During this quarantine everyone have wished to see their family and friends again, the sooner the better; but I think no one actually tried to see themselves again, find themselves again. That’s what I did.
During this time I wrote anothe poetry book: “tenalach”, a word that comes from the Irish and means “to be one with the land, water and air; with the Earth, hear it sing.” Basically is to be in peace with yourself, the world and the universe.
I decided to name it like that because I’ve never felt so connected with me and my work than now, I don’t need to be with anyone around, I don’t want to see people when everything is over. Is that bad, wrong? That’s something I’ve been thinking about since always, but now more than ever.
My mom told me one day that this independence I have is nothing new, that I was like this since I was a kid; I didn’t need to be with anyone to have fun, I just played by myself, with myself. I’ve always had a strong imagination.
But when I grew up and started high school I thought that feeling would dissapear, it didn’t. I enjoyed solitude, being with myself more than with others (which it doesn’t mean I was antisocial, that’s a whole different concept).
People thought I was weird for not going to parties or even be interested in hanging out with someone, it was like the family meetings, there’s always something they’re gonna ask: how are your friends, how’s everything going related to the work or school and if you have a couple. And like it happened in those meetings, I couldn’t answer. The only thing I could say properly was how my student life was going.
So, as you’re probably guessing, it’s very hard not to feel like an outcast and I tried. I really tried (and sometimes I’m still trying) to fit. I didn’t feel comfortable because, yes, I should do what everyone do at my age, but for what? That’s the question that always pop up in my mind when I do what society considers “normal”: should I feel better? Now what?
To understand this better I want to put as an example the TV show “Riverdale”. We have a group of friends that is full of stereotypes: the sports guy who plays the guitar, has a sensible side, the rich girl who tries to be a better version of herself and is very popular, the smart girl who likes everyone and the misfit, the misunderstood known as Jughead. We saw this before right? In american movies, teens shows… And is quite impossible to not feel identified with one of the characters, as I identify with Jughead.
Not for the stereotype, not for the drama that involves him or the things he does, but for a quote he said; it was something like “I don’t fit, and I don’t want to fit”. That’s what happens to me, that I don’t want to and sometimes I think that’s wrong or that is somehing going on with me that is no good. So I decided to stop it when we started the lockdown.
I tried to get to the feeling I explained at the beginning: being in peace with me and the world, accepting who I was.
The first thing I did was promise me that I would never get angry for feeling like I don’t want to be surrounded by people. I’m a very social person, I know loads of people, but I only have a very few friends and that’s fine. You don’t need more to be happy. I also promised not to be mad at the world, is not people’s fault as is not mine. Variety is good.
I would lie if I say I didn’t have a big existencial crisis during COVID-19. I started watching movies and interviews of actor Andrew Garfield and he has a great mind, beautiful ideas and personality. I really liked he made me think about why we’re here, what’s our purpose; maybe the way I am has something to do with that. I discovered that I don’t have a sure answer to that, and that’s fine. We don’t need to know or understand everything, our moment will come. It always does.
The next thing I did was to face and close past wounds. If I wanted to be in peace I needed to forgive but also to accept the mistakes I made, to face them. I talked to old friends trying to show myself more mature and open and it worked. I felt better and more peaceful than before.
And the last thing I did was enjoying being with me, with my hobbies, my music and my expectations. Trying to be better and find what I really want, even though there’s always bad days. And the most important aspect of this was to convince myself about it was right to not wanting to fit.
I don’t want to and I don’t need to, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And I should respect it and not try to change it because is not gonna change, for more that I force myself.
Loving yourself is the hardest thing you could ever do, is like loving someone, you have to be really invested in the relationship and taking care of your other half and in this case, your other half is you. So treat it and cherish it as if it was that person with who you want to be forever, because you’re gonna live with you until the last day.