You are more than your loneliness.

A few weeks ago, my friend and I were talking about what we imagined each of our weddings to be like — everything from the theme and colors to cake flavors to alcohol beverages. One of the topics included which of my friends would be my bridesmaids and which of his friends would be his groomsmen. Within less than a minute, he listed a few of his male friends that he would choose to be his groomsmen. However, when it was my turn, I could not utter a single name. Despite that we moved past the question easily, I internalized this as a reflection of the connections — or lack thereof — I have made throughout life, or specifically college. It dawned on me then that the loneliness I’ve been feeling, the loneliness I’ve been struggling with and attempting to casually brush off may have very real implications for my future. My friend told me earlier that some of the friends you make in college are the ones that are supposed to be at your wedding, the ones that are supposed to be your bridesmaids or groomsmen. Had I seriously spent three years in college without making a good number of very close friends?

It certainly seemed that way.

The loneliness I had been feeling for the past couple of years, especially at the beginning of college, was attributed to a combination of the following: Commuter isolation, zero or very little involvements on campus, being preoccupied with one person in a relationship, and post-breakup isolation. For the most part, I’ve overcome these obstacles. There are days where I feel like the empowered boss-ass bitch I truly am, but social media reminds me of my loneliness and therefore has made me bitter about “how far I’ve come.” It’s disheartening to watch snapchat stories or open snaps that were accidentally sent to me, only to find out that the people I thought I was close to were having fun without me. The other ways in which I feel lonely include other little mishaps — instances in which people never reply to me when I ask to hang out with them, when people immediately start scrolling through social media on their phone the moment I start talking to them, as well as being abruptly interrupted in conversations and never being given the chance to finish what I was saying before moving on to a new topic.

Despite all of that, I’m not angry at these people. Instead, I’m disappointed.

In spite of trying to step out of my comfort zone in this extroverted world, I am met with silence. I am infinitely tired of feeling like I can’t connect with people. Of feeling that I am not at all wanted by those I desire to be close to. Of these feelings actually being my reality.

However, I understand that life goes on and so does my journey. I only hope that along the way, I will meet people that I can absolutely be myself around. If there’s anything that my loneliness has taught me, it is that as much as you try to reach out to certain people, you must learn to leave gracefully when it is abundantly clear that who or what you are looking for is no longer there. So don’t internalize the silence you are met with as a failure on your part or a reflection of your self-worth. You’re just fine the way you are. Despite what you’re feeling, you are not needy, unloveable, or too much. You are more than the loneliness that you constantly feel and those that matter will choose to stick around.

“And with or without anyone’s acknowledgment or affection, you are enough.” — Daniell Koepke
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