All My Friends Are Couples And I’m Not: The Worst Times

They say when you’re single, all you can see in the world are happy people in couples. It’s not actually true, but it’s human nature to pick up on things others have that you don’t. Which is why, conversely, when you’re a part of a couple, it feels like everyone around you is happy and single. The grass is always greener.

I firmly believe that your brain can trick you into perceiving that this is true.

Except in my case this is actually true. And it’s the worst.

Not a secret that I’ve been on my own since early June. Typically, I’m super okay with being single. While admittedly, this past breakup has been very hard on me, I’m doing okay by myself these days. My new job is going really, really well and it looks like there’s room for advancement and I’m just really excited that it seems I’ll be in an okay place when I graduate. Losing my grandparents, as difficult as it has been, has lifted enormous amounts of weight off me and my family and everyone, myself included, is just a lot less stressed and constantly intense. What would make my life almost literally as perfect  as it could realistically be at this time is if my best friends would stop constantly reminding me that I’m alone because, seriously, they’re [accidentally] making it seem like a much bigger deal than it is.

All of my friends are in at least semi-serious relationships. I could not be happier for them. Do not get me wrong. I am not jealous of them by any means. I’m happy they’re happy, regardless of my personal opinion on their choice of partners and I hope they feel similarly excited for the things I’m excited for in my own life. What I need them to stop doing is constantly talking to me about how great their boyfriends are and filling me in on every, single detail of their relationships.

I never, ever want my friends to feel like they can’t talk to me about anything, especially the things that they’re happy about. I truly want to hear about exciting things. I’m interested in their lives. That’s why we’re friends. What I need them to realize is, though, that there are other things going on in the world than their boyfriend thinking they’re the best. By constantly, and I mean constantly, talking about their relationships in vivid and unnecessary detail, it’s like the fact that I’m alone is slapping me in the face multiple times daily.

Logically, in my own head, I understand that I’m only 21 and I have plenty of time in my life to not be alone and to quote my cousin,”early 20s with a job is a great place to be. You have plenty of time ahead of you to get it together”. But, when all of the people in your social circle have nothing to talk about other than the fact that they’re super happy with their boyfriends, it makes it feel like it’s way more important than it actually is. so – STOP IT. This is the reason I’m around less and make less of an effort to keep in touch with you. Because talking to you depresses me. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong in my life, when actually, things are going remarkably well for me these days.

And, as guilty as I feel for feeling this way, I’m equally pissed off at all of you with very few exceptions.  We are supposed to be friends. You’re not supposed to never go out anymore and never have time  for us. We all promised a long time ago that would never happen. We obviously have a better grasp now on how difficult that is because life and school intervene, but you’re supposed to make time. That’s what friendship is supposed to be. Our extremely limited time together should not be consumed by your relationship. Additionally, as my best friend(s), you should be aware that the past few months have been indescribably difficult for me and you should have a little more sensitivity. Maybe talk to one of our other friends – one who’s in a relationship, there are a ton of them – about how great your relationship is. Maybe censor that from me for a little while longer. Maybe understand that I’m still a little hurt. I don’t know, just some suggestions.

I don’t know how to say all this without sounding bitter, and maybe I am a little, who knows. I know none of you are intentionally trying to hurt my feelings. I would never think you would do that. I just wish you would open your eyes and not make me write things like this because I’m too chicken to confront you in person. I do wish a little that I could participate in those conversations still, but I can’t anymore. I can, however, describe in detail how excited I am about my senior film shoots and that I’m in line for a really great internship at work that could lead to full time work. You could ask maybe, one time, how things are going for me. I would like to go to a bar with all of you, something I haven’t done in months, and just have a really good time. You can bring your boyfriends. I don’t care. As long as I don’t have to talk to you about them.

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My Favorite Minor Phenomenon

Let me preface this first by saying this will be brief and probably my only attempt at writing this week because apparently, starting a new job and a new internship (more on that later) on top of an already full course load is super time consuming! Who’da thunk it? I do love being this busy, but it’s strange to have so little free time to do things such as blog. So as the film I need to watch tonight finishes downloading, I’ll write. Anyway, to the point.

