Lonely – an Old Entry

You probably would have guessed that I have nothing to write about when I am rehashing things that I wrote in the past. :p

So, here is some sort of a diary/personal record entry in my pre-blog days. It was posted on my BBS board (which contains some of my deepest secrets :p) and was written in October 2003, more than 3 years ago. It’s funny that a large part of it still applies to me today:

I do not know why I am writing this piece in English.  I guess I am being influence by a friend who I just got to know on the BBS. Sometimes I cannot help but to laugh at how easily I can be influenced by people who I just got to know. Is this a sign of naivety? Perhaps. There are things in life which I cannot do anything about, and the naive side of me is one of them.  It will only go away with time, and once it goes away, it will never come back.

After my first year in the university, my English writing skills had been constantly deteriorating. Nowadays, I am only good for writing dry and dull technical reports. As you see, I am trying my best in trying to express my feelings in English, admittedly for the first time in my life.

(2006 edit: I think my English got even worse since then…)

Sometime ago, I was taught the difference between “lonely” and “alone.” Alone is whether there are people around you, it is a physical state which can be quantified (excuse the seemingly technical description). Lonely, on the other hand, is a feeling. A person can feel lonely even when he or she is center of attention of hundreds or thousands of people.

A long time ago, I started repeatedly asking myself the same question: Am I lonely? I know I am not alone. Although I have a rather reserved and timid personality, at every stage of my life, I don’t feel I am lacking in friends. However, at most times I really doubt if any of my friends know me well, even though same may know me better than others. I did not really let anyone know the “full version” of me.

I remember when I was in grade 10, a friend once asked me if I think I have a friend who really know me deep inside. “No” was a prompt answer from me. Come to think of it, I don’t think I know myself all that well either.

To me, that is loneliness.Lonely despite being surrounded is still better than being both lonely and alone. That was the mentality I have adopted over time. I started to look forward to hang out with my friends, and I would feel sad if a suddenly change of plan cancelled an outing. I look forward for my friends to go online on ICQ (2006 edit: ICQ, now that is a real sign of time), so I can chat with them. I would feel bored and restless if there isn’t anyone to chat with.

Perhaps same may say I was just groaning while not feeling any pain. My parents live with me, unlike others who may have to live alone in a foreign country; although it does snow once or twice a year during the winter, the snow in Vancouver is merely a nuisance compared to the constant sub-zero temperatures and snow storms in other parts of North America. I must admit I am a lucky person, in a sense, I guess that is what changed me in recent years.

Sometime not too long ago, I stopped asking myself that question. It’s not that I do not feel lonely anymore, but I learnt to live with it.  If a friend can’t make it for a dinner, fine, I would eat at home and save myself some money. If none of my friends are online, fine, I would start early on the programming assignment. (2006 edit: oh, my good old hardworking self…)

So what if I spend all four years in university life being single? (2006 edit: okay, so I was wrong about being for all four years) If the feeling is not there, it is simply not going to happen. It is that simple, really.

Sometimes I even declined offers of going out just because I don’t want to shower again after going out, or not wanting to drive 30 minutes, or simply I don’t want to get out of the house.

I am not shaken by loneliness anymore, at least on the surface.

I am not invulnerable, I never will.  What I can do is to make those feelings seem trivial, and just move on with life.

-the piece ends here-

It’s fun looking at what I wrote in the past. People sometimes get stuck in the present and seemingly forget who they used to be and why they are where they are in the first place. But understanding the past is the only way to move forward to the future, in my opinion anyway.

And no, I don’t decline invites for going out (especially if you tell me you’re going to sing karaoke). It was just a figure of speech. :p

2 Replies to “Lonely – an Old Entry”

  1. hey david, you reminded me that i had some sorta discussion with someone else b4…was it you? or Leo? anyhoo, i read the whole thing (really the whole thing), and i like this line “understanding the past is the only way to move forward to the future” < -- so true!! and i wonder if ppl still chat with ICQ, seems like "ICQ AGE" has ended (missed that "uh-oh" sometimes). Aside from all the crap i said, i just wanna drop by and say hi, that's all~ ^_^


  2. hey man. you sure you are not lonely now right? to me, being lonely but not alone is the worst. we probably thought we had defeated loneliness at some point — but i think that’s only because we weren’t that lonely after all.


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