Monday, 5 May 2014

I think I've always been a creature of extremes. Whatever is on my mind at any given time is the most important thing in the world, and when something interests or excites me it tends to take over my life, until the next thing comes along. Which is why I struggle to have "balance" in my life. I swing from one extreme to the other, of complete absorption in my personal interests and activities, and overwhelming loneliness when all I want is companionship. The answer seems simple: have both. Split my time between them equally, or in whatever proportion best suits. What's so hard about that?

The problem is, it doesn't feel like a balance so much as a compromise. Being myself and being social often feel like incompatible goals. When I'm lonely, I try to socialise, but when I'm socialising I often don't feel like I'm being genuinely myself. Instead, I'm forcing myself into a different mold. But if I stick to doing the things that I'm passionate about, I will inevitably get lonely again at some point. It's like trying to live two lives, instead of actually integrating both halves into a single life, in which they complement each other.

Balance, apparently, is important, although I'm not even sure what it is I'm meant to be balancing. When I am excited about my interests, my goals and ambitions, my personal projects - those are the times I feel most happy, motivated, and contented. At those times, I'm not worried about being social or about my non-existent love life. It's not sustainable, because I will worry about those things soon enough and it's then that this need for "balance" becomes apparent. But what happens is not that I go off and socialise for a while, have fun, and return to the rest of my life feeling refreshed and happy. Generally what happens is that I don't enjoy myself while trying to be social, and end up feeling disillusioned, bitter, or depressed, and return to the rest of my life feeling that I've wasted my time for no good reason, determined not to make the same mistake again. It makes me feel that loneliness was a deceptive weakness, making me think I needed someone else, when really I'm better off alone. Of course, it will happen again, next time I get lonely, and once again I'll think that I need to balance my private and my social lives. But if I'm most happy and content when I'm focused on myself and not trying to be social, I can't help but think that maybe that's the state I should be aiming to maintain. Maybe loneliness is just a weakness that I should try to ignore, and instead keep chasing that high that I sometimes feel when I'm by myself.

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