Sunday, June 18, 2017

on feeling lonely and being okay with it ((even if you're not))

me, january 2017, selasar sunaryo bandung, picture taken by tania

I remember during one of my visual communication design class back in university, we were having this personal branding project. As part of the brainstorming, we were asked to find some keywords to represent ourselves. 

I remember coming up with words like creative and positive ((thinker)). Since it was kind of an open discussion, my lecturer threw the question to my classmates and asked them how they would describe me.

I remember the only foreigner in our class, who I was not even close with, come up with the word, 'strong' which my lecturer quickly agreed on. 

I remember being so surprised, because for one, he is not a very good English speaker. I thought he was going to say some general adjectives like nice or kind or good. But to have him come up with the term 'strong', truly surprised me. Two, we were not even that close because of the language barrier. But, he seemed to even understand his classmates and surroundings which made me so touched. Three, I could not even think of that word on that time. I did not want to sound like I am boasting or what. I knew I am a tough cookie, but it just did not got into my brain until someone actually mentioned it to me. 

Friends and acquaintances have told me how I am strong, and independent, and such and such. Well, I am, most of the time. But, I also had my down. There were also times when I just could not stand that strong, when the wind blown me away, pushing me from where I stood, leaving me down on the ground. 

With my situation right now, honestly, it is so easy for me to get lonely. And when I am lonely, I ended up having unnecessary thoughts. And when I have those unimportant thoughts, I became gloomy.

Of course I do have my brother and my friends who would accompany me from time to time. But they were also living their own lives, and they were not always available for me every time I needed them. 

Sometimes, I felt so pathetic for feeling this way. I mean, I am totally okay with my being right now. I am totally okay by myself. But, there would be times when you let down your guard and became vulnerable. I knew that things were okay, but I did not know it could hurt too, sometimes.


It was almost midnight when I opened a conversation in my group chat with three of my junior high school friends. We have been friends for 11 years now and still kept in touch.

I was feeling so somber that day so I chatted my friend, Tania, personally. This particular friend, I have known her since elementary school. That made us friends for 17 years ((and counting)). We rarely talked about personal stuffs through online chat, we were the type who liked to converse more in person. But that time, I really had no one to talk to, and I desperately need a listener.

us ((tania on the left)), circa 2009, taken with phone camera, in a game center

And, I did not know why, maybe the Universe conspired to send her to become my listener on that dreary midnight. Or maybe it wass the power of long-time friendship. Either way, I felt so so so relieved to be chatting with her on that time. And I felt much much better afterwards.

I wanted to remember this conversation of us so I can look back if one day I ever felt the same thing. I wanted to remember this conversation of us so if any of you went through the same feeling that I felt that time, you can also feel refreshed and awaken to your senses.

- - -

June 10th, 2017 - 11:54 PM

Fili (F): 
Tan, I felt so lonely and I needed a friend to chat with. You are the only one who responded in our group, so I chatted you personally. I did not want to spam the group, lol.

Tania (T):
Sure, hahahha. Come, come.

F:
I knew you have been a great listener for lots of your friends. It surprised me how I hardly talk about something personal with you. Hahaha.

T:
Yes, I am very used to it, lol. What happens fil?

June 11th, 2017 - 12:00 AM

F: 
I don't know. I also don't know what is happening to me. Everything seems fine. Everything seems okay. Everything seems alright. But, it felt wrong. It was as if something is missing. 

I mean, I am so used to being with myself. Hanging out by myself, eating by myself, being happy with myself. But, there are times when I did not want to be by myself. 

There are times, when I wanted to share my happiness.

T:
What you felt is exactly how I felt right now. 

It is like, you are having an exciting day, but there is no one who you can share the story with.

F:
Oh my god. 
Taniaaa, you feel meee :'(
We feel each other
So saaad

T:
Yes, that's right baby ((p.s. please don't cringe, this is how we talked to each other, lol))

F:
Come, let us hug each other warmly first ((insert emotional hug sticker))

T:
If I am not mistaken, it was earlier this year, just a couple of months ago. 

