Since I was young, I had a hard time maintaining an active social life – especially during the summer months, and especially when I couldn’t drive myself. Because of this, I grew more comfortable with being by myself, and less comfortable socializing with people. Let’s be real – my last year of high school was uncomfortable because I was so afraid to talk to anyone. I could make small talk to some people but froze when it came to everyone else. It was hard to push myself into putting myself out there, because I feared being judged, ridiculed, and left. I was bullied in middle school, and I was used by some peers who I thought were my friends. This continued into high school, but did not last throughout my four years. Although I’m sure by then, it was all done behind my back, if at all. I remember someone calling my name so I turned around to have a volleyball hit me right in my face. You know, it was probably around this time when I first started not to trust people. It became harder for me to not only make friends but keep them as well. Once summer was over, I had to find someone to hang around with because it felt as if the people I hung around with didn’t want me around. I had a couple of friends who stuck by no matter what though, which was more than I could ask for! Even with them, I still had a difficult time pushing myself out of my comfort zone and be vulnerable.
In University, it wasn’t much better. If anything, it was worst because I avoided talking to people. I made myself out to be a loner. When it came time for community college, it wasn’t as easy to hide in the background. The program I took was very outgoing, social and a lot of group projects. It made it easier to build lasting friendships. Same with my years at Dalhousie. My first year, I was more of a loner. I stuck to myself and didn’t reach out as often as I could or should have. It wasn’t until my second and last year where I could connect better with the people I was with, and create those lasting friendships. Although, there were some people who gave me a vibe as if they didn’t want me around. But, at that time I was enjoying myself and said: “fuck it”. Thank goodness for the people who were persistent, and took me for the recluse I was. They became some of the best friendships I have!
I could go on relentlessly about my social ineptitudes, but it’s time I move on. The reason I bring this up is that I’m in a weird spot right now. I have a good core group of friends whom I adore and love spending my time with. However, we don’t always have the same interests. For example, right now, I’m trying to focus more on going to the gym to work on my fitness. My brother-in-law teaches a Combat class which I go too; my sister and brother go as well. I look forward to those classes when I can get to them. It makes it easier to go, and more enjoyable when there is a support system. On the other hand, when I do strength training, it’s just me. I don’t have anyone to share that time with, motivate me to go, and so on. It’s during those times I feel lonely. I told my husband, I know I should do things on my own, but I don’t want to have to do everything alone. This even applies to my job. I love where I work, but I am the sole person in my role. I’m by myself. It gets lonely. I have many interests where I can’t share my excitement with anyone. I broke down one day because I wanted to be an independent woman who could do anything she wanted on her own. I’m not that person. Not right now. So, it’s been rough lately staying motivated to do anything I set out to do. Instead of losing weight, I’m gaining. Instead of hanging out with people, I’m hiding. I’m letting my negative self-talk drag me down. This isn’t the path I want to continue down, because I know what it waiting for me. It’s a road I’ve taken many times before, and it isn’t enjoyable. It can take months before I can start shifting my way out from underneath myself.
I’m not against doing things on my own or being able to be content being by myself. There are times when I truly enjoy my solitude. It gives me the opportunity to think deeply, to indulge in my not as popular hobbies, and more. I’ve just come to point in my life, where I want to push myself further. I don’t want to hide as much as I have in the past and still do. I want to find a healthier balance. There are plentiful things, adventures, experiences I would love to do. However, I hold myself back because I don’t have anyone to share them with. I have done somethings on my own, but it can be more enjoyable to share this experiences with others. I can’t hold myself from doing the things I want, because no one else does, but it would be nice if I did. So now, I need to figure out where to go from here. How can I improve my lacking social skills, how can I balance being alone and being with others, and how can I find those people who share the same interests so I don’t have to keep bothering the friends I have with things they don’t want to do (ha!).
Tell me, have you experienced anything similar before? How did you move on, or have you?