Expanding Social Circle

I’ll be outstation for a short bit soon and this morning I was wondering what to do during my break. I thought of visiting the mall, or museum, or just plain people-watch. I listed out a list of things I might do, and if it’s a good thing to do.

Then I saw a problem: none of my activities included people.

You see, I don’t usually see it as a problem because I would’ve spent the previous days with people. I only like to add drama, some spice to my life by saying “I’m so alone!” having people pity me on social media but in reality it’s something I enjoy.

(I don’t think people who are on my social media read my blog; hello)

Then I remembered something a man I had just met told me: “You need to expand your social circle.”

I argued with him, “My social circle is wide!”

And he replied, “Work is not social.”

It didn’t hit me like a ton of bricks then, but it did this morning.

You mean all these while, the people I’ve been connecting with,…is not…social?

Someone else then sent me a message on WhatsApp saying how pissed she was because her friend turned down her invitation to hang out due to “bad mood” reasons but turned out was hanging out with another person. She was hurt, OF COURSE she would feel hurt.

The friend then asked me how I would feel if I were her. I found myself unconsciously saying this: “It’s happened to me too.”

Oh boy, I had totally forgotten.

About more than ten years ago I was eager to keep friendships. But my parents taught me to question and be outspoken about everything. So I guess I wasn’t much liked for that. I wasn’t aware. One day friends were all agreeing to meet somewhere at some time. It was the multiple-ways phone call thing. A few minutes after I hung up, I received a phone call from another person who said, “Don’t go, they’re not planning to go. They just want you to go there alone.”

Tears flushed down my skin and seeped into my soul. I did not even cry that much at a funeral. I was heartbroken and ever since I preferred to do things alone. I later found out the lot really did not like me. But what was I to do? I never begged for their friendship back or changed how I talked. I continued being me, except for the part where I would try to include friends in the picture. I learnt to go to places on my own and over time, I was always alone.

It has become a habit. Unknowingly, it’s a shield, a self-defense I have from being hurt again.

Makes sense. This is why I always fight to be alone. Willingly drop out of social circles to be alone. Everything just so I could be alone.

People I meet are for work discussions, or to see if we could have a common connection. Of course I would say hi every now and then. Nobody initiates a hi, but oh well.

Solitude is the shell I retreat into.

They say I’m strong for being able to travel to places and dine out on my own.

Little did I know, I too, am a wounded little soldier.

It’s all right, Fifi. You are all right.

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