Alone in a crowd

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So, I’m back! I went home for the weekend, or at least, back to Belgium. We have this circle of friends with which we get out for the weekend twice a year, and it seemed fun to go back especially for the occasion, even though I had only been away for 3 weeks. In addition, it gave me the chance to pick up some much-missed stuff I hadn’t been able to bring on first arriving (my cycle bags! my thick pillow!!). So it should’ve been an all happy so-glad-to-see-you-all-again kind of weekend.

It wasn’t.

I have no idea what went wrong exactly, and where, but I felt so much out of place.
Who were these people?
What was I supposed to do?
What was I supposed to say to them, anyway?

I have known most of them for 10 years or more, they are some of my longest lasting friends. If I can’t be at ease around them, when can I?

Maybe I set my expectations too high. Maybe I was actually having fun and it was the thought of having to return to my solitary confinement that brought me down. Maybe it was weird being surrounded by people again after almost 3 weeks of isolation. Granted, I’ve been out with my colleagues once, I’ve had the dance course and stuff, but still, I’m alone most of the time. Maybe it was just hormones. Maybe it was a combination of all of these things. Whichever it was, I felt flooded by a ton of emotions, but happiness wasn’t one of them. Which only resulted in feeling guilty for not feeling happy and I cried my eyes out with T about it. It’s a horrible feeling not to be at ease around your friends.

It got better later on the weekend – we did this high rope course (which I LOVE to do) on Saturday and the whole team building experience made me feel more at home – but as I had to leave early on Sunday I couldn’t really enjoy it much, and the coming home alone didn’t exactly help to lift my spirits again.

I expected this to be a life-changing experience. In fact, I counted on it being a life-changing experience. But somehow I assumed it would be the kind of experience you look back onto and say: now thàt changed me.
I didn’t expect to feel it so soon, so physically, so PRESENT in my daily life.

I guess lesson 1 has been taught.

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