Nothing's wrong. But then, you felt so empty. Suddenly, there were lots of useless thoughts running in your mind. It is like, you are living your life just by yourself.

It's very normal, fil

It means, we are still looking for a figure of a partner. At least, a potential one. So he can be a place for you to share about your daily life and he can give response about your days.

F:
Ah yes, you're right. Seriously, I did not even realize that. Only when you talked about it, I was like, "oh shit!"

All this time, I always say something like, "Ah, I wanted to have a partner." But I never really knew why or what for. 

But then, I realize that what you said was really true. It is just the state of my being right now. 

What about you? Have you found someone who is willing to listen to you, talking about your daily life?

T:
Nope. That's why I liked to post lots of Instagram stories. At least, I shared about my daily life to people out there, lol.

Back then, when I broke up with my previous partner, what I missed the most was not the person. But I lost a figure to talk with me daily. 

I think that was the most difficult part.

F:
And really, finding a figure who is willingly to talk with us every single day is difficult, isn't it? That person has to sacrifice his time, energy and mind to listen to us and to respond us. 

And many times, we expect them to give us a response in a way that we desire. But, it is difficult to find that kind of figure :")

T:
No, it's not fil, if you already have a potential partner. He will listen and give you feedback. Sometimes, even he will ask you,

"How was your day?"

F:
Hahahah. Yeah, that's only if that person really gives his attention to us, is curious about us and deeply cares of us.

And then, how about the person who does not have any potential partner. What about girls who make the first move, who approached the other party first. She has to pour lots of effort. She has to become the other end of listener.

T:
That's also correct.

That's why, what you can do right now...is to keep yourself busy, pick up new hobbies. Over time, it will lessen down and you will not think about it that much.

F:
And who knows that when you picked up new hobbies, you can find someone to talk about your life daily, haha.

What about you? Has it lessen for you?

T:
Absolutely! 

F:
Thank God!

Ah, honestly. It has been the same problem, over and over again. Sometimes it comes, sometimes it goes away. But when it comes, it comes too powerfully, haha. So I have to release it. 

12:27 AM

- - -

After that, we went back to talk about mundane things in life and whatnot. But that 33-minute conversation had brought me back to all my senses. Sometimes, I am just too stubborn of human being. My brain kept on telling me what was right and what was not right. But my heart kept on ignoring it. 

Only when someone actually talked it out for me, I ended up realizing, "Oh, it really is true." 

That is why, fellas, it is really, seriously fine to feel lonely, to feel empty, even if everything seems to alright. You are, after all, a human being, and it is normal, to feel. In fact, feeling is what made you human.

With that said, embrace your loneliness. If you already have a partner, that's great. If you are single, that's also great because you had a bunch of friends you can talk to. 

There will be times, when everything around you is literally alright, except yourself. My advice, do not deny it. Embrace it a little, then give it some space to think, and you will be able to let it go. Do not linger with the loneliness too much. 

To everyone out there reading this, thank you very much. If you just come by to read because you feel bored, hopefully this post gave you some sort of insights. If you come by because you felt as lonely, I hope this give you some light, some courage, and some hope. 

To Dat, the Vietnamese classmate who I mentioned earlier in the post, thank you for telling me that I am strong.


us, january 2017, in front of a hotel room, cikole, lembang, bandung

Last but not least, dearest Tania, thank you for being such an amazing and surprisingly wise friend, lol. I came with no expectation when I chatted you. I ended up feeling so alive, so relieved, and ready to face the world alone, again. 

This blogpost is dedicated to you and our amazing friendships. I am grateful to have a friend who is willing to listen and give me the feedback I expected. Like I said, if ever you need someone to talk to, please do not hesitate, I am only one chat away, one call away, and few hundreds meter away. Love you and happy late birthday!

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