Category Archives: When there is nobody to talk to

Don’t envy me

People often tell me that they wish they could live like I do. But fact is that they do not really know much about my life at all – otherwise they would not wish to be in my situation. Yes, I did have two good days in the last few weeks – I attended something many people would have loved to see (the red carpet event for the Hobbit world premiere – mind, just standing behind the barriers, it was a free event!), but this does not mean that I have a great life. It does not mean that I am richer than the people I talk to. If I was, I would not struggle so much. Yet, what people want to see and what the reality is are usually two different stories.

The people who say they “envy” me are actually the people who should be grateful for what they have: a home, a family, friends they can talk to, some security in life. All of this is basically missing from my life since I have been “kicked out” of New Zealand, the place that was my home for so many years.

I am writing these lines in a hostel, in a four bed dorm (for females only). I was lucky, and for the last three days I did not have to share the room – which is a plus. Yet, I was not even supposed to be here. I had booked a single room in a flat in a quiet part of London MONTHS in advance. But a few days ago, I stood in front of that place, at 8pm in the evening when I was supposed to check in – and nobody opened the door. One hour later, there still was nobody home, and I could not get in touch with the owner. So, in the dark, in London, I had to find an alternative. For one night, I could return to the place I stayed in before, another night I had to spend in an expensive hotel, and a few days ago I found a reasonably cheap hostel that only hosts up to 18 people (small for London). In a few days, I will have to move again – and do not yet know where to. It is not easy to find a single room for an affordable price with such short notice (and it’s not even my fault that I am in this situation – everything had been booked, planned, and paid for).

By the end of the month, I will have to be in Winchester where I will house- and cat-sit for six weeks. This will be a nice break from moving around – but I will also have to work hard on my freelance writing because the stress in London has cost me quite a bit of money, too.

So, do not envy me because of my “freedom”.

Another thing is that people should realise what a lonely life this is. When I feel like talking to someone, there is nobody to talk to. I can’t just call a friend and say “Hey, do you have some time for me?” Yes, I do meet people, but usually it is a matter of “out of their sight, out of their mind”. They see me as something temporary in their life, not really worth their time. It is not easy. I guess the fact that I have never been a popular person comes in handy now. I can deal with loneliness better than most people – but that does not mean that I often wish things would be different.

But when will it be different? I don’t know. I am not even sure yet what I will do after the house-sitting. I tried to find out whether I could go back to Scotland, but have not received a reply yet. So maybe I will stay in England. All I want is to find a place I could call home, even if it was just for a year, or even just half a year.

One thing people will never be able to understand is how heartbroken I am about not being “home” any more. I had to leave my beloved animals behind, and my dear rooster Frodo died while I was in Scotland. I should have been there for him – but I could not. My friend did all he could for him – but it should have been me, being there for him during the last days of his life. 

So, don’t envy me. You don’t want to live my life. And don’t be jealous about the one or the other good thing that happens to me, because the good things come with a high price.

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The things we do not say

A quote

I am currently reading a wonderful book called “There is no Fear (Children of the Knight Vol. 3)” by Michael Bowler. I just came across a line that inspired me to write this post. It goes like this:

“Sometimes saying the things we’ve not been saying […] was the hardest thing in the world to do.”

The quote is a thought from Lance, the main character, who thinks about his feelings for his best friend. Feelings that he hardly ever puts into words, partially because he has problems with accepting them, and is afraid of what would happen if he spoke those words.

The things we do not say – and why we do not say them

The things people do not say to each other play an important part in the series “Children of the Knight”. Another quote is

“It’s the things we don’t say to each other that make all the difference.”

I know the meaning behind those quotes only too well. I also know the inner conflict that comes with feelings that are left unspoken, feelings that you enjoy but that you do not want to show because you are afraid of being pushed away, of being misunderstood, of being rejected, of being ignored or even ridiculed for your honesty. It takes a lot of courage to tell someone the truth about your feelings, be they positive or negative, esp. if you don’t know what the other person feels for you. Sometimes we simply cannot find that courage, maybe because we have been hurt too much before when we were honest. The reason why we stay silent can be manifold.

Wanting to say something positive

In the case of feeling very positive towards a person (it doesn’t have to be the romantic type of love), you sometimes just would love to tell that person. For some reason you just feel so very positive about someone, you are filled with happiness and your soul is full of light.

When you know that the other person already is your friend, or a close family member, then it’s usually not much of a problem. But when you have just met someone a while ago, and you are not sure whether the other person would be interested in staying in touch with you, or even becoming a new friend, then it all is a bit different. The options are that you either communicate your feelings and face either rejection, acceptance, or being ignored (the worst case in my opinion), or that you say nothing at all and lose the contact to that person anyway. Of course, in the latter case you could hope that the other person would take the first step – but this might very likely not happen, maybe because he or she has the same problem like you, or because they simply do not like you. In any case, you would not find out. The chance would be lost.

