For most of my life, I’ve done things alone. I didn’t have a sibling until I was nine. I don’t have any cousins around my age to spend time with, and I didn’t really have many friends all throughout school.
Growing up, I didn’t see it as a problem because I never thought too deep into it. Looking back on it now, it makes me a little sad.
I used to take ballet and piano classes, but I had no friends. I never really went out of my way to befriend anyone. At the same time, no one went out of their way to befriend me.
In middle school and high school, I only really hung out with my best friend. I would always watch people post on social media that they were hanging out on a Friday or Saturday night, while I was at home in bed.
Especially in high school. I would always see my friends post on their Snapchat stories that they’re at a party or just hanging out. I always wanted to go, but I never asked. I didn’t want to invite myself to their plans, I wanted them to invite me.
In high school, it did get to me at times. I wouldn’t cry about it, but it would make me really sad. I would think “is there something wrong with me?” and “why doesn’t anyone care to invite me anywhere?”
When I was 19, I finally got the constant friend group that I thought I always wanted. It was three of us, and we hung out almost every single day. It was fun until I started to feel left out. At times I felt like I was third-wheeling, and I didn’t like it. Both of them ended up going to the University of Albany and they moved to live on campus.
I went from constantly hanging around people to being alone 24/7. I think to me, even though it wasn’t a good friendship, it was better than nothing.
Once again I felt alone, but this time it hit harder. Now when I would see everyone posting on social media that they were at a party or hanging out, I would cry. I started to cry almost every single day about it. All my friends were away at college and the friends I had at home were always busy. I felt so lonely.
I fell into this depression where I just felt so lonely all the time. Even when I was with my family or friends I felt alone. I couldn’t bring myself to talk to literally anyone about it. I didn’t want to bother anyone with my problems, and honestly, I would cry just thinking about it. I started to think that if I wasn’t so shy or introverted, I would have more friends, and I wouldn’t be in this problem.
My life was stagnant like this until the following summer. My friends were back, and we were hanging out all the time. The sadness went away, but then the fall semester came and they all left.
I knew they were going to leave, and I was actually looking forward to being alone. At the time, I was working on my mental health for other reasons. I took days one at a time, and I didn’t even realize I was also working on accepting doing things alone without feeling lonely.
I started to go out to the movies alone and eating alone. I felt comfortable, and I was enjoying my own company.
I looked around me and realized so many other people do activities on their own. I finally began to understand that this is just how life is. You can’t expect to do events with your friends all the time. People get busy. You can’t expect people to be your friend or invite you anywhere. You’re better off with limits.
I also realized that there’s nothing wrong with me being shy and introverted because that’s just how I am. I’m not comfortable enough to go out of my way and befriend people just for the fun of it. Not having a lot of friends growing up allowed me to focus more of my attention and care for my real genuine friends.
Now I enjoy my own company. I look forward to spending time alone because I get to do whatever I want.
I am my own best company.