Meeting new people, finding friends, and feeling lonely in a big city

Today I realised that I have very few friends who I talk to regularly who want to do the same things as me. I’m not talking about eating food, I’m talking about wanting to travel, go to concerts and just generally hang out and do things together. My best friend is living in Nottingham, and although we share many interests, books, food, films, tv shows we also differ hugely. I like to dance, cook, travel and do adventurous and dangerous activities including sky diving. I work in London and a good friend I recently made decided to move back to Sweden and friends I went on holiday with have less contact with me since our holiday. I would say that’s more to do with differences rather than anything else. It’s tricky going on holiday with people because you live with them for a number of days and if you’re like me who wants to go explore, make the most of the holiday then you certainly won’t find me lounging about the hotel, like my friends. I find it very hard to find a connection with people nowadays. I have little in common but I am unsure why that is the case. Do you know what I mean when I speak of that instant connection? It’s this really great feeling which I’ve only experienced a few times in my life where you are just completely on par with the person you’ve just met. Perhaps it is because I am too serious and think too much which portrays me as intense? Not sure but I don’t like to analyse too much. Or maybe it is because I am shy and am not making the most of the opportunities. I really don’t know. There’s a lot I want to do but I find that I end up doing most things by myself. I want to go to a gig, I end up going by myself. I want to go travelling, I end up having to plan things and find countries to go to by myself. I want to go climbing I go by myself. I want to go for yoga/pilates classes, I join up by myself. There’s nothing wrong with this and its pretty great having that independence, I mean I’ve even eaten alone in a restaurant and gone to the cinema alone. In my life I have constantly done things by myself and its getting a bit lonely now. I can’t find anyone to have fun and do things with. I’m not talking about a boyfriend, I’m talking about friends, having a good time, meeting people and doing things together. I guess you have to be like minded but I find it hard to find those like minded people. Most of my friends are happy to either go clubbing, stay at home and watch films, go to restaurants or even cocktails which don’t get me wrong is fun, but I would love to join a dance club or something and do something fun or a bit more adventurous. Perhaps I will, perhaps I should just stop waiting for people which to be honest I have given up on people. I really need to get a grip on life, I have so many dreams that involve travelling the world, learning different languages and just being content, but it is difficult to be content in this life. We are constantly striving for more.

I haven’t the faintest idea where to start. I don’t know where to go and who to turn to because there is no one out there only the big wide world web. There’s so many options but I don’t know if there is a small intimate friendly class for dancing or painting. I don’t know how good it is. It’s all a risk but its something I wonder about. I am at the edge of the precipice just waiting to jump but unsure how to proceed, whether there will be someone at the bottom to catch me. Waiting and wondering but I can’t keep doing this, I can’t keep living my life like this wondering how things could be. I look at my own dear brother and how he manages to find and make some of the loveliest and great friends who want to spend time with him and do things together, to try things and who trust his judgement. We are different people and he is very witty, funny and laid back. I am more serious, deep in thought, like debating, laughing but I get stressed and worried easily. We are very different but similar as we both enjoy travelling and finding new adventures. You can see how we would attract different people, normally like minded people. He attracts jovial fun happy people and I attract serious, sometimes sad but mostly strong willed and principled individuals. Don’t get me wrong I am grateful for my lovely friends for they are lovely in a different way. They are very caring and kind but I just want more and perhaps this is my problem; I expect too much from people and I always have. But I need more friends who will do things with me and who will trust my judgement and is open to trying things. Sometimes things will not work out the way you want and some things I choose may be crap but its a risk I’m willing to make, but I can’t keep hanging on to friends who are poor and aren’t prepared to take that risk because of the outcome may result in regret. Life is an experience and I don’t know everything if that person will enjoy it or not but it is something we can do together or as a group! This is life and nothing is ever free but if you want to have fun you do need money sometimes. Not a lot, but some. I wanted to go to Imagine Dragon’s gig but when I asked all my friends they were either working, too tired or too poor to go. When I wanted to see Evanescence no one wanted to go so I had to drag my poor brother to come with me. It was one of the best nights of my life and some friends after said how they love Evanescence and their music but when I asked if they wanted to go, there was silence.

It’s so easy to say go out and meet people, but where can I meet them in such a big city like London? There’s a lot of people but they are in their own zones, are quite cold and look at you if you’re strange if you start talking to them. No literally they will turn and look to see if you’re talking to the person behind them. I need to join a club or class but where? Thousands of people swarm across London and I can’t seem to make friends. It’s crazy! Introverted I may be but ambitious and a dreamer I always will be. If you stop and talk you will get to know someone better, but it’s not hard. Actually it is quite hard because firstly you need the courage to start that conversation. We pick and choose our friends. We pick and choose people we want to talk to and we put them into different levels. Friend level, acquaintance level, “not going to chat to person” level because person looks boring, can’t be bothered level, too intense level, etc. But the level you categorise someone may not always be correct and you may be missing out on a chance of friendship.

