Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Missed Opportunities



My first adventure towards dating in college was through this online chatroom. To summarize how this website worked, it was basically a chatroom where you could chat with the profile that you liked. Basically anyone could put personal descriptions on the home page, and if you liked someone based on her description of herself, you could just shoot her a message. If she accepted your chat request, then the two of you can chat privately. If the two of you agree that you liked each other, the next step would be trading pictures, and then finally make plans to meet in real life.

I talked to and met a few girls on this chatroom. Electronically at least. I wasn't really ready for an actual date yet. But talking to people online eased me into this process.

I remember a few weeks into this I met a girl named Laura. She seemed really interesting. We both liked the same things, so we ended up talking for hours on end. After maybe four or five hours, she asked if it was okay to call me. I was hesitant, but ended up agreeing. I gave her my number.

She was just as good with conversation over the phone as she was online. I found her very easy to talk to. After a while we bonded over appreciation over dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games and movies such as V for Vendetta. As a "sort of" date, I thought it went pretty well.

She then asked me to ask if I wanted to meet her in person. I knew this was coming sooner or later, but it still felt like a surprise. I didn't know what to say, so I stayed silent. I could hear the worry in her voice when she asked if I was okay. I told her everything was fine. Then I told her that I'd think about it.

We then hung up on that note. It was late, and we both had very busy schedules the next day.

 I texted her the next day saying yes to meeting in person. She said that was great, and we could meet at the Starbucks near campus.

I spent the entire day worrying about meeting her. There were a lot of things that were going through my mind. What if she ends up not liking me? What if I'm too ugly? What if she's ugly? What if I come across someone that I know when I'm with her? What if the date goes sideways? What do I even wear to a completely casual date?

I decided to take a nap to calm my nerves, but I couldn't actually fall asleep. I flipped through my phone for two hours instead.

Ten minutes before we were supposed to meet, I made a decision to not go to the date. I was too nervous. I closed my eyes to try to go to sleep. I still couldn't drift off.

I heard my phone vibrate. Then again. Then there were several rings. I never bothered answering. I deleted her messages without reading them. I already knew what she had to say. I was ashamed, but I was more angry than anything. I was acting like an asshole. I hated myself for doing what I did.

After that there was a voice in my head that told me that I would be alone forever. I was too scared to take a chance with someone. Maybe it would be better if I just lived my life alone so that I would not hurt anyone with my cowardice.

Later, I told one of my friends about what happened. She told me that it was alright, and that there would always be another girl who wanted to be with me. I agreed. Then I thought about the real problems that was bothering me. I couldn't put it in words. I knew that saying it out loud would make my thoughts a reality. But that thought was insistent to make itself known. "What if no one wants me?"

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Loneliness



One morning I was sitting alone in a Starbucks, eating a doughnut with a frappuccino with too much whipped cream on it (just as I liked it). I watched cars move on the street, my eyes passing over the top of my drink and onto the parking lot. Pretty soon, my mind wanders to random thoughts, and my mental direction goes to places that are usually reserved for when I'm engaged with people I enjoy talking to. Tired after finishing finals but at the same time buzzing with the energy provided by caffeine, my thoughts were allowed to roam freely, and the end result usually happen to be both unusual and surprising.

It is at times like these where I don't understand why most people are afraid to be alone. It's in moments like these, perhaps, when they are forced to confront themselves in conversation, that they also have to confront something in their lives that they do not want to face. Believe me, I have several parts of my life that I would not like to confront, but that does not stop me from enjoying moments like these. For others, maybe loneliness is an emotion that they feel like they must overcome by making scheduled appointments with everyone else in their life, faked enthusiasm for events they have no interest in, all in the name of trying not to be alone. Maybe they are afraid because they equate loneliness with darkness.

But in my experience, this darkness can also be a friend. It's not always like that, sometimes this darkness can try to bury you and it can be very hard to find your way back to the light. But I'm always grateful for the moments where I can engage in moments with myself that usually cannot happen until we have dealt with our loneliness. Through this feeling, I've discovered so much of myself that I would not have discovered otherwise.