Non-Existent Eggshells

(Tangent before the post even begins: I totally want to use that as a title, for something. So I call dibs.)

I’ve been realizing lately that I do those closest to me the absolute greatest disservice by treating them like eggshells to be tiptoed around. This is especially ridiculous because they don’t deserve any such treatment in the slightest and I can’t even really explain why my actions lately are to treat every relationship like it is founded on non-existent eggshells.

I don’t have much of a social life. I’ve never really had what you’d probably label as a traditional social life, full of partying and going out on the weekends and drinking. Mine has always been much more low-key, hanging out in living rooms, gorging on chips and talking too much while YouTube plays in the background. And I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Yet as each year goes by, I grow more introverted by nature. I find myself spending more time alone, as my favorite hobbies are all solitary: writing, reading, video games, blogging. I’ve always loved doing those things, but growing up, in high school and in college, there was always something else to break up those hobbies; something involving other people. A club. A class. Meeting the group for dinner. Soccer practice.

Ever since graduating college, it’s been very different.

Go to sleep. Go to Job One, where we are usually too busy to talk to anyone. Go to the gym alone. Shower. Eat and get ready for Job Two. Socialize a bit with my employees, but I usually have to cut that out so I have time to write. Go home. Sleep. Repeat. Though I love my main job, my schedule–working from the early afternoon until 12am Sunday through Thursday–makes it nigh impossible to fit in any socializing throughout the week. Then, my weekends, which consists of Friday evenings and Saturdays, are always jammed packed to the brim, trying to fit in time with the few friends I still have and my family, putting me in a constant struggle of trying to have enough time to see everyone I care about on a consistent basis.

Amidst all of this, I find myself worrying that all of these relationships are going to disappear. A lot of my other relationships have disappeared. My group of high school, I have one friend (and she’s a lifelong friend) who I still cherish. A few others I talk to occasionally. And one friendship that I hope is about to rekindle. My college friends? Gone, too. Some I still text occasionally or run into, but most of them have moved away and started careers, gotten engaged or married, talking about starting families. So the few relationships that have stuck it out throughout the change, I cherish more than I ever have before (and I’ve always cherished them deeply). But with that love towards those relationships, there is a new fear; a fear that if I miss one hang session, I’ll piss someone off. If I don’t text someone for a day, they are angry with me. When I try to juggle these relationships over the weekend, that’s when this fear materializes the most. What if, by hanging out with X friend instead of Y friend, Y friend is angry? If I stay home instead of visiting people, will they be angry? Will I lose them? 

These are the non-existent eggshells that I walk on.

Keyword: non-existent.

Non-existent.

You see, to me, these eggshells, for some undefined reason that I seriously cannot pin down, are very real. The fear is there. This fear that all of these relationships I hold so dear are suddenly going to disappear or be ruined by my actions/inaction. Which doesn’t make sense for a lot of reasons. First off, the relationships I have now are the ones that have lasted the longest. If nothing else, these are the ones meant to last, because they’ve already persevered through so much. Yet I’m over here treating them as if they are brand new, to be gently held and tiptoed around, as if they are fragile. They aren’t.

Secondly, I feel it is such an insult to those relationships for me to be questioning their longevity or fearing their end. These people–my best friend, my parents, my sister, amongst a few others–have done absolutely nothing to cause me to question. Sure, sometimes we don’t talk as much as I would like or we don’t get to see one another every week. But hell, that’s life. And when you’re working 60 hours a week like I am, the main bulk of those being worked when everyone else if off, yeah, it’s going to be a little more difficult to make plans and see people. You won’t get to do everything you want to in one weekend. You’ll have to put off plans or have weekends where you don’t make any, just to recharge. That’s my reality now. A change, certainly, but nothing warranting these fears.

So why the hell are they there?

I have no bloody idea.

I do know that I hate it. I hate being so nervous all of the time and so insecure in this area. If there is any aspect of my life for me to feel confident and secure in, it is the relationships I’ve built with those closest to me. The relationships that have battled growth and change and conflict and come out stronger. The relationships that deserve more than my misplace fear; deserve more than to be treated as eggshells that will shatter as soon as I come near them.

