Today we’re gonna get personal again. Just because I want to be open with blogging and honest with whomever may read this. This is also a lot less organized than other posts. I hope that someone will come along and relate to what I have to say. Maybe they’ll see that they’re not the only one going through a particular struggle and, in some way, they’ll be able to resolve the problem quicker or with more ease by having known how someone else did.
Come December of this year, it will have been 5 years since I’ve been in a relationship. That means I haven’t officially dated anyone since I was 15 years old. Not that relationships are serious at such a young age but it’s been a long time. I can’t help but wonder about it.
At 11 years old, I came out as gay to my friends and family. It was such a young age that there was no dating pool. Most people don’t come out until they’re at least 17, if not much later. So when my friends were having relationships, I was doing busy starting photography and doing other things. Yes I dated but not in the same way as my friends. My relationships were short. Usually marred by distance or age.
As high school hit, I became serious with many of my hobbies, particularly photography. Most of my early years were spent taking pictures and hiking out in the woods alone. I spent a lot of time alone exploring and creating. That time was marked by learning and focusing on what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become.
My friendships started blooming around this time and, while I didn’t have many close friends in middle school, I started to have many in high school. Also, a lot of my closest friends in 10th grade weren’t from the United States. I began traveling independently to foreign countries and having experiences that most people don’t have until they’re much older.
I was given a lot more independence at the time and I spent it expanding myself. I learned how to Photoshop and develop my own creative visions. I channeled my emotions through creation and most of these skills are used alone. I took photos alone, I edited alone, I traveled alone, I read alone, I expressed myself alone. I wasn’t an introvert but I didn’t have the need for a relationship like many of my friends.
In 11th grade I switched schools for the third time and started a new group of friends. This time, most of them didn’t live near me, they were photographers from around the country. I collaborated online and found a community that helped me expand as a person and that supported my actions no matter what I did. They taught me new techniques for photographing and helped bring my ideas to life.
Again, in 12th grade, I switched schools and went to college. I lost contact with many of my in-person friends. We all went our own directions and college didn’t force socialization like public school did. I found myself working on art and projects more than before. Again, alone, perfectly content.
When I finished high school I spend the rest of the year traveling off-and-on. I visited friends in Europe and went on a road trip with my mom. While many of my friends went to college for the first time, I took a year off to find where I was going in life. From 10th grade (15) to last year, I didn’t so much as kiss a soul. It’s not that I didn’t want to, I just was doing other things.
There was something I read when I was younger. It said something along the lines of; “Don’t chase people. Those who are important will stay in your life and the rest will move on.” This shaped my early thoughts of relationships. There were so many ambitions I had when I was younger, that to focus on finding someone would have wasted time. I wanted to learn how to photograph, to collaborate, to be part of a crowd.
Earlier this year I had a guy randomly kiss me. It was bizarre and I wrote about it early in this 365. There was a lot of confusion around it but, at the time, I wasn’t just questioning the other’s guy’s sexuality, I was questioning my own. I spent a long time away from physical intimacy with other people, the idea of being in a relationship seemed almost foreign. Again, not because I didn’t want it, but it consumes so much time.
Now I wonder if I want a relationship or if I’m behind all of my friends. I didn’t date for 5 years and I don’t even know how to be around others. It’s hard to commit to a person when you have so many ambitions. Most of my time goes into studying and writing on this blog. I discover a lot of new music and I have very little free time.
I want to travel, I want to read the 300 books on my shelf, I have interviews to write, and letters to send in the mail. I’m not better than anyone else I just feel like my ambitions are more important than a relationship. If someone had similar ambitions or wanderlust, I could see things working but I don’t have time to just focus on a person. I want to blog, to go out and wander downtown, talk to extravagant people, and add color to my life.
So why is it that I’m so unhappy being single? Why do I want to be in a relationship? I think I want support for my crafts. Someone to relate to on a deep level and to know what I’m going through. I want to understand other people and I want other people to understand me. That’s not something I think I’m seeking from a relationship, I just want that kind of friendship.
If I was in a relationship when I started photography, I’m not sure I would have made it to where I am now. If I was dating someone, would I have traveled as much? Would I have focused on expansion? I know it all sounds selfish but I wonder if I’m better off alone, where I don’t interfere with other people’s emotions or demand support. I achieve more out of my own motivation than through depending on others to support me.
It’s rough. I crave other people. I want someone to say “that’s a brilliant idea” or “wow, it’s great that you’re that far into a 365”. I want to say that to other people too. I want to support other people’s ambitions and dreams but I think ultimately only we can choose to pursue them. If you want to become a master photographer, you have to find that motivation inside of yourself. No one else can make you do it.
So I think the resolution of this rambling is that I’m single because I’m busy in my own pursuits. I love people and I want to be around them but I don’t think I want a relationship. I want good friends, not relationships for now.