It’s officially winter break now, which means long, slow days with nothing to do, days in which I get to look around and weigh the fullness/emptiness of my life. The weight of my life—most of the most substantial weight—is the writing. There is little else. Friends, family and people in general weigh very little. I am not an unfriendly person, but it takes an immense effort to want to be around other people. That is why, this break, I am only spending one week with family and three week by myself. Usually, I spend all four weeks with family, but while my physical presence is there, my emotional/mental being has already escaped during the first week, because being close to the ones I love for too long makes me unhappy. I am too aware of them. I cannot concentrate. I mourn my decision—while also acknowledging its rightness, because I have always been afraid to think on one particular question—If I cannot stand to be around my family, if I find it unbearable to be among those I love most in the world, then who can I bear to be around? If my biological family is not my true home, then where is my true home--where do I belong if not among people? Well, I am asking this question now, and I’m not afraid to look for the answer.
All these years, I’ve been disappointed that I withdraw when I am in the midst of even the most-longed-for company—while sitting next to an attractive woman, while having a conversation with an attractive woman, etc. My personal timidity, fear, and anguish makes even pondering a relationship impossible. I long for it. I obsess over the thought of finally, someday, having a romantic relationship, then—when I’m with an attractive woman, I freeze up or I realize how different I am. Different. Sometimes—how vaguely sometimes expresses such an oppressive emotion—I am so tired and worn out of being different.
How can I achieve personal romantic satisfaction? I do not want these unhealthy emotions clawing at me during lonely, cold, restless, bored winter months—because it is always the winter that brings about the melancholy. What I usually do to stave away loneliness is think on any attractive woman I vaguely know—and she is usually a writer, and google her endlessly for perhaps thirty minutes. I look for any tiny clue of her cyber existence. I don’t usually find much information, but tiny clues here and there lets me build my imagination of this woman. I build her life, her relationships, her daily routine. I build and build her based mostly on mystery and a few lines here and there, a published essay here and there, a news story here and there. This habit of mine is one of the reasons I do not have Facebook. It feels wrong to cyber-stalk these women to their personal cyber lair. I feel more comfortable googling and finding professional information on them. Reading their Facebook information is a boundary I am unwilling to cross. I am probably making too big a deal of it, but it’s something I feel strongly about. I will not spy on them without their permission. I will obsess, but only so much. So, yes, if someone were to ask me if I had a romantic life, I could say—Yes, yes, I have a one-sided romantic life which consists of me googling people I like and looking for tiny clues of them here and there. I fall for them usually based on my endless re-readings of their essays. I fall for their literary selves. I romance them by googling them in my free time, in my restless time, in any time when I feel I need a look. These are our dates, our getting to know each other dinners, our waltzes. And these women, of course, end up existing mainly in my head—in a world where their lives intersect mine and where, most importantly, I am comfortable enough to be fully myself.