"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Content with Loneliness

Now Playing: The Only Exception by Paramore (and up until now I had sworn to myself that I'm content with loneliness) 

I look at the writing and musics of my younger and more vulnerable years and remember that I was a very lonely child.

You wouldn't think so, really. Yes, my extended family are all overseas and my nuclear one is rather small, but I grew up in a bustling daycare centre and I have a sister. But I spent a lot of time alone, for varying reasons, most of them voluntary. But I was always lonely.

This loneliness has informed much of my life. I used to cry a lot, for no good reason. I don't always remember how or why I felt so lonely but I remember it cutting my smaller self like a knife. I understood, from a very young age, the concept of feeling alone in a crowd. I wasn't starved of people; in fact, I often felt crowded, suffocated, and in this lack of privacy I learned to be quite a secretive, even sneaky child. But I lacked people to connect with, people I could understand, who understood me. It was a strange kind of isolation.

And this loneliness made me quite a reckless person; I often took dangerous risks with my safety and sanity in an attempt to connect. It gave me an air of desperation, too, or at least a very tenacious persistence; I could never quite let go, never quite give up. And in refusing to bend or or bow down, I broke.

People often thought I was too trusting, too naive, perhaps a little stupid for an otherwise precocious child. But I always knew what I was doing, and I always knew when what I was doing was a bad idea. But the hurt was still a shock - I didn't think I could hurt so badly. I had never been as trusting as people thought I was, but in this loneliness, in the breaking and hurting of my life, I have totally lost my ability to trust. I simply don't...I cannot trust anymore.

When I was sixteen someone painted a pretty picture for me, running away, going to Oxford, chasing dreams and reaching for the stars, and then coming home to warm arms. And I watched that dream shatter in my hands and now, when anyone offers anything, I am immediately afraid. Someone offered me the world once, and I took it, and then realized that I had been left with nothing; and perhaps doing it again will be a leap of faith, or an act of gross stupidity, but either way I will be cursed for a coward or a fool; my reputation always seems to rest on how other people act on me - whenever I do anything with anyone I feel like a puppet, being pulled this way and that. And so I don't take what I am given; I create things for myself. I don't know how many people are like this ghost from my past, driven by a sick need to give love, then take it away.

I have grown content with loneliness. I don't mind it anymore; in fact, I have learned to love it. I love my own company, I love the peace of solitude. But in truth, it doesn't matter if I love it or not. Because, either way, I have had to grow content with loneliness. Nothing else seems safe anymore.

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