A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter to my sister. I was talking about stars and how ridiculously amazing they are. To summarize my strange observations, I believe they are the greatest because they are always there: whether you’re in the middle of nowhere, watching them shine fiercely or of bright city lights are dulling their sparkle. Stars are consistent, never distracted because they quite literally rise above it all.
You might be wondering why I sound so obsessed with these luminous, astronomical objects. It also might not make sense to you since you may have clicked on this article, expecting a generic “YAY! LIVING IT UP IN COLLEGE” piece. I couldn’t give you a simple answer if I wanted to. And I couldn’t give you a simple recollection if I wanted to. What I can tell you, though, is how my sophomore year has made me feel almost as rad as these beauties. This year, I’ve realized that adulting is hard because of dependency: whether or not people will admit it, it’s a human condition to cling or to desire to cling to someone/thing else. It sucks because when you’re in public and you see someone alone, you automatically think there is something wrong with them. Social media has made it “uncool” if you’re not hanging with other people 24/7, or do not have a lover of sorts, or are not partying like your life depended on it, etc. etc. etc…. It’s a lot.
I’m guilty of buying into this nasty lifestyle expectation. Big time. People always say I’m “nice” and “cool” all the time (this isn’t a brag, it’s the truth and it makes me feel uncomfortable). There’s obviously nothing wrong with compliments, but it’s the expectations that follow them threatening my peace of mind most times. I constantly feel like those are the two things I have to be: nice and cool and nothing else. Up until September, I preferred to be unsatisfied in relationships that expected this of me because I was too afraid to be alone. I felt uncomfortable feeling pissed or sad because that wasn’t part of my descriptions.
But I took what I consider to be a huge step in the right direction by doing something I knew I would benefit from, even if others didn’t agree. And since then, I’ve been slowly introducing this concept of self-satisfaction to myself. My sophomore year has been filled with me standing firm in this idea. If I have to get mean or aggressive about my life, then I will without the bat of an eye because it’s my life. I am no one’s child but my parents and I am definitely no one’s mom.
I am a close-to 20-year-old with a great idea of my future that I plan on enjoying with or without the companionship. Stars live their own lives while still surrounding themselves with stars/objects that aren’t incredibly destructive or demanding. Just like them, I want to achieve my goals and be happy, unaffected by the needs of people who can’t see my vision. This school year has shown me the true difference between permanence and temporariness: as perfectly worded by Master of None, “Some people are here for a reason and some for a season.” I honestly don’t think I would have gained as much confidence and motivation to be healthily selfish if it weren’t for that one step. Each day, I feel like I care less about making people scared by feeling emotions other than happy once in a while. Plus, I really enjoy being alone and exploring the world alone. Don’t get me wrong: it’s been hard to somewhat ignore what other people want from me because I’ve spent so much time and energy caring. And sometimes loneliness reverts to that sickening, sad feeling. I’ll be learning to cope for a while, but learning to focus on Noelle’s wants reveals a piece of who I am each day and I’ve never felt so free.
This type of loneliness, this star power loneliness, has been super important in my journey to becoming a super stellar, adult-ish version of myself. There’s a long way to go, but I know that with much practice and self-care, I’ll be able to rise above it all like those stars I’m so fond of.