Sunday I sat on the couch in my new flat, on the 14th floor of a high-rise, in the huge stone floored living room and did nothing. It was not the pleasant do nothing of exhaustion or relaxation. It was the mind numbing, soul crushing do nothing of complete existential angst.
Angst based in a lack of anything to do. The weight of realizing that I am 10,000 miles from home surrounded by new people and places and I don’t have the emotional energy to meet the people and to explore the places. I get up in the morning and I go to work. I go home in the middle of the night and I go to bed.
This is not to say I don’t go out. The problem is that I have been going out a lot while in Singapore, but it is always to drink with people from Chantilly who are here visiting. I have become the resident tour guide for all the Americans who come to visit and work. And the saddest of the sad is that I usually end up working while I am out drinking.
I mentioned some time ago that I felt I was becoming ‘bitter’ not having a girlfriend. I have thought a lot about that statement since I made it. I don’t think it is wrong but I think it is not entirely correct. It’s not that I feel I need a physical relationship or that I have to have a girl—obviously I can live without one, I have done it for some time. The belief I have come to is that it is the emotional connection and support that is missing from my life.
I have become the sounding board for several people at work. When they are frustrated, upset or angry they come to me to bitch, cry and whine. I don’t mind this, everyone needs a way to vent and if I can help people I want to do that. I want to be able to identify where a problem exists and if it is something that I or my superiors can address I will do my best to clear up the situation or clarify the confusion.
The problem comes in that when I leave work and go back to my apartment, I sit on a couch in an otherwise empty room for a few minutes and then go to bed. Then I get up and come to work. I don’t ever have the chance to unload all my frustrations, stress and anger to anyone. I’m not saying that if I had a girlfriend I would be yelling at her or crying in her lap all the time, no the stress should never get to that level, and that’s not me anyway. What I am saying is that just the few minutes that many people get from a “how was your day…” conversation keeps the angst level lower and prevents the existential angst I was feeling Sunday.
I am surrounded by people all day, and I find myself starved of human contact.
Maybe I should start keeping a personal journal again. I used to try to write my frustrations and angers as well as joys and thoughts down in a journal everyday. I never managed to keep up with everyday but I have quite a number of notebooks of these kinds of thoughts. I stopped keeping the journal in Japan over the spring. I fell behind in my travel journal while in Japan on the last couple of days and said: “oh I will finish it when we are on the plane…,” “Oh I will finish it after I sleep…” Oh, I never finished it, and I never picked up the journal again. I thought, well, it’s just a waste of my time. No one will ever read it and it’s a hassle to keep writing in it everyday. Now I think maybe it was serving as a substitute emotional crutch.
I know that a journal cannot take the place of a true emotional relationship—be it a sensual or plutonic relationship, but I think it was an outlet that kept down some of the angst and depression that I am feeling today.
What to do? I don’t know. I have not come to an answer; this is just self indulgent whining on my part. Do you have an answer? What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I meet people? Why am I shy? Why am I a workaholic? Why am I alone, unable to fulfill the needs of the people I have been fortunate enough to date? Why did the good ones leave me behind? What am I doing wrong? You tell me? I don’t have any answers. Not yet.