Anyway my point is finding people to connect with is difficult. Finding activities in London is also quite tough! Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough but I will try! Hopefully I’ll find some things….no I’m sure I will!

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When will I get it right?

For someone who enjoys learning, it’s easy to think someone naturally smart when the truth is it just requires hard work and practice. Firstly it involves understanding the principle/concept and then putting it into practice is the difficult part trying to work on that concept. I have always enjoyed learning whatever the subject may be but I have also equally found it very difficult to grasp certain subjects while others came naturally. Science, French, languages and maths based subjects I struggled because it took me time to understand and time requires patience in teaching which most people don’t have time for. Other subjects such as art, history, cooking, Design and Technology all flowed so easily to me. I remember my year 7 end of year results where I got Ds and Es in Maths, Science etc. and the only consolation was my As and Bs in Art, History and DT. I was put in the lowest class in year 8. That was the year I decided I didn’t want to be stuck with the rest of the ‘idiots’ in my class who thought 32% in Biology was “bloody marvellous” while I looked on in scorn at the low mark I received which happened to be the highest mark in the class. It took a lot of time, hard work and late nights to rectify these marks and try harder to achieve better. I don’t think I’ve always handled pressure and stress very well, but I managed it. In the end I came out shining with As and Bs and no Ds or Es in sight.

Now two years ago I put my mind to learning to drive and I really enjoyed it to begin with, but a year later after my failed first test I decided to try again and work hard to pass but the cookie crumbed and I came out of the second test utterly defeated and devastated. My confidence fell to the floor and I realised how utterly useless I was at the practical, even though I managed to soar and do very well in the theoretical. Driving for some people comes very easily, while it takes less than 20 lessons it takes someone else more than 80. I started off confident, happy and optimistic and I am slowly burning out after 2 years of learning and 2 failed tests later. My hearts not in it anymore, my resolve is slowly dying and I get angry at the gears by trying to jam them into their rightful place. Slow down, calm down, be relaxed, enjoy it are some of the phrases thrown at me, but you can’t understand me and what I’m feeling when I drive now. I am nervous, I am tired and I am close to giving up, but simultaneously so desperate not to give up because of the amount of time, money and effort spent on trying to become a better driver. My theory runs out in January and I set my target to take my test by early December, but as time goes by, day by day I start to lose hope that I can actually achieve that target because I am so bloody scared. I am so scared of failing again and messing it all up and not being able to do it anymore. I am so scared of the actions of others and what may happen on the road. I am so scared driving in London because it is so tough. I am so scared I’ll never be able to do this. With so many people urging me on I am tempted to forgo this and repeat my theory and do the practical next year when I am ready. I mean let’s be honest you can’t take a test unless you are ready right? Unless you are forced to and time constraints leave you no choice, but at that point you either pass or you fail. I just haven’t felt that feeling of being ready and I am scared I will never feel ready, never get that feeling. Maybe I am relying too much on feeling here and not enough on reason and fact but sometimes its important to feel ready and right before acting upon reason, before going further. Maybe I am getting caught up by everyone else’ standards and demands and not facing up to what I really want and maybe need to do.

I wish time was on my side, but its never on my side really and its never really on anyone’s side. My driving instructor said its all about priorities. What are my priorities? Why am I always racing in life? What am I in a rush for? I think I just need some space from my life but how funny I don’t think it’s even possible to get space from yourself and your life? Don’t think you can run far enough because those problems will still be there at the back of your mind to haunt you. The mind will never let you forget and you will always have to go back to face them in the end. It’s a bit like an elastic band when you stretch it to such a point and finally it needs to recoil back to its original form. Life is a constant struggle and I keep wondering with my head in a book when it will all be over? The book being my escape but after a while knowing that I can’t hide forever and I can’t keep escaping because the story always ends. A book cannot solve my problems, simply help me avoid them for a while. When will the struggle be over? But this is all a 1st world struggle. Despite that it’s still a struggle. A struggle to be heard in a loud crowd, the struggle to be seen and noticed in work, the struggle to overcome your fears, the struggle to fight your depressive thoughts and the struggle against succumbing to the easier path. Nothing in life is ever easy. The struggle not to become like others but be your own person independent of all constraints, others and solely reliant on the self. The self is fragmented though and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this and seeing my reflection in the mirror when I was studying philosophy. Nothing is indestructible but I do not renounce all hope. It just hurts no that’s not the right word, its just pure frustration with the self and not being able to get it right. When will I get it right consistently? When will I be ready to face life properly?

