I always heard the phrase “sometimes you feel most alone in a crowded room” but never really understood what it meant. I mean, how could it be lonelier than spending time isolated from the rest of the world? I had spent a good portion of my life alone and I hated it because it made me feel left out while everyone else was doing something.
When I first graduated high school, I’d visit it quite often after school because I have attachment issues and because I still had ties there. Once, I visited one of my high school teachers because she was pretty much my mentor. She was running late, so I went to visit another teacher who happened to be there to create the yearbook club. We chatted about life and school as we waited for students to enter his class and join the club.
A group of friends (they were all girls because females are the superior gender, in my humble [and likely correct] opinion) came in and all signed up. I mentioned how that it was great to have a group of friends because it ensured that the club would have enough people. They’d have fun working together and convince their other friends to join.
My old high school teacher said: “Yeah, it’s great to have a group of friends. But I hope it doesn’t limit the club just to their group of friends. You know the saying ‘sometimes you feel most alone in a crowded room?’ It could be really intimidating for shy people who see that everyone else has friends and they don’t, so even though they really want to be a part of the club, they walk away. It’s my job to find those people before they get away.”
He was right. From that day, I learned what it meant to be alone in a crowded room. And I find myself feeling that more and more often.
Close and Far Away
Today, I attended an orientation session for my internship as a part of my program requirement. Since it’s a big organization (a hospital), a good number of my classmates were there, and it’s been 2 weeks since I last saw them. We used to see each other every day and some of us were pretty close, so it felt like a long time. It was great to see them.
But this orientation also allowed me to realize that some of them are still close, kept in touch, and hung out over the break. No one tried talking to me. No one asked me to hang out. When they had conversations about things, there was a sense of intimacy that I was no longer a part of (or maybe never a part of). It made me feel alone despite being in a crowded room with people I know. It reminds me of the song: Rihanna – California King Bed, but on a friendship level. (Yes, I’m a guy who likes this song in case you were wondering or surprised, haha.)
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame them and they were nice to me today. Sometimes, I just wish I was a part of it. I know it’s a 2-way street – I could’ve talked to them or asked them to hang out, but I wanted to see if they really valued me. Well, I found out my answer and that was something I risked when I took the wait-and-see approach. While I wish I didn’t feel this way, at least it gives me something to write about.
My friend once said to me: “Don’t test people. They’ll fail you 99% of the time.”
I’m still waiting on the 1%.