There is always that one friend who you always turn to for advice. That one friend you can trust to speak the truth just because you actually need to hear it. That one friend who can tell you how, or at the very least inspire you, to face whatever crisis you’re facing at the moment.
And yet that friend who understands may also feel that nobody else could. That friend who listens willingly, rarely speaks. That one friend who accepts, but, above all else, feels alone.
I don’t want to be that friend.
As the popular phrase goes, “we all have that one friend who always gives the best advice in love even though they are single or never had a relationship.” This is probably the closest that words can get, but, the thing is, it’s not just about love and romance. It’s about life and all other relationships one may ever have.
And I don’t want to be that friend.
We all have our own baggage, and it just so happens that most of mine can be traced to one root problem: my fear of being alone. Friends are like family to me, probably because I grew up like an only child. And so the moment I gained friends, I clung to them like family. I’m the friend who always reaches out, who goes looking for those who’ve been MIA for quite some time, who just asks to meet and catch up since we haven’t talked in ages. But at some point it also makes me wonder if someone will actually try to find me, reach out to me, when I’m the one who’s gone missing. Past experiences have scarred me into believing that if I don’t invest my time and give my all to any kind of relationship, it will crumble to pieces. As if I’m the only one who cares enough about saving it, and the moment I let go, everything will just be cut off forever.
The most extreme changes are happening at this point in our lives. Looking at my friends, most have someone special to share all their accomplishments and failures with at this point. True, they may or may not end up with whoever they’re with at the moment, but there’s still something to be said about actually having someone by your side, wholly and unconditionally. And that is what hurts the most. For years I haven’t had that, and it makes me scared that maybe I wouldn’t ever have it again.
I am truly scared of ending up alone. When shit happens to me right now, the first people I look for are my friends, and it becomes increasingly difficult to reach them because they’re busy with their own lives. When I just want to unwind and go out at the end of the week, I sometimes can’t find anybody else to go with, or else end up being the third or fifth or whatever odd-numbered wheel you can think of. And it’s painful and irritating and just plain old sad that, for some of the times I need others the most, it is when they can’t accommodate me in their lives. And there is not one person I can impose upon to first give me their time of day, to actually make me a priority, just so I can feel better about myself.
Don’t get me wrong; I am happy for my friends, and everyone else for that matter, who are lucky enough to find that someone who’ll stand by them unconditionally. But as this entry by Charlotte Green so perfectly captures:
“You’re single, and you can accept that. Everyone else has someone, and you can accept that…But when it’s the middle of the night and something really, really funny happens, you have no one there to laugh with. And that, it seems, you can’t accept.”
I am scared of being alone. I am scared of ending up alone. I am just here. I am always here. I will always be here. But I am still alone.
And I don’t want to be that friend.