To say this pandemic has brought out an array of emotions is an understatement. I have spent much of my adult life alone and despite being an extrovert, I do enjoy being alone, or so I thought I did.
Anyone who knows me knows that I thrive off social connection. Any restaurant I go to I sit at the bar and know many of the employees there and consider them my friends. When I go to the mall, I made sure to talk to the valet workers, often receiving a greeting anytime I would return to the those malls. However, while these connections are great and I have actually made some amazing friends at these restaurants, this pandemic and social isolation has made me realize that I am lacking something I had a year ago, a vulnerable connection with another human being.
While I have many friends and enjoy there company for dinner and karaoke occasionally, I have realized I have really only had two very close friends in my life. The first person is someone who I come to call family and lived with upon my arrival to Los Angeles after college. I met this person outside my apartment building where she also lived, and met her French Bulldog Bettie Davis. We struck up a conversation and a few months later I moved into her apartment. We then moved to Atwater village together. Long story short, we spent many months together and helped each other through personal life issues that make people inevitably closer. We parted ways as roommates but she remains one of my closest friends to this day. I opened up to her in ways I never had with a friend before and she did to me as well.
The next person who I shared a close friendship with was my ex boyfriend. He was the first person I felt comfortable romantically sharing my struggles and while our relationship ended, our friendship was as vulnerable as our romance was. We could talk about anything and while we were fundamentally different, I felt comfortable sharing a side of myself that I have never been comfortable sharing. Our friendship went beyond the normal “what do you do” and “how are you? questions. We would take drives together and my responsibility balanced his spontaneity and life for adventure. This friendship ended in a bad falling out that has forced a harsh realization of my lack of close friendship hard. I still am very close with my old roommate but I don’t see her much.
This pandemic has forced me to look within and not for external outside connections such as my friends in the restaurants. I am using this time to foster a connection within myself and get used to once again enjoy being alone.