But what happens if you are courageous enough to take the first step, and to make your feelings known (even if not the full extent)? You can either get a positive response, a negative response, or you might get no response at all. Being honest is the only option you have if you want to have a chance at something positive. However, for some of us the risk of the other two options is just too much to bear.

Should we just give up on saying the things that are important to us?

It might be easier just to be the passive party in all of our relationships. The problem would then be that you might miss out on some of the best friends you could find in life – just because both of you were too afraid to say what you both wanted to say. Even if it’s just something like “Wow, I would like to talk about that a bit more, could we stay in touch somehow?” A simple question like that will give you the chance to find out whether the other party is interested in staying in touch, too. They might be, they might be not. They might also be lying about wanting to stay in touch. You simply can’t predict what will happen. Even if there have been many negative experiences in the past, you should not give up.

I know….

I know how hard it is to be honest about your feelings. I know what it is like to be really interested in someone (for a variety of reasons). I know how vulnerable you feel when you open up to someone, and how scary it can be. I recently have made two rather disappointing experiences – and that only after I found the courage to actually be honest in a long time. For a while I believed I would never tell anyone I liked them before I wasn’t sure they felt the same. I didn’t want to ask anyone to be my friend because I was (and still am) terrified of rejection and being made fun of.

Yet, in the last six weeks, I told two people who were very important in my life, what they mean to me (one of them I told everything, the other one I only tried to establish some sort of contact after we met). I asked one of them whether I could become her apprentice because during the time I volunteered for her company, I learned so much, and gained so much insight into my own life. I would have loved to learn more, and gain proper knowledge in that job. I thanked her for everything she did, and told her that she was an incredible human being. I know that she has had a hard time recently, but even before that time, she did not respond. By now she likes some of my Facebook posts, and asked me to write a reference for her. But she never replied to my question. I was gutted about that.

So when I met someone who really fascinated me, I tried to keep my interest under control. I did not want to talk much to him, I did not want to know much about him. The first time I met him, I kept my distance. The second time we met, we talked more and I couldn’t keep it from myself that I would love to know more, that he was the kind of person I would love to have as a friend. For a while, I told myself there was no point in asking him to keep in touch. He’d be too busy, too popular, would not be interested anyway. But then I also reminded myself that I would never know unless I tried. I dared to communicate. When he left this place, I gave him my email address. Unfortunately, he never got in touch.

So my success rate isn’t that high. I tell myself to assume nothing. They might have reasons that have nothing to do with me at all. But it is easy for me to fall into the thought that they do not reply because they think I’m a boring person they would not like to have around / stay in touch with. It’s easy for me to beat myself up verbally, to believe that I’m simply not worth it. This is something I need to work on. I guess it’s something many people need to work on. At least I can tell myself I did my part. I was honest. And receiving no answer is also an answer.

Your experiences

What are your experiences with unspoken feelings and thoughts? Do you prefer to be honest at all times, or do you keep a lot to yourself even if it’s something quite positive?

 

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When you are waiting for that one message….

Hope vs doubt

Do you know the feeling when you turn on your computer every half hour just to check your emails to see whether a certain person finally sent you an email, just to see nothing new in your inbox (apart from the usual newsletters)? Do you know what it’s like to wait for a certain email for one and a half weeks and counting? Then you might know the mix of hope and disappointment that I’m currently going through. The hope whispers something along the lines: “A decision like that is not made in a short time, the email will come soon.” But the voice of doubt becomes louder after every passing day, it tells me: “If they can’t even find five minutes to send you a brief update, even just a short note they’d be in touch soon, then they will most likely not ever reply to you at all. You’re simply not worth their time. Hope is a traitor.”

Is hope a traitor?

Do you think that hope is a traitor? Is there a point in actually hoping, esp. after being disappointed many times? Is there a point in believing in ideals, and trying to live them?
Even though I wish I would soon receive the email that will solve my accommodation problem in August and for a big part of next year, my hope is slowly fading. The negative voice becomes stronger – and maybe it is the realistic voice. Asking why those people should choose me, saying that maybe they were quite happy that they got to see the last of me when I left there one and a half weeks ago. After all, none of the ones who said they’d keep in touch kept in touch. I was filled with so much hope, wanting to believe that I made some friends, even if it were only work friends, hoping that they could become proper friends if I was allowed to come back. But the hope is fading.

Good things come to those who wait?

This is probably one of the most annoying sayings I’ve had to listen to in the past – often coming from people who never had to  wait for a real friend to turn up, people who can say they have a home, a family, a place they belong, and maybe even a saving account with a good sum of money on it. Often sayings like that come from people who don’t know what it is like to lose hope, to feel lonely, and to feel too free. They do not understand. When they are sad, they don’t have to go blogging. They can meet a friend, a partner, a family member. When they need a hug, they can get one.
What am I doing wrong? I always help people, I try to be the best person I can personally be – and yet, there is nobody there to talk to. And when hope appears, it soon becomes extinguished again. What’s the point in living if you don’t matter to anyone? If nobody would actually notice when you’re gone?

