This is my fresh new start.
“Is there anything wrong? You seem awfully quiet…”
I’d usually get that a lot when I’m out with others, and most of the time I’d be wondering why. I suppose when interacting with my friends, I’d be the loud and boisterous one, trying to crack funny jokes while making a fool of myself. And now, it’s come to the point where my silence is something to be concerned about.
How did that happen?
I don’t remember being lively when I was younger or even when I was in high school. I love going home after school and just messing with the computer, never accepting any invitations to go out or have fun and just spend the whole day with myself. I had more internet friends than any real friends. I was the typical computer addict, downloading pirate, cyber geek.
Come college, I had to stay in a cramped room with 7 others and initially, I hated it. I pretended to like it and tried to be friendly with them, and surprisingly it came with ease. Social venture was apparently a natural thing to me. Soon, I found myself liking these people, even admiring them to a certain extent. I had more than 5 close friends at a time and it was new. Still, I missed my recluse days.
Days segued into months, and subsequently years and my circle grew larger. I had a lot of close friends and a staggering number of acquaintances (those I would strike up a lively conversation with, and yet would always feel an encompassing distance to them, despite the affable interaction). I’d be going out often, though not exactly to party into the night and come home a drunken mess. One still has to choose one’s crowd. I wondered if as they say, college has changed me. Growing up made me a different person. I was apt to swallow those words, until I realised one key fact: I still missed spending time with just myself.
It’s fun being with other people, yeah. I found out there are other ways to interact other than being sarcastic or cynical and I’d like to think they softened me up, like melted butter on a hot pan. I can sincerely emphatise with people’s concerns, and not just fake it because I’m obliged by societal rules. I became less judgmental, more compassionate and even more (earnestly) sensitive to other people’s worries.
But I still missed being with me.
Is it so much to ask for, then, that I might find the same solitude that was exclusively mine and mine alone two years ago here in London?