I hear of childhood friends who have known each other since kindergarten. On Instagram, I see people out on Fridays, trying new food and new things with their friends, a burst of colours and noise in the background. They say in your 20s you are surrounded by youthful optimism, joy and foolishness. You are at your peak health, peak looks and even peak brain!(your brainpower-ish peaks at 25, I read a study, pls ask me if you’d like PDF). This decade is when you amass memories with your friends to talk about in later years or to cheer you up on rainy days. I’m not experiencing it. Too few openly admit but here I am saying outright that I’m lonely and alone in my 20s.
The part of loneliness that pricks me isn’t boredom or the feeling of missing out or of how my friends are living better, happier lives. I have some things I can fill my time with, I’m happy for my friends because it’s not easy to have good moments in life and I want more for you! I also know I can get tired easily when socialising so 3hrs is the cut-off even for my closest of friends.
Actually, it’s the way loneliness questions my character which leaves me uncomfortable. The people I respect greatly and wish to embody all have long-standing friends and never at any moment have I perceived them to be standing alone. So, am I doing something wrong? Is the reason I’m alone now because I’ve kept my friends at a distance? No, I’ve been honest and vulnerable in my relationships. However, while honesty and loyalty is my love language, it isn’t for them. Is it because I’ve been selfish in my relationships? Have I been a not so good friend? Have I been inconsiderate, annoying, ignorant and maybe hurtful? Breaking your self-image is painful but I’m acknowledging I’m doing something unpleasant.
I don’t have the answers. But in case you’re also in your 20s and feel alone, here’s a hug.
One thing these moments of loneliness have gifted me is pushing me back to God. I lose myself when I’m with friends, I miss prayers, I don’t talk about God with them, I’m dulling my senses by forgetting in this beautified world. Only in my deepest moments of helplessness do I cry cry cry and crawl back to Him, then be enveloped in His warmth, console myself, tell myself look, He is with you. Loneliness has made me remember Him and I’m thankful for this.