Fiction or Reality? I choose getting lost in fiction any day!

So I have recently been reading and thinking. Writers usually write to allow their readers a form of escapism but also it allows them to escape in their own fantasy world. Most plots derive from our fantasies or so it seems, but some things are also mostly based on our experiences, because how can you write about something without having some kind of knowledge of it. This doesn’t necessarily have to be knowledge from the experiences one has had, but it can derive from the experiences of others- though you only see one side of their experience. Not only do you not experience the emotions of pain or happiness that they felt since you cannot feel it thus you cannot truly comprehend it. You could imagine it, but never grasp its reality. But you also only receive their side of the feelings- their words so stories end up twisted from the original truth (or original event that happened). For example if my friend broke up with a guy, I would be hearing her side of the story. How she interprets the situation may be different to how he interprets it. I would not understand how she felt because how can I if I’ve not had the similar experience of breaking up with a guy who I really loved or liked. I could imagine how it would feel, but that would be no good because I didn’t feel the raw emotions of what it is to love in that way, to feel pain or hurt in that specific way. All I would feel is pity for my friend trying to comprehend the way she feels, trying to reassure and comfort her, while secretly thinking and making the mental note never to make the same mistakes that she did. Never to fall in love so that I don’t give anyone the power to hurt me like. But that’s the problem with learning from other people’s mistakes and not learning from your own. You become too cautious to even make mistakes of your own because you are too afraid to do the wrong thing, to be caught in the hole in the ground everyone keeps digging for themselves. There is always someone who tries to lend a hand to a person stuck in that hole, but its up to you to choose whether you need help or even want the help offered or whether you drown in your unhappiness.

Anyway I have digressed, people teach you things whether you realise it or not we are all influenced by our family, friends and random strangers! Despite sometimes not wanting to be, you are. This has somehow drifted into a completely different topic that I no longer know how I got here! I can honestly say I am lost in a rabbit hole but in a different kind- not due to a relationship but coming to terms with what do I do with my life? Where do I go from here now that I have finished my studies? Who can help me? I can only help myself- I have to try, but what I always find that I do- no matter where I run to, where I go what I do- I always seem to try to escape to a different reality. To a fantasy world, to a place of fiction anywhere from the truth. But authors do that too- they try to recreate their own fantasies in their writings, they try to realise the dreams they never fulfilled through their characters giving them the happy ending they never got. Well I wouldn’t say never- just a different happy ending in life. While a book ends mostly happily ever after where the main character wins by defeating the baddie- war between good over evil conquers all. Well this is not the case in life, because there are no happy endings in life. There is no such thing as the prince saving the princess and living happily ever after. What does that even mean anyway? It’s time to grow up and learn that life’s not like a fairytale. Its been said many times but it really is true so why do people continue to read and watch these fairytales wishing they were true. In real life, that does not happen- after happily ever after aka getting married more problems and obstacles arise i.e maintaining a job, growing old, having children etc. Everyone still battles with their demons- but life goes on- no happy end except death. But then is that the ultimate end? So many debates surrounding that topic I won’t get into that now.

Society too has an impact on everything- on our lives, music, movies, books, media etc. The media seem to control what we desire and what we want trying to portray lifestyles we must attain. We try to attain perfection- perfect life, perfect body, the happy ending. But this is all poisonous if it only succeeds in hindering us, by shying away from our bodies, being ashamed. Look at the books that are on our shelves, being sold- they represent the times in which we live in and unfortunately they are all filled with crap! The desire for the superficial rich and famous lifestyle- The good girl getting with the rich rockstar living the dream! What is the dream? What is the life? Everyone is different so surely not everyone wants to be rich and famous. Books nowadays seem to have weak characters especially portraying women as weak, dependent and annoyingly stupid! Look at Twilight- Bella can’t even do anything because she’s so clumsy so Edward must be there all the time to “protect her”. The last thing the world needs is another young woman depicted as a “heroine” when she clearly isn’t! If you want something interesting to read, read the Hunger Games! Mind you it reminds me a little of Battle Royale! Anyone agree? It’s a pretty famous Japanese film! I would look it up if you enjoyed Hunger Games, though it is a lot darker.

Anyway there must lie some truth in a book- yes in the sense they are based on some kind of experience. The characteristics of the protagonist resemble some person or other. The main character normally resembles a person who the author wishes to be- who the author and sometimes reader wish to have the same strong characteristics that make the character strong and likeable who will fight for justice. No one likes a weak character, likewise in this cruel world no one likes a weak person. I wish I could say that I have learnt a lot from my experiences but sometimes it takes something twice as bad to hit you round the head for you to take notice and by then it may be too late. But then hopefully there is never such a thing as being too late. Better to have tried later than never.