In recent years I’ve become far more emotionally ‘strong’ and ‘independent’ (by which I actually mean numb and detached) as I’ve learnt to cope with life a bit better. I’ve stopped feeling excitement so I can never be hurt by the disappointment which almost always follows it. Similarly, I struggle to feel love because the danger of rejection and humiliation make it seem unattractive. Also, I’ve learnt that the little emotional energy I do have isn’t worth investing in anything as nothing in this world gives a fair or worthwhile return in comparison to the time, money or energy it requires. As a result I have little motivation as I’m aware that my dreams and desires will never materialise and trying to chase those dreams only reveals how naive you were to believe otherwise. Furthermore, I now know any attempt to fix myself will only make me more broken. So why bother?
Paradoxically, the older I get the greater my problems are, but the less I am bothered by them. I yearn for the time when my biggest worry was whether my friend had started to prefer the new Lego Knights Kingdom range of toys over the Lego Bionicles which were mine (previously our) obsession. I miss crying when I was worried that my favourite TV shows, such as The Demon Head Master or Dick and Dom, were coming to an end. I miss crying more than a boy ‘should’ and I miss being ‘too’ sensitive for my age. I miss caring too much about everything and being overwhelmed too easily. I miss caring much more than I do now, over much smaller problems than I have now.
Unbelievably, I miss going to bed and hoping I wouldn’t wake up. I miss waking up and thinking that no one would’ve cared if I hadn’t. I miss having my heart broken. I miss being angry at my parents, being angry at myself, being angry at society, being angry at politics and being angry at religion. I miss lying in bed till 4 AM every night overthinking and worrying about every single social interaction I had had that day.
I miss all that because those intense negative emotions came hand in hand with intense positive emotions. I miss the intense joy that came from spending time with my friends and making them laugh. I miss the explosive excitement that went with forming my teenage identity and discovering my passions. I miss endlessly daydreaming about being a Rockstar and being able to want nothing else. I miss the constant insecurity that gave way to relief and pure euphoria when I discovered that I meant as much to someone as they did to me. I miss being so (childishly) infatuated with someone that every second not with them physically hurt, and every second with them was a constant struggle to keep my heart from pounding through my ribs.
I miss enjoying the present, instead of spending all my time questioning whether I’m truly happy anymore. I miss looking forward to the future instead of spending all my time missing the past.
I miss myself so much.