A Premature Reflection
Updated: Sep 9, 2022
A photo of the Union pacific railroad in West Allis, Wisconsin, featuring Jake. The photo showcases what I needed all along.
In the summer of 2017, I had finally realized I was alone.
It was a timid and unpleasant feeling, one that is memorable for years to come. Yet it wasn’t sudden like a punch to the throat, nor was it a crack of the whip, much like a poem I wrote a month ago. These feelings wouldn’t fully manifest within me until the spring of 2018.
Every single summer was the same. I loved each and every one. Yet, this one felt different. I felt like something significant was missing.
Having recently downloaded social media was most likely a precursor to what I was already feeling. I desired to stay connected to my beloved friends, and this idea led to the spiraling downfall known as freshmen year.
It made me realize what I was missing, and it showed me just how lonely I really was.
I was never invited to anything. I couldn’t afford a passing thought from my peers. I thought I was predisposed to permanent loneliness.
The summer was calling for a change; a change in my weak mentality. I was missing out on parties, on pleasure, on happiness.
This is what I’m missing, I told myself. I wanted this. I needed this.
This new mentality instilled within me led to the notorious beginning of freshmen year. I had rejected my old character and was ready for the flood of new friends to start knocking on my door. All I needed was a method of getting people to talk to me. Many of my peers respected me and thought I was intelligent— yet they would never dare become friends with me.
I decided to start by helping others with homework.
That idea was among the worst I’ve ever had.
The service I provided soon turned into slavery, and the snow began to fall. This experience is sighted in ‘Unwanted,’ a poem of mine written in February 2018. At first, I had inflicted blame on the negligence and incompetence of my peers. Perhaps this was the right call, as a few of them have attended anti-shutdown protests.
Yet as the winter grew weary and my depression grew stronger, I had shifted the blame not the incompetence of others, but the incompetence of myself.
In March, I was frail and weak. I had no purpose to serve and no goals. I had no one to go to, and no one to be with.
I let others step on me and crush me. All just so they would stop by.
I had lost myself.
As my social life was either non-existent or the equivalent of a living wreck, I fell into a hole of depression. April 2018 was the climax of the low; I had never felt more alone.
I started to turn to old hobbies to distance myself from my school. I wanted to get back what I felt was missing, even if I didn’t know quite what. Perhaps it was a sense of accomplishment.
I had finally finished a long manuscript of some bullshit I threw together, which was titled 2050.
This completion energized me. This completion gave me enough hope, and uplifted my spirts enough to keep me moving. For once in a very long time, I had felt motivated.
By the time sophomore year rolled around, I had grown just a little. I had polished some of the rough edges, and finally had a minimal grasp on what high schoolers found socially acceptable. I was not alone anymore, and I finally fit into a group.
Yet, something was still missing.
I had a social life, so I decided to build up myself. I thought it was love, and boy, did I get some. I learned thst love is futile, and that it isn’t necessary towards the path of self fulfillment. Maslow would disagree, but perhaps a revelation was in progress.
My novel was released in May 2019, and a sense of accomplishment was finally instilled within me. I finally felt like a complete picture. All the holes that were laid out before me were finally filled.
Yet, a greater realization would come across me nearly a year later.
I had realized that this isolation that I always find myself in is simply meant to be.
What was missing was something I lost long ago.
What was missing was something I lost in the summer of ‘17— my true self.
The COVID-19 outbreak, as unfortunate as it has been on a global scale, has been good to me. This isolation that I’ve been ‘dealing with‘ has led me to start doing the same shit I would do as little kid. I continue to write, build with LEGO, garden, clean, exercise, and get outside. It’s all the same as those old summers.
The quarantine has allowed me to rediscover my true self, and has reinvigorated my interests and has inflicted personal growth. For those reasons, and those reasons only, I am happy to have this opportunity of time to myself (I do miss basketball, admittedly).
All I had was what I needed, and since it’s hard to acquire more in these trying times, what I had was enough, I now see.
In the beginning of 2020, I had finally realized I was never alone.
I was merely independent, and fine on my own, being true to myself.