A few weeks ago, a local community group posted a link to this, an article that exhorted people to give up circles and cliques and form “U”s instead leaving space for the unattached, the lonely and the misfits.
Like most articles I read, I nodded along and moved on. The words, however, hung back, murmuring amongst themselves in my head refusing to die down.
I have experienced both. I have been a loner all through my elementary and middle school. I have attached myself to circles and cliques with the tenacity of a leech because of how much I wanted to fit in growing up. All through college and my young adult years when I could have been out there making new friendships and discovering like-minded people, I latched on to one or two persons and reveled in the joys of being a BFF.
Being part of a circle gave me an identity, it marked me as taken, as one who belonged to someone, someplace. It grounded me in ways tangible and otherwise. It also was extremely isolating. I found it hard to be in spaces where I was without my cohort, my protective circle. I didn’t hedge my bets so to speak. When life happened and I transplanted myself oceans away, everything that held me together unraveled.
I pursued relationships that I should have given up on for all the years I had sunk into it. I hung on to memories because that was all I had. I mourned the living with the intensity that should have been reserved for the dead.
Of late, I have been fascinated with bubbles. I like to think of myself as a bubble floating aimlessly, attaching and detaching based on interests. Popping at times, rebuilding over time and nurturing my self at the center of it all. It is lonely no doubt but it also comes with insulation from hurt.