don't let the title mislead you. i'm not reflecting on the fact that i am incapable of spending time with myself. today i am here to rant about the fact that i feel looked down upon by my peers and society in general anytime i do choose to spend time sitting alone rather than attending a social event.
lets forget about the pandemic and its restrictions for a moment. because for me, despite the global concern over this illness, my college town has been full of parties and group outings. on top of that, the only tik toks that have been coming across my page have been montages of friend groups having way more fun than i've had in the past year.
girls are especially susceptible to comparison. its a severe downfall of the human race, but it feels like every girl i come into contact with is actively involved with an intense competition with every other girl in the area. lately i've felt personally victimized by the competitive nature of having the most friends and the most interesting friend group. and i hate it. i am so beyond done with feeling like my life is being judged by an unseen committee who is keeping score of how many parties i attend, how much fun i have at each event, how many people i speak to in a week, and how much time i spend at houses that aren't my own. the worst of this is, my closest friends in town are way ahead in this game, and i am way behind.
so what am i to do? i want to stay home, i like to stay home. i enjoy spending time with other people when i'm in a good mood and feel motivated to do so, which isn't every day. i don't even really like drinking that much, and the fact that i live 5 miles away from everyone else means that i always have to find a ride home, so staying sober really is the only option when i leave my house. and of course, to have any fun at any party one must be intoxicated on some level. i wish the answer was simply: stay home when you want to and go out when you want to. but when you're surrounded by people who constantly feel the need to be with other people, whose social battery has an unlimited supply of power, and who seem to care more about winning the unseen competition of status and popularity than anything else, whats an introvert supposed to do?
to stay home is to be labelled as strange. to stay home is to be left out. to stay home is to be alone, because the more you do it the less inclined anyone is to invite you anywhere. but to go out is to be unhappy.
what i truthfully think the problem is, is that after so long of not being able to see anyone, the concept of needing alone time is bizarre to lots of people. we don't prioritize, as a society and a generation, being your own best friend. we too often look to other people to bring us joy, and rather than spending time alone with ourselves, we spend mindless time with other people.
and i'm over that way of thinking. i'm over feeling like i'm in constant competition. i'm over feeling guilty for being my own best friend. i'm over the narrative that being alone means you're lonely. and i am certainly over being unhappy just so i can fit in with people who are certainly fun and friendly, but certainly not the most important thing in my life.
from here on out i am the most important thing in my life. my limited social battery is not a handicap or a character flaw. the fact that i'm not swimming in friends and swamped by invites to events is absolutely fine. because at the end of the day i have myself, and i love myself. and sometimes, being able to be alone with no one other than yourself, is the best way to build up those much needed levels of self-esteem and self-love.
written controversially by
grace and hannah