Saturday, 26 March 2011

All Alone In a Crowded Room

Loneliness is a pretty horrible sensation. It's one which every single human being will feel at some point. And it's an emotion that for many people can have little to do with physical isolation from other people.

I feel lonely a lot of the time and that's despite having a friendship circle which is incredible and which i am hugely reliant on. Like today, i've been paint balling with a selection of those friends, then spent the evening watching films at their house, yet i've felt so intensely lonely for large parts of the day.

On one level it's partly the fact that i don't feel like i entirely fit in within any group. Even people i've been friends with all my life, for some reason i've never been able to satisfactorily explain, i feel like an outsider, like an addition, often welcome most definitely, but an addition to a separate group. It's a tough feeling to describe accurately without straying into melodramatic self pity. I just feel detached i guess.

I don't write that to fish for sympathy or make any of my friends feel they're doing something wrong. I write it for precisely the opposite reason, i write it because i want them to understand that it's my issue, not anything they're doing, something i can't help. I want them to understand that those times when i go quiet, or seem distant or sad, it's my way of dealing with those feelings, not a comment on their friendship.

I mean if i still feel out of place when spending time with friends i've had for more than 16 years now, it has to be something internal that is causing this feeling.

I do find myself on my own quite a lot; i've spent quite a lot of the last two years practically living alone, i spent my teenage years travelling on my own to Forest games, both in Nottingham and across the country, because i didn't know any other Forest fans willing or able to travel to the games, i went to my friends gigs on my own more than once, again due to lack of willing or interested company. I never used to find it such a problem, i got quite good at being on my own, but it's gradually become this issue which really is bothering me. I guess i kept believing it would change, that i'd learn or something, but like with anything, the longer you have to believe something without reward, the weaker that belief becomes.

I'm not denying that being single doesn't help, especially considering that my friendship group has a brilliantly high frequency of long term couples, but i think it's more than that. I suspect that until i find some way to be more comfortable in the person i am and the friends i have before i'd really benefit from a relationship, what's to stop me still feeling lonely in their company, ending up ruining it for both of us.

No this is something to do with me, not the people around me and i wish i knew how to change it.

Maybe most people feel like this, maybe everyone feels like an outsider and we're all just pretending to fit in. Quite possibly i'm over reacting, being over sensitive and confusing loneliness with awkwardness. But deep down i don't think i am and i can't believe everyone feels like this. I hope everyone doesn't, because it's not much fun.

I promised myself when i started this blog, as well as covering politics and films/tv/music/etc, that i would be open and honest about how i am feeling and the things i'm thinking. It's my blog, so i have to hope that if you're reading it, you're at least vaguely interested in the things that matter to me. If not, it's still my blog, so i'm going to write about that stuff anyway.

There's a couple of quotes, from a musician i quite like, called Andrew McMahon, from the band Jack's Mannequin, which i've always found kind of comforting.

"The whole world, myself included, seem to have one thing in common; we're just a crowd of people who don't really fit in anywhere attempting to convince one another that we do. I guess I'll put my sunglasses on and pretend, like everyone else, that I too belong here..."


"We live in this culture where everything is supposed to be so hip and so cool, and it's not cool to love, and it's not cool to take care of each other, and it's not cool to stand up for ourselves. But you know what? Fuck all of that. I believe in love, and I believe that the only way that we are going to survive this fucking craziness that's going on in our world today is if we just learn to look at love, turn our heads the other way from all the bullshit, and fucking love."

& finally

"You don't have to push or pull or fight or win, the struggle is illusory. Sometimes or rather, all times, you just have to be."

This is a man who's overcome leukemia, a man who's had to deal with a level of struggle i haven't even come close to, so i guess i should really listen to the advice he has.

I don't think i'm unique in this, wanting it doesn't make me special or different, in fact i think it makes me everyone like everyone else, but i just want to feel like i fit in somewhere. It'd be nice.

To finish this post off, 2 songs, the first which has a lyric in it which links in nicely with what i've been writing about and inspired the title of the post, the second not of huge relevance to what i've just written, but a song which kind of fits the mood i am in.

First up is "Dark Blue" by Jack's Mannequin.

The second is "Happiness by the Kilowatt", originally an Alexisonfire song, but here performed by Dallas Green on his own.


  1. I admire the fact that you are sticking to blogging regularly, & when you write about things like the death penalty the pieces will definitely contribute to your future aspirations as a journalist.
    In regards to this particular entry, I’m certain every person, even those who seem completely confident & at ease within a group are still trying very hard to fit, to merge, to gain consensus from his/her peers. Some are just better at hiding their discomfort.
    Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with going about certain things alone. If anything, those who shy away from it & rely on company are the ones lacking confidence in themselves.
    Being alone & in company offers different perspectives of reflection, & it’s only when a balance has been struck between the two that we are able to best understand the world around us.
    I’ve rambled on for long enough :) keep up your good work!
    P.S., I love Dark Blue!

  2. Thanks ChloƩ, appreciate that you've read a few of my blog posts and appreciate the feedback. I agree you're probably right about the fact that most people feel very similar to how i described, just something that had been bugging me for a few days.