The Big “A” word

Back when I attended high-school, there was a word that I absolutely hated. I hated the idea of it. I hated how it sounded and I hated how it made me feel.

The word was “Alone.”

Yep, that’s right. The big “A” word that no one really likes to use or hear. I disliked it so much that I tried my best to fit in with whatever clique was apparent. There was the popular clique which I absolutely couldn’t stand. There was the “Asian” clique where all we did was play card games and talk about Anime. Then there was the try hard clique where all we talked about was homework and trying to decide which University or College we would all go to. Then finally, the one clique that I sort of kinda fit in to, the sport clique. Or more accurately, the Badminton Team (how Asian am I right?). Don’t get me wrong, I made really good friends from each clique but as a result of me trying to fit in, I was never…me. I was never authentic, I made fun of people and I hung around the wrong crowd. All this because I didn’t like the word “Alone.” Nay, what I should really say is that I didn’t like to be alone. To this day, I still don’t understand why I disliked the word so much.

Here’s me being alone (cool? Not really LOL) somewhere near waterfront”

I disliked being alone so much that when I WAS alone, I would get depressed or anxious. There would be times during lunch break at school when my particular group of friends would be hanging out with other people or doing different things that I would end up on my own. I absolutely hated it because anxiety would creep up on me as I wandered the halls aimlessly desperately looking for friends or people to chat with. Earlier in my high school years (or middle school depending where you’re from) I would cut myself along my arm or do stupid shit like not wear a jacket on really cold (snow) days or climb buildings just to get attention from my friends. Dude, I was a bad kid. At first I literally thought I was depressed and justified it as actions of a depressed kid but now as I’m writing this and thinking, maybe I was really just looking for attention. All this just because I couldn’t stand to be alone. Or maybe I actually was depressed because I was alone. In any case, it was a pretty crazy time for me.

Two of my best friends (basically family) and I meeting Andrew Belle!! I was lucky enough to meet my two friends as I was on the journey of finding myself. Also, if you haven’t heard his music you’re missing out.”

So, you’ve made it this far into my post. What are your thoughts so far? Can you relate to me? Would you have done the same thing if you were in my shoes? And are you in a similar situation?

For those of you who answered “yes” to the last question, I’ve got hope for you. I’ve even got a little advice for you (from experience of course).

Just embrace it. Embrace the loneliness. This isn’t me trying to convert you to the Dark Side( they have cookies so I’m told) or me trying to convert you to a Satan Worshipper (wow little extreme(((Also I dont worship Satan. That’s a little messed) Also did this just to use a third parentheses. Thanks for the idea Kyle Cease))). This is me trying to tell you it’s completely normal. It’s okay to be alone or to feel lonely. Sometimes you NEED to be alone in order to find out who you really are. Where do you fit in? What kind of person are you when you’re not surrounded by your friends? Because whoever you are when you’re by yourself is the REAL you.

“Insert random embarrassing picture of me just to try to keep you interested in this post LOL”

During my 2-3 years of intentional personal growth, I found that it was actually necessary to be alone for some time. You need time on your own to think, to drown out the sound of the world, to question yourself, and to see where YOU are at. Being on your own allows you to truly be yourself. Being alone no longer bothered me once I started to understand the benefits of enjoying my own company. Hell, I went from “oh gee I hate being alone” to “Hey let’s go on a trip halfway across the world ON MY OWN with little to no contact to anyone I know for 10 days.” And I’m going to be honest here, those were some of the best 10 days of my life.

Now obviously I’m not saying be on your own 24/7. Spend some time with yourself but also spend some time with people you love and care for. The benefit of finding yourself and being yourself, is that you naturally attract other people who are similar to you. Obviously the process of “finding yourself” is a constant journey but even so, I’ve made so many friends by being just my genuine self. There was no need for me to find a clique or to create a fake persona just so people would like me.

If you had to take just one thing away from this blog post let it be this; Learn to take yourself on dates. As odd as it sounds, just spend a day and do something (anything) you love. Take some time to just appreciate and learn about yourself. Through that process, you will learn that happiness is an inside job out, you will learn to love and value yourself, and you will learn that you are your own very best friend.

“The sun hanging over the horizon. Meaning to give you hope and send you good vibes.”

Now you know a part of my story. I hope I was able to add value to some of you guys. It certainly isn’t easy when you feel lost and you’re by yourself. I honestly wish someone approached me during high school and told me that it was okay to feel the way I felt. That I didn’t need to fit in and that in fact, we were made to be unique so that we would stand out. Anyway, that’s it from me! Until we speak again.

Your Friend,

Collin Yan

P.S: I was listening to the song “High Hopes – Kodaline” as I was writing this. Give it a listen I think you’ll quite enjoy it (:

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