Sunday, June 1, 2014

A list for feeling unalone

I've been feeling very disconnected with the world lately. Maybe it's because not much is happening in my life, or maybe it's because I'v been getting to know this thing called 'loneliness' too well. I'm constantly looking for something to relate to, some part of myself, in the world outside but I keep coming up short. So instead of fixing my lost connection, I've developed several other ways to feel somewhat unalone. Since making lists is my expertise, I decided to make a lists of the (strange) things I do to feel somewhat connected.

1. Reading all the Rookie 'Dear Diary'- posts
Almost all the time I have this very teen-angsty feeling of 'I'm so alone in my troubles. No one understands what I'm going through!' But then I read Noami's, Ruby's and Britney's entries and look at Caitlin's art here and suddenly I realize there are people in this universe who feel exactly the same way as I do. When I look at the people around me I always assume they only have rational thoughts and feelings that arise as a logical result of a certain event or happening. Reading the entries of these girls has makes me feel like I can be more comfortable with the fact that I have feelings that are weird or complicated or don't make sense at all. Going through several months in one day also allows for witnessing very visible 'ups' in the girls' lives.

2. Turning my feelings into a Tumblr tag
Sometimes when I have nothing else to do I will type how I'm feeling at that moment into the Tumblr search bar, just to see how others express their happiness/sadness/anger. Strangely enough it gives me a lot of comfort to read that some random person just found a new apartment or had a fight with his/her best friend or had to stay in bed for two days because of a bad cold. Perhaps I enjoy knowing that those things happen completely unaffected by me. That while I'm happy there are many others who feel the same way, but also many who at that same moment are having the worst day ever and vice versa.

3. Listening to Taylor Swift

I've never really been a fan of Taylor and her music was simply part of those songs that I have on my iPod, but only ever listen to when I put it on shuffle. This was also exactly how everything changed and Taylor became my best friend. On a long car ride home from Antwerp with my parents I had put my Ipod on shuffle and suddenly Taylor Swift's song 'Fifteen' came on. Too sleepy from the soft rocking of our vehicle I didn't bother to skip it and kept listening. In a heartfelt manner Taylor told me about her boy troubles, meeting her best friend in math class and her dreams of becoming a singer. This song was like all the non-events of my high school life wrapped up in a bubbly feel-good melody. I've been playing her albums on repeat ever since, because no cool indie rockband can give me the same comfort as listening to my cooler best friend sing about our lives. 

4. Writing/Drawing/Collaging
Little watercolor 'doodle' from my sketch book
Sometimes all those diary entries I read, those Tumblr posts I see and Taylor Swift songs I listen to feel like one part of a dialogue. The other part is left for me to fill in and lately I've been doing a lot of that. My diary is getting fuller faster than ever and I have my art stuff (actually an old box with paints, pencils and magazines to cut up) out several times a week. The stuff I write or make isn't always very good, but that doesn't really matter. In creating things, even if they are just about my angsty feelings,  I feel like I am contributing to some greater discussion. I sometimes secretely hope that when I'm brave enough to show my (better) works to someone they will jump up and say: "That's it! That's exactly what I have been feeling lately! Lets's become best friends and talk about how scary growing up is and make art together and share our diary entries." (Okay, maybe that last bit is a bit too much to ask for ;) ) 

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