I have to start by saying music is the absolute greatest joy of my life. Unfortunately, it is not one of my talents. The height of my musical career was my brief stint on the All-County Flute circuit in 6th grade. I could never sing (AT ALL. I cannot sing. It is painful for the audience.) or play any instrument but the flute, and as I got older, all the other flutists improved and I just didn’t. (I devoted less and less time and energy to the flute and more and more to my academics. Ultimately, realistically, the flute wasn’t going to get me into college. It’s sad how high school does that, isn’t it?) I’ve always been a very visual person, so I’m thankful I have film and I am talented in my own right, but regardless, I’m super, weirdly envious of people with musical talent and that’s because I’m in awe of music and all that it can do. (I’ll always have better spacial reasoning than you musicians though. Ha. Take that) “Arial’s” by System of A Down will forever remind me of my first, great unrequited love (who is now the closest of acquaintances and all I’ll say is God bless his girlfriend) and “Wonderwall” is ruined for me forever thanks to a botched high school romance. “How Much Is that Doggie in the Window” will bring me back to my grandpa always, no matter how many years he’s gone. The string break during “Ants Marching” still stings just a little because my last boyfriend used to make me laugh hysterically every, single time. There is no other medium that brings you so clearly back to a moment in time. I wish more than anything in the whole world that I had it in my arsenal of talents to manipulate and create music, but I don’t. So I just admire from a far.

But there is one, singular musical phenomenon that is probably one of my top five favorite things on the planet. That phenomenon is when you’re at a concert or in a bar or at a party and a song comes on and everyone knows the words and they sing along loud and uninhibited with no hint of self-conciseness. They all become so wrapped up in the song and the moment and where they are and who they’re with and the sense of unity is just so overwhelmingly beautiful. (On the other side of this, I absolutely hate people who are too cool to sing along or make comments about what the people around them sound like. You’re all soul crushing assholes and you will never really live. You’re the same people who stand around at general admission shows without moving or expressing anything. I hate you.)

Possibly the best moment of my life was when Paul McCartney performed Hey Jude at Citi Field. The music cut out and everyone just kept singing. This happens a lot at concerts, I know, but the magnitude and awesomeness of this singular moment literally brought me to tears. I stood and sang and cried a little and thought how awesome it must be to be Paul McCartney, standing on that stage in that giant stadium and knowing all of these thousands of people are singing your words. And then I realized I was one of those people. I was a part of something bigger than me and it was mind blowingly awesome. Similar moments have occurred the nights I saw Linkin Park at Jones Beach, Blink 182 at Madison Square Garden and John Mayer at Jones Beach. None of them will ever come close to Sir Paul, though.

Next is a moment that happens to me a few times a year but I look forward to it and love it every single time. A couple times a year (normally Thanksgiving weekend, sometime in January, March and then again over the summer once or twice) all of my friends from high school will get together and go out to a bar, and I mean all of us. At our largest, we probably run about 15 or 16 people, but rarely do all of us make it out on the same night. So, when this happens, it’s something special. Most of my friends disagree on music and atmosphere – some are country listeners, others prefer a club scene – but sometimes we come to a consensus. And, when the DJ gets it right and Bon Jovi comes on, my friends huddle up and raise their drinks and just scream the words like their lives depend on it and I love them for it more than you can ever know. (Also, if you have too much pride to sing Bon Jovi too loud in a bar, we’ll never be friends.) In these moments, I’m not sure if it’s the music that does this or the people I’m with or probably both, but I love it.

Music’s uncanny ability to recall memory and bring people together and remind you where and who you came from is why I love it so much and why it will be a part of me forever. I wish I was better at it, I truly do. But, I’ll just keep wearing out my Fall Out Boy CDs alone in my car, pretending I’m in 8th grade. I’ll be fine, probably.

(PS This thought was brought to you by last Friday’s commute home. I rest my case.)