Everyone is alone even if they're surrounded by others.
Friday was my birthday. It was the anniversary of a not very special day and a very special day. It was a celebration of joy and sadness and everything in between. It was a tribute to another year in the chapters of life.
On the days before and after I looked at my time machine on Facebook and started to dread the coming moments and proceeding inevitable aftermath. Deep down I knew I would likely be spending it the same way as I had the last. I would be spending it alone... and hopefully not alone in the cold of a car.
The day before there was a reminder of the joy he and I had in what feels like a whole other life. It was also a stinging reminder of foreshadowing that I'm not sure either of us had been prepared for. But that's a different story. There's sadly many of them. The most recent one is over on Once Loved.
This story is not anything really new. Sadly it's something I've written about before in the past. It's about the illusion of friends that technology brings. It's a sad quiet thing that it seems most people don't want to talk about.
A friend of mine mentioned to me a few weeks ago how she was afraid to say things that I do in the public for fear of the repercussions. People freak out at really most any sign of anything beyond happiness. She's seen how painful this has been for me. How having a voice costs me my own voice as well almost as much if not more so.
Funny enough, the time machine showed me that I had an update today with a similar connotation:
That said, it was my birthday on Friday. I got tons and tons of messages from all over. But do you know how many invitations I had to do something?
Not a single one.
On my birthday I ended up getting on a boat and heading out on an adventure alone. I was surrounded by voices on the internet... but no actual person to spend the day with besides myself.
(There will be more about that whole trip later but let's continue.)
A new friend told me recently that he previously thought that I was too cool to talk to him. He had been lurking my page and updates and saw things about me but never thought that I would entertain his friendship or even presence. This person is one of my most treasured people today and it probably sounds absolutely pathetic.
But that's just the way it is for me these days.
This is not to say that my friendships and connections aren't deep... they just aren't as embedded and such as I would hope they would be on days like that. They're also not as embedded when it comes down to certain huge things that my heart would love and adore... when hardships are going on when I need and want a very specific thing that people don't seem to see for whatever reason. I'm completely stupid in that I wish it were blatantly obvious. It's a special kind of care that goes above and beyond...
In a sea of people I feel incredibly alone. It's no wonder that I ended up at sea all alone.
I'm standing in the middle completely nonexistent. The girl fabled to be Ramona Flowers is.. Ramona Flowers... and quiet and alone and... invisible.
Am I too cool for connections?
Too cool for deep embedded conversations?
Too cool for people to reach out to without having to be asked?
Too cool to not be treated as a slave anytime someone does assist?
I don't want to think I am but it seems so.
Two nights ago I helped a woman out that approached me in a coffee shop. She needed resources and I was happy to give them to her. I wish that I could give her far more. She might not even have imaginary friends to write about or talk about. I would love some much to be able to give back.
I wish that I had more people around me that were there beyond just updates. That were more than just glorified "strangers on the internet" as someone from a former group told me the other night.
For the ones that have been there and the ones I have yet to meet that are real... you are ever so treasured. I know that I have a few of them. A couple of them came forward on their own in their own ways and made their presence known and real. One of them even sent me a card. It is incredibly humbling to know just what you have and what you don't.
I think about the things that people have said to me about things. About how some have told me that this is my own doing. And even though their approach is pointed, I do own how ultimately it's just as much about me as it is about all of them. I choose these people to interact with. I have chosen in the past to completely ignore the red flags about interactions with people. Ultimately, it's my own fault as much as it's not.
Star's dad reached out to me online and said that the alone day was a good thing to see who I am. It was frustrating to an extent. I'm well aware of who and what I am... to a beautiful and often painful way. I have the insight and understanding about myself to know just what I am... and just what I could be. I am my own wings and also the block of stone preventing myself from flying.
There is a song that I turn to at times like this. It's called "Always Find a Way" by the Day. It's got some powerful lyrics to it. In the days of Imaginary Friends, you have to find ways to connect, dream, and ultimately press forward. It's strange that despite my desire to have more that I'm ok regardless. Hell, the times that I've gone the furthest have been when I've done it primarily on my own anyway. I'm not entitled to assistance or kindness or any of the in between anyway. It just sucks that embedded compassion is not the default... or that your mileage may vary.
I'm thankful for all of those that I encounter. Great and small. Imaginary and real. The journey is the destination... regardless of who joins you or not. Thanks for being a part of my story even if it's just reading it for now or in the past or even in the future.