There’s a refrain that sounds in my head some nights. Different things trigger it. Sometimes it comes after I see happy couples on Facebook; sometimes it’s when I spend too much time on something like Tinder or Okcupid and don’t feel like I’ve made any progress. The refrain that I hear is “when is it going to be my turn?” and before you even say it – yes, I know that it isn’t healthy to compare my life to others’. But I think it’s a pretty natural instinct, especially when you’re depressed and lonely.
I’ve always sought guidance and direction from those people that have what I want. All throughout my life, from childhood to now, I have looked at those people who have achieved the things that I wanted to achieve and I have tried my best to change parts of my life to match them. Everything from patterns of speech to the way I dress, body language, the things I watch and listen to – everything. So when I see someone that I want to be like in a happy relationship and I look at how hard I’m trying to make that happen for myself, I end up wondering…when do I get my chance to have that? Is that type of thing only reserved for certain types of people who have enough of their shit together to make it happen? Because if so, then it’s over for me, no matter how hard I try.
Everyone has an opinion about how you meet new people and how you find someone that might be interested in you. But that’s what they are – opinions, not answers. No one really knows and as much as I wish it wasn’t the case, I know that there aren’t really answers. But it also feels to me like no one can see how hard I’m really trying, like no one really understands the effort that I’m putting out there; it always seems like I have to give even more than I already have been and I just wonder if it’s even worth it to have to try that hard. (I should probably also mention that most of the people who think I’m not trying hard enough seem to have not had to try that hard themselves, but what do I know?) Regardless, it still leaves me with the feeling that at some point, it has to be my turn…right? But the longer this goes on, the more I start to believe that there is nothing in this life that guarantees my turn. Maybe I just don’t get one.
I was actually planning on writing this post tonight anyway, but something happened tonight that kind of compounded this feeling anyway. I was on the train on the way home tonight, already feeling my normal feelings of being overwhelmed by the amount of pretty people in NYC, when I noticed a guy getting on my train who I thought was attractive. I didn’t really pay him a lot of attention at first (at least, no more than I usually would) until I noticed that the book he was reading was Star Wars: Thrawn. He was a nerd – like me! My mind kicked into overdrive at the thought of speaking to him – what would I say, how would I say it, how would I keep things going, would he want to be interrupted while he was reading, what would other people on the train think, I could be making a fool out of myself in front of everyone, hell I didn’t even know if he was gay…
I took a picture and sent it to one of my best friends. His advice, while admittedly playful, reinforced what I already knew: I should talk to him. What did I have to lose? I won’t draw this out – I didn’t talk to him. And I’m left with feelings of regret and despondence. What if that was a great opportunity that I let slip away, all because I don’t know how to talk to strangers? How will I ever meet anyone new if I’m too scared or unsure to start conversations? Am I really going to be doomed to a life on my own all because I can’t figure out a way to do the things that everyone else in my life seems to think are just so fucking simple? Is my life going to continue to feel like this until I can learn how to actively pursue someone (I didn’t even like typing out that phrase)? I just feel like there has to be some trick, some tactic out there that I haven’t tried, some secret that everyone else knows except for me.
When I say things like this to friends of mine, their first instinct is to tell me how great I am. And that at some point, someone will find me and it will be great. But the thing that I always think when I hear them say that is that if I’m so great, if there are guys out there that would really like me, then why is it that I’m having such a hard time with this? If I’m really as great as stated, should it really be this hard? Or, like I said above, maybe I just don’t get a turn.