I spent my whole life looking forward to friends and relationships, and this actually could've happened, if I wasn't living on another planet. When I was a kid, I used to ponder around my room and other parts of the house, imagining situations of how I could meet young people in my area. I'd stand in our shady family office, looking at drawings and poetry, wishing that friends would suddenly pop out of nowhere and say hi. All I had to do was talk to my classmates, get their phone numbers and call them up to hang out on weekends. But I didn't even try. I had no social skills and was actually afraid of others. In face, I didn't have good verbal skills and was always very quiet. So many of my school peers thought I was dumb...and unfriendly, and laughed at me cruelly. Even in my teens, I was so shy to hang out. I just went straight home and absorbed myself into a land of daydreams. My classmates found me so weird, and often asked why I'd go straight home for lunch, instead of being with my friends. They eventually noticed me doing MD many times in the day and found my behaviour bizarre. Then when I was an adult, after my college years were done, life got very very quiet and solitary. Being a freelancer, I worked at home a lot. Soon nobody my age was around and people were harder to reach out. I spent more years daydreaming about being in relationships with people...who didn't exist. I learned in my thirties that I have Asperger syndrome and have issues with social interaction and connecting with others...(it sounds horrible). So people are shocked to see me just sit there all by myself...rarely saying a word. I often create fictional worlds where I am a super outgoing and interactive person who has no problems with social contacts and touching people. Sometimes, I fear that my whole life will be this way. Lately, I stopped living in alternative worlds and know how to be here. Reaching out to others is a big problem during this pandemic. 

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Comment by Kiruba Victor on May 20, 2021 at 9:44pm

Well, when it comes to romantic matters, only then an in person meet would be apt. Because, you're looking to spend the rest of your life with this person. Else, for friendships, meeting them online will also work wonders.

Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on May 20, 2021 at 7:31pm

I have met plenty of people online, but I was supposed to meet my prospective partner in person, and I still think I can. I just know he's out there and he won't be far away. I grew in the some place all my life, made a couple good friends here, so I think it's apparent that I'd meet a new person here too, who will be my soul connection. I just never met anybody significant anywhere else. Things have been so calm. I almost thought to myself, "I'm wasting my time. Get a move on. You won't find anybody in this town." Truth is I found a lot of people over here. I still believe that we'll meet right where I live. I know it may sound crazy, after a huge wait. I think it seems like a no-show because I used to be in deep self-denial. Now I feel confident and positive inside, and I just know this is my time to bump into this person. 

Comment by Kiruba Victor on May 20, 2021 at 7:11pm

For me, either way is fine to meet friends. Although it's easier to talk over text or voice notes than in person. I don't know why that happens.

Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on May 20, 2021 at 2:11pm

I guess the best way to find friends these days is online. Even though, and to my preference, I prefer to meet someone in person, whether it's intentional or by accident. 

Comment by Kiruba Victor on May 20, 2021 at 5:19am

Exactly. Here, we have a common problem and we can share our experiences and in that, we can make friends. This is a really good place for that.

Comment by Sakshee Dhumal on May 20, 2021 at 12:34am

You can still make friends during the pandemic. Like Kiruba Shankar Victor said, you can find good people on online platforms like this one. I'd love to be your friend and I'm sure all of us agree with this. We all go through the same shit so its easy to understand each other. You are not alone Jessica , you've got all of us.

Comment by Kiruba Victor on May 19, 2021 at 6:29pm

Absolutely. Real friendship is when someone stays with you through heavenly as well as hellish moments. When you know they'll stand by your side when you need it the most. I'm lucky to have found my friends after years of feeling lonely and hopeless. Getting friends doesn't have to exclusively be from real life. You can meet them online and make friends as well. I have a friend whom I've met via an online game I play often and safe to say, I can confide in him even though I've never met him in person (which I'm really looking forward too, post pandemic). This network can also be a platform to meet new people and share your experiences with. So thanks to Valeria for running this beautiful community, which I'm fortunate to have found and be a part of.

Comment by Jessica Ballantyne on May 19, 2021 at 2:09pm

I'm sure that I will have some friends again, especially after the stay at home pandemic. Actually the pandemic taught me that sitting around all complacent and believing things will happen gets you nowhere. I wake up to the same drill every single day and nobody is ever around. It's not something I choose. It's something I have to put up with. I do miss the connection and hope to find people like good old times. I have just faced a lame decade. My dad gave me good social advice, but I didn't take it seriously, which is regrettable. We all have to learn from our mistakes the hard way. 

Comment by Valeria Franco on May 19, 2021 at 12:25pm

Loneliness is lovely when you choose it, not when you suffer it.

Now I have some friends, but I often miss the sense of belonging (Kiruba Shankar Victor, as you are experiencing with your friends now... belonging to somewhere).

I miss the connection, I guess. It's not enough going out with someone. I think real friends should be the ones who you feel comfortable seeing even if you are wearing your night suit.

Comment by Kiruba Victor on May 18, 2021 at 10:30pm

I can relate to this a lot. Except I don't suffer from Asperger's syndrome, I suffer from the consequences of a conservative upbringing and parents who were mostly focused on me doing well so that the relatives would be satisfied, which is alarmingly common in indian families. Hence, in my early schooling, my academics were fine, but I was always the different one in every class. Eventually, that also took a hit and I found myself slipping into daydreams just to be comfortable and peaceful. Eventually, when I moved from Muscat to India, I made it my goal to make more friends, and it's safe to say, it was only half succesful. I was kind of like a nomad, jumping from one group to another, never being able to stay in one group because all I was interested in was gaming and my MD. Eventually, when I found my current set of friends, I felt better to belong somewhere but MD still has it's claws dug deep. I hope that when I get out of college and eventually my parents' house, it will change for the better. But like you, I'm also concerned that this might hold on to me till I'm dead.

It's good to see that I'm not the only one with this problem, that there are others who've actually beat it, and that help is around the corner.

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