does suck trying to make friends as an adult.

    insidesai.co.uk

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  4. Holy shit. You have described exactly word for word how I've been feeling right now and it's ridiculously scary. I always feel like I can relate to the majority of your posts but this one is beyond accurate. I'm yet to find my 'tribe' and the loneliness is starting to get unbearable yet I'm constantly blaming myself for not deliberately going out of my way to try and make friends. Thank you for this. You've made me aware of how I'm not the only 'weirdo' here, ha. You and your blog both make me happy.

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  5. What the fuck, you've nailed that in the head of how I've been feeling lately. I gotta to remind myself every now and then of how fortunate I am of having two very close friends. Friends that I connect creatively and spiritually. One I've known for years and the other one I've known for a few years. Both are fan-fucking-tastic human beings. When they are too busy to hang out, I start to feel loneliness creeping in my soul. As much as I love being alone, I do crave for their company. I suppose it is better to have rare souls I hold dear, than have a lot of acquaintances. I agree it is powerful to have own tribe. I'm so loyal to the few who join in my circle. Perhaps I'll by lucky enough to meet a few special people as life goes on.

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  6. I totally understand on some level, finding a balance between solitude and loneliness. I would have used to call myself an extrovert but not anymore, it's funny how you can become so different along the way, or perhaps finally understand yourself. I like to be by myself a lot but then sometimes all of a sudden it becomes crushing.
    Tegan xx - Permanent Procrastination

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  7. I struggle with one of the same issues... I'm an introvert and sometimes I feel like I push people away when I don't want them - went I need alone time or want to grow, and then I become lonely and expect them to hop right back on board with me. Which isn't fair to either of us. I'm struggling to find a balance with it, and I wish you the best of luck on your similar journey.

    Brooke | brookewrote

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  8. As a kid, I was always an extrovert and it was always a choice to be independent. Halfway through high school, I began more aware of my sometimes-loneliness-sometimes-solitude before it eventually became loneliness. Finding your tribe is perhaps the remedy to these issues, but I feel as though it's gotten to the point where my solitude has distanced me from my tribute - I feel disjointed. I wish you all the best in finding that balance whilst you're in NYC x

    Mel // izzipenelope

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  9. I've never made friends all my school life. It was just that I never liked to surround myself with people and let them get close to me. But in college, things changed. Making friends changed ME. I like people now, I love connecting with real life people and getting to know more of them. I love how you used this word tribe, it actually feels like belonging to a tribe that keeps you going!

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  10. This Seinfeld quote suits me the best "Why does everyone always say [you'll like him]? I hate everyone. Why would I like him?" - And reading your article I could only agree that there are many others who just happy to be alone and hate everyone around... As they say don't feel bad that I hate you, I just hate everyone:)

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  11. Perfect, as always. You've captured our thoughts and feelings, laying them out for all to see but in a way that feels safe and familiar. Thank you

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