I’m not sure why these fears are there. I’m not sure exactly how to combat them, honestly. I’m talking with one of my friends now about it. Though my stomach is still in knots, I do feel better than she knows and understands exactly how I feel–which is impressive in and of itself, considering I’m feeling a load of different things all at once: Loneliness. Fear. Sadness. Stress. Neediness. Anxiety. Guilt. This weekend, I have plans to see almost everyone that I care about the most, which will be really nice and really, really needed. So those things are happening. But at the same time, I’m sort of at a loss about what to do with the jumble of feelings inside of me. I am certain that I don’t like this unease that has crept into me and making me feel so skittish and inadequate and alone. Advice, my internet friends (particularly those 20-somethings like me who are trying to navigate this complicated life known as “adulting”), would be most welcome.

Cheers.

Advertisements

About Nicole Evans

Nicole Evans is a writer of fantasy and science fiction. She is currently unpublished and is working fervently to get the “un” removed from that statement. She has five completed manuscripts: a trilogy about destined heroes that fail anyway, a science fiction standalone that pits the natural desire to love against the natural instinct to kill during the extinction of the human race and a new series about a writer who can't get published and gets the chance to live a life that all writers dream. She also has two scripts done. Currently, she is about to start writing the second of a nine book series while planning two more. (If you can tell, she really likes this whole writing thing.) Considering she has run out of space for putting rejections letters up on her wall, Nicole now uses her spare time doing the typical things that nerds do: blogging, dying repeatedly during video games (which she believes is retribution for the characters’ she’s killed), wishing she was the character she is currently reading about and trying to fight off the real world by living in her own head, with varying degrees of success. Nicole has a degree in Creative Writing and a minor in Film and Media Studies, and works part-time as a supervisor in a library at the University of Kansas. View all posts by Nicole Evans

4 responses to “Non-Existent Eggshells

  • Jessica M

    😦 😦 I am sorry you’re going through these emotions right now. On the one hand, you’re confident with who you are as a person, but on the other hand, I see a degree of you being overwhelmed by the “distancing” thing that comes with adulting.

    Okay, so I’m a few (and then some) years older than you, so I can say that it’s a phase. I’m much more introverted now than I ever was, yet I still manage to maintain a small number of good friendships that aren’t a daily or weekly commitment. At one time, I also felt that if I turned down an invitation, then I would never get another one again. I’ve learned that this all depends on who’s a good friend, and who’s just a “friend.” A good friend (like yourself) will understand. You’re a good person, and just imagine how you would treat you as a friend. And I’m certain you would understand and wouldn’t think less of someone who’s working 60+ hours a week. Adulting is understanding. Understanding that everyone has a different approach, has a life, has hangups, that not everyone (or anyone) has the same thoughts as you, and can’t always drop everything on a dime for them.

    Well, that’s how I get by, anyway. I can also say that at this point in your life — enjoy yourself and pursue your passions! Once you’re married and have kids, free time is going to drop to nearly nil for quite some time. It’s one of my biggest “regrets” — that I didn’t take better advantage of all that alone-time when I was younger. The older we get, the more precious time becomes. A week or few may go by without talking to a friend, but a real friend won’t take it personally. Some friends need more interaction than others. Some of the more introverted ones won’t mind at all. You know who they are.

    Take your emotions as they come, simplify them, make a list out of them, find the source and if it comes from within, try and work on what’s making you feel insecure. If you feel alone, reach out, work on your projects in a cafe. Postpone a project (that doesn’t have a deadline) and take a night off to socialize. Don’t be too hard on yourself, goals will be reached eventually. Start a project with a friend. You will be okay 🙂 Hang in there. And most importantly, be honest with yourself and how you feel. ❤

    • Nicole Evans

      Can I just say how much it means that you always write out the most thoughtful responses? Thank you!! ❤ ❤ ❤

      I will say that you admitting this is a phase I'm going through actually brings a lot of comfort. It's one of those complex situations where you can tell yourself, rationally, that you just have to get through X amount of time and you'll work through this, so you'll know you'll be okay, yet you still have to get through living that actual time where it's difficult that makes it…well, difficult.

      Also, the rest of your advice was pure gold. I need to remember that you wrote it out here so that I can come back and reference it, because I have a feeling I'll need to hear it every now and again.

      Thank you so, so, so much. ❤

  • Marie E. Stump

    I’m in much the same boat, and I wish I had advice for you! Hang in there!

    • Nicole Evans

      Ah, I wish I had advice for you as well, Marie! And I’m sorry to hear you’re in the same boat (apparently it comes with the whole “growing up” thing). Be checking your mailbox soon! ❤

Leave questions, comments or angry remarks below...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: