[Note: the way I write this may seem fictive, but it is not.]
I have forgotten how to be alone.
When I was a child, I delighted in loneliness, in isolation. My bed was in a house, but I lived in books. Then, later, I lived in the trees. Much time passed. I no longer lived with the trees; I no longer had time for books. I lived to sing. I made a few friends I cherish deeply, but overall, I relate to them through singing. I came here; I studied here. I made a few friends, and I spent my every waking moment with them. I moved away; I tried to return to my solitary ways, but found it difficult. Taken away from my esprit, I slowly shriveled up, trying my best to live through work, through frequent trips to the cinema, through the internet. It didn't work. Eventually, I came back. I found more friends than I had left, by far. I spent two years in a whirlwind of energy and life and companionship-- the most beautiful of my life. The first year, radiant as the sun, was clouded by lingering effects of my isolation and growing dissatisfaction with myself. During the second, I broke free, and fully appreciated what I had been given-- which only made my dependency worse. Slowly, as all things must, it came to an end as people drifted away. I don't begrudge them their freedom: it is the thing most important to me as well. Their adventures inspire and delight me. I took solace in my best friend, the one remaining to me, to the point of codependency. Eventually, we regrouped, a few returned, temporarily or permanently. I was, and still am, happy.
But I am also unhappy. I rely heavily on three people for my social interaction, and this social interaction is vital to my existence. I have never allowed myself to become dependent on any substance, and it bothers me that I require this. It's not that I don't want to socialize; far from it. But I need interactions sometimes in a way that is totally irrational. Last night, I sat in a tire swing pondering my existence because my three were unavailable, and I realized the extent to which I depend on others for my happiness.
I am terrified. In fourteen months, I am moving to a foreign country halfway across the world to restart my life. This is an enormous opportunity for me, and I am delirious with excitement. But that excitement is heavily tempered with the knowledge that in 426 days, give or take, my entire social network will cease to exist. I don't dislike 'virtual' relationships-- they're what I've built nearly my entire life on. But as someone who has only just learned the joys of having people around you, who you can physically go do things with, losing this is horrifying.
I try above all else to be a rational person. I understand that I will be too busy when I arrive to think about it too hard, and by the time I'm ready to start seeing people again I'll have at the very least acquaintances. I understand that my entire life has been practice in making friends quickly and easily. I understand that despite the language barrier, there is a significant population of people with my native language and customs-- it's one of the reasons I picked where I'm going. But sometimes, sitting alone at night, the doubt and the fear creep in.
I have forgotten how to be alone, and it is the most important lesson of my life.