On Sitting Alone at a Starbucks on a Sunday

 

 

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Let me preface this post by stating that I rarely eat alone. Or drink alone. Or think alone. In fact, I usually hate being alone. In any situation. More often than not, being “alone” to me, means listening to my Pandora stations or binge-watching videos on YouTube. Even reading by myself is difficult to do.

 

But, today I found myself drinking a latte at Starbucks. Alone. Don’t misinterpret me. I needed this “alone time,” badly. I needed time to think and feel and wallow and assess and reassess and analyze and reflect. The thing is, the longer I sat at that Starbucks alone, yet surrounded by strangers, the more I realized I have been doing this to myself in many ways for a very long time. A very long time. 

 

I’m not an introvert, and I’ve known all my life that I thrive when being surrounded by people who love and support me, and who enjoy working with me.
So, what happened? Well, what usually happens? Life situations change, or people change. Or in my case, it seemed like both. At some point, as fiercely as I loved the people in my life (and I have the innate capacity to love fiercely and loyally), I realized I have long outgrown the dire need of acting like a 21-year-old. Why? Well, for starters, I just turned 29. My interests, though much the same as before, have evolved. I have evolved. 
 
I have long prided myself on purposefully seeking out friends who share my somewhat sophisticated, even precocious interests. I have always enjoyed spending time with the “grown ups,” and even as an adult, it pains me to say that I am quite often afraid of seeking out my peers. Perhaps it’s just “only-child syndrome.” Or, perhaps not.
So, the invites would come, and I’d turn them down out of cowardice or pure lack of interest in said activity. But the more invites I turned down, the less the invites came, and pretty soon, I began to feel isolated and ostracized. My closest “friends” felt more like strangers, and it made every single one of my attempts to communicate with them feel more like a confrontation.

 

It was then that I began to see it. Weekend after weekend of events I was not invited to. Social activities in my social circle I was excluded from. Friends who had been like family turning their backs on me.

 

I started feeling like I was back in grade school, or in high school, during those incredibly painful and humiliating years of ostracism and exclusion. As much as I’d like to say that I’m older and wiser now, and that I know better than to get caught up in the petty toxicity of social media, I wasn’t above it. I’m still not.

 

No matter how many times I would reach out to my friends, they would not reciprocate. My own invitations, my own attempts at repairing a grossly misunderstood rift, went callously ignored. And it’s nothing I hadn’t experienced before in my life, since early childhood.

 

It hurt. It bled. And whenever I would think I was already numb, another weekend would pass and the tears would begin to flow all over again.

 

Now, with open eyes and a heavy heart, I truly realize what was so simply yet accurately expressed in the film “The Jane Austen Book Club”: High school’s never over. 
 
Just because I quickly grew tired of the partying and booming music of my twenty-something peers, doesn’t mean I grew tired of them. 

 

But to my chagrin, I guess I’m still that girl. That girl who is forgotten when the sleepovers are planned. That girl who isn’t invited on road trips or to house parties or even Sunday brunches. That girl who has all but given up and now spends her weekends praying and spending time with those who truly adore her– her parents.

 

That girl who wants to change the world but can’t seem to find anyone to have coffee with on a Friday afternoon.

 

That girl, I see, has been proverbially sitting alone at a Starbucks on a Sunday all her life. Waiting. Hoping. Crying. Grieving.

 

The irony of it all is, this girl is often the envy of others who follow her Facebook page and complain about what a fabulous life she has.

 

I suppose since we tend to post about what we do and not what we don’t do, it’s an all-too-simple mistake to make.

 

Yes, I know I have an amazingly encouraging extended network– family and friends that live in other cities, other states, other countries even. Some, I have only met on social media! Sadly, most of these people are too far away for me to invite to lunch (or coffee!), but I will never stop appreciating their unconditional support and love. And yet, I still feel alone. 

 

That girl who is sitting by herself at the Starbucks, staring at a nearly-empty, now cold cup of coffee, is tired of waiting. She picks it up, throws it in the trash, and walks on.

 

The numbness has closed in on her once more. For now. But it’ll be back.

It’s never over. It never stops hurting. I’m never immune.

 

 

© 2015, Laurita. All rights reserved.

12 thoughts on “On Sitting Alone at a Starbucks on a Sunday

  1. Laurita, I feel you… I can relate oh so much. I think reflecting on the way we’ve affected our own situation is a first step. I hope you start feeling more included (as I hope for the same for myself) xo

  2. I also can relate. In addition, it saddens me when I realize that I have to let go of a friendship because that person who can still always turn to me when they need me and whose company I’ll still desire is no longer treating me in the way I deserve or being the good friend they once were. One-way friendships don’t quite work and while it’s heart-breaking, sometimes acknowledging it’s time to “fly away” and let that person be the one who flies to you for a change is the right move. That said, I want you to know Laurita that you are one of the most beautiful beings I have ever met. Being a daughter of a Ret. member of the Air Force, I’ve gotten to meet lots of people from different cultures all over the world. It’s not just anyone I choose to adopt as family but you were worth my time since the second I met you and have been ever since. It’s not all about the Social Media, but the fact that you can post this on Social Media instead of sinking it into a hidden hole while you suffered in silence unbeknownst to others is proof of the almost thirty-year old woman you’ve become. If someone can’t handle whatever version of a person you become as you grow more mature and your goals expand, it is their loss because they are not challenging themselves to be greater beings but rather becoming complacent with being the same ones as before. I won’t judge someone for that as we are all different but someone who can’t appreciate your time is missing out so I’ll make sure not to make that mistake. I miss you more than words.

    Que Dios te bendiga querida. <3

    :* Ves :*

  3. Laurita,

    I want you to know that there are more people who understand you than you could ever know and I’m glad you were open enough to share how you feel. We have been taught that happiness looks a certain way, but there is nothing wrong with where you are at in life. . It sounds like you have more blessings in your life than you realize! I believe there are times when God separates us from the crowd. He wants to speak with you, be with you, spend time with you. You are never completely alone. When you read your book and listen to Pandora… he is there with you. Allow yourself to be comfortable and serene during those moments you are alone. There are people who need to be surrounded by others to feel approved and satisfied…but God has given you the gift of being confident enough to be at peace in both situations. Embrace it, and inspire others to be happy spending time with themselves, growing, and also being surrounded by people.

    • Wow. THANK YOU so much. These words are like a warm blanket to me right now. You are a Blessing!

      Hugs to you, and thank you for reaching out to me.

      Laurita :)

  4. I know the feeling. Don’t ever feel forgotten Laurita, you’re still one of the coolest friends I met in college and welcome to come out to game day anytime. You can message me any time.

    • Oh wow, could it be Ted!? You are definitely one of the most awesome people I studied with and got to hang out with. Same here– reach out anytime!! Hugs.

  5. I understand you . I think we all feel this way at some point in our lives. The only difference is that not everyone expresses it. You are a very special person and we feel that it is a priviledge just to be closed and share with you. When you are aware of how special and valuable you are; the right people get closer to you.
    Love you!!

  6. Live in such a way that those who know you but don’t know God, will come to know God because they know you…
    Author: Unknown
    LAURITA, Just wanted to tell you that I am drawn to you every time I have read one of your blog or facebook posts. I feel like you radiate a goodness that people would want to be around. Those that are meant to be around you are with you, and it is everyone else’s loss, in my opinion, if they have chosen to do otherwise. I for one, would love to sit at a Starbucks with you for coffee and chat!

  7. Once again a post of yours reflects 100% how I’ve felt and all too often continue to feel. This post, like so many others, really hit home with me.

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