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Always the same questions…

As I am currently helping out in a Bed & Breakfast, I have to deal with new guests almost every day. I’ve only been here for about a week now, yet it already gets to me. 90% of the guests are married couples, the other 10% either unmarried couples or mother/daughter, father/son teams.  On the four days I’m on the job, I also have to spend time with the guests, e.g. during breakfast, as it’s a B&B with a personal touch. You might think this isn’t the best choice for me, but when you’re basically a person without a home, you often only have limited options. So I’m in a B&B for the next five weeks, working in exchange for full board.

The problem is that new guests always ask the same questions. Where am I from? Why do I live in Scotland now? Do I miss my family? Do I ever go back home? And so on. What do you answer when you have no home, when you are glad the people you’re officially related to are quite far away? I always paint a picture of me being very independent, travelling to different parts of Scotland to find out which part I like best, and then settle down in that part. But that’s not it. I travel around because I have no home, I travel around because I don’t have the money to afford a home. I can’t go back to my home because I don’t have one.  And every day I get reminded of it. Every day, I have to think about it, answer questions about it, pretend to be positive about it, bend the truth a little.

When I still worked on the organic gardening farm, I could at least pretend that I belong. I was able to get to know some of the people, even though it was only during work hours. I told myself not to get attached to anyone, after all none of them cared enough to spend time with me outside work. And none of them got in touch with me after I left there. I would like to send someone a message, but now I’m worried I’d just annoy him. He’s been a good “friend” during work, but maybe being friendly was just part of the job. I doubt that any of the workers actually miss me at all. I wish at least one did. I wish I would mean something to just one of them.

And I wish I had a home. At the moment I don’t know where I’ll be in August – and that is a bit scary. I would like to be around Edinburgh because Haruki Murakami and George R.R. Martin will be at the book festival in August, but who knows. Money is the problem. And by now I doubt that the farm will take me back in August. I asked but did not get a reply, so I can probably write that off.

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The Facebook experiment

I have been in a new place for a few days. I’m currently on the North Coast of Scotland, where they still have fires during June because it’s usually cold. I will be here for a total of five and a half weeks, and then – who knows… I have plans for September and October, but nothing for August. But never mind that.

When I left the organic farm I was working on as a volunteer for almost three months, many people made quite a big deal out of me leaving, acting as if they were sad, saying that they would stay in touch and so on, and so on. I say “acting” because after one week of not being there, not one of them got in touch with me, and only one responded to a message I left her on Facebook. Someone else even received a written letter, and a longer email from me (as I wanted to come back to the place as an apprentice). But even to that I have not received a reply, not even a short “sorry, but no, thank you”.

So, for a while, I will try an experiment on Facebook. I often post photos, share interesting articles etc. Someone said that it would be unusual not to see me on Facebook, and that they’d be “worried” if my posts were missing. I will put that to the test in the next couple of weeks. I will not post a single thing on Facebook, not “like” anything, not comment on things. I wonder whether anyone will truly notice that I’m not active on FB, whether even just one single person would truly notice. I’m afraid nobody will.

Real friends would be in touch on other channels, too, anyway. I guess I just don’t have any real friends. I’m not the kind of person people “like”. I’m someone you only get to know after quite a bit of time – for most people that’s just too much effort. Or maybe I’m just a hopeless case – something like the manure you put in your garden. It’s needed to grow really good vegetables, but nobody wants to spend too much time with it. And once it’s where it’s needed, it’s out of your mind.

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A sad day

When I wrote my post this morning, I felt energized and positive. Now I feel like I had enough of the world, I would like to leave the place I’m currently staying at – but don’t have enough money on my bank account to do so. It feels really bad to be limited this way – and to also feel so torn about what to do.

A short summary about where I am: This is an organic gardening company, planting, packing and selling organic produce. I work here as a so-called WWOOFer, i.e. I work in exchange for accommodation (in a caravan) and food. In my current situation, I simply don’t have any other choice but to live this way. I have no home, have been kicked out of the country I love, and don’t earn enough money with writing that I could actually rent a place of my own.

The problem: In the first three weeks, this place seemed really nice. I made friends with the chickens (I love animals very much, unlike people they don’t lie to you, they don’t betray you, and don’t mind being loved). Unfortunately, this place is really bad when it comes to handling the chickens properly, i.e. they manage to get out of their area. Two of them haven’t lived in their coop since before I arrived there – and nobody cares to change a thing so everything would be alright. I actually enjoyed the company of those two. They provided me with company. They brought me happiness. And they made my stay here enjoyable. They helped me to bear with the things I don’t like about this place.

Tomorrow they will be dead. And I can do nothing about it.

They way this is handled is horrible. I don’t want to be here any more – but I have nowhere to go until the beginning of June. I already tried to contact other places, but it seems impossible to find something at such a short notice.

I know I should try to be positive and hopeful. Try to see something good in the bad, but I can’t. Sometimes you just can’t. And there’s not a single soul around I could talk to about this. I’m just a cheap worker here. That’s all.

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