Our reign of sunshine seems to have come to an end. And all this week there’s only been rain and a dull greyness that seems particularly wrong in May. However just before the weather turned, I met up with Livie one sunny (albeit rather windy) day last week and together we went to Mylor.

Barely a five minute drive from Falmouth, I feel this should be somewhere I’m better acquainted with. Sipping the afternoon away on the pier at The Pandora Inn, is something I want to make a much more frequent occurrence in my life!

Naturally, this is just what Livie and I did; soaking in the sunshine and later on going for a walk along the public footpath. Whilst talking about all the inevitable things that go through your mind when you’re in your early twenties and graduating. I’m sad to say Livie will be moving back home in a few weeks, so this afternoon by the water was to be our final meeting – at least for now.

 

All this talk of life changes in your twenties and the people that come and go with it, got me thinking. Thinking about friendships in particular, especially as I’ve often found friendship to be a fickle and peculiar thing. No good with politics and subtext; popularity games and charisma. I would find things so much easier if we could say things how they are.

I’m the kind of person who never feels lonely by themselves. Only when in a party. Stood in the kitchen of someone’s university flat. Holding my cup of wine and feeling completely disconnected from everyone around me. Isolated in a crowded space. Uncertain of how to make the approach. Kick off the conversation when my insides are wriggling with the idea that I am wasting space in here. I should go home. I like being alone.

At about sixteen I decided to stop chasing people. If they wanted to be in my life they’d be here. Not that you don’t make an effort, but to keep holding onto a hand that’s already let go, is to be dragged behind someone who’ll never think to glance back. It’s no kind of friendship at all.

Now in my twenties, I find friendship all the more elusive. University friends were few and far between, but upon graduating the few I knew left the county in which I lived. And I found myself in workplaces that felt more like battlegrounds. Where friendships were not to be forged and females in their twenties or thirties were nowhere to be found. I made friends through the internet, discovering others in Cornwall who wrote blogs and hosted creative online projects. And it made me chuckle to think of the years we’d been told not to talk to strangers on the internet. When the world is online you can always find your people.

But still in our twenties, we are becoming. In these years we create ourselves and construct our lives; chasing careers, finding prospective partners, finishing education, moving for that promotion, getting married, settling down, making babies and buying that first house. I find these things aren’t always conducive to friendship. It’s still the same when we sit down for coffee, after a year apart, miles apart. We can pick things up where we left off. But personally, I’d love to do this more. To meet up every week or every month. To not have to lay things down at all, because I’m finding making new friends in my twenties so hard.

And all too often I wonder if it’s just me. I suspect I’m as vanilla as they come. I like staying up late and in staying in. Cosy and calm and candlelit, with books and cats and French films. Music by Jack Johnson and Simon and Garfunkel. Strong coffee and red wine. I get that I’m not the person who wanders into your life and turns it upside down with their whimsy and unaware self-confident delights. I am composed and reflective and quite often quiet. I am prone to bouts of thoughtfulness; inspecting my person to see if it is, in fact, me that inspires the disinterest in you.

But then I walk right out of your university flat. Out into the night that is bright with streetlamp light and all feels so serene and electrically beautiful. All indigo and gold, with words on the wall;  all lit up and whispering and musical. And whilst walking alone – soul full of the world – I consider how remarkably underrated is solitude.

Sunhat Vero Moda // Shirt H&M (similar) // Dungarees Fat Face // Sandals ASOS (similar)

Portraits by Olivia Grace

22nd April 2017

18 Comments

  1. Reply

    Anne

    18th May 2017

    Wow, you have such a beautiful way of writing and conveying your story. I am just new to your blog, but I love it. I also really love the pictures you took 🙂

    • Reply

      Alex

      30th May 2017

      Thanks so much Anne! I’m always so happy to hear from new folks discovering my blog and loving what they find – hope you enjoy your stay! xx

  2. Reply

    Amber

    18th May 2017

    Beautiful prose! This really resonated with me. I’ve felt so lost in terms of trying to make friends over the past few years; I was forcing my way into conversations, trying to get people to be interested in me. It was only when I laid back a bit, really began to enjoy those few people around me, and stopped worrying that people began to come to me with an interest in my life. It’s quality, not quantity after all. 🙂

    Amber || mylifeinlimbo.com

    • Reply

      Alex

      30th May 2017

      Thanks Amber. I know the feeling and completely agree – quality over quantity all the way! xx

  3. Reply

    Moonchild

    19th May 2017

    You may be solitary and introvert but I’m proud to call you one of my favourite friends just the same and I value you, more than you realise 😛 You mean the world to me. My twenties were richer for having to you around xxx

    • Reply

      Alex

      30th May 2017

      You may be extroverted but my twenties are richer for you too! 😜 xxx

  4. Reply

    Eleanor Austin

    19th May 2017

    This is beautifully written and so relatable. I didn’t go to university, whereas a lot of my friends did so we all kind of lost touch. I don’t like drinking or clubbing and always feel awkward in heavy social situations. I too have found it difficult to make friends in my twenties, I’m quite a plain Jane and I don’t think this appeals to many people and I never know if this bothers me or not. I have a wonderful partner, a lovely family and I don’t mind being on my own. I guess it’s when you see other people in friendship groups or meeting people online, it’s kind of like you’re missing out xx

    • Reply

      Alex

      30th May 2017

      Hi Eleanor, thanks so much. I really know how you feel. Although I did go to uni, all my friends went elsewhere and even if we kept in touch, it’s not quite the same as when you lived in the same place. It’s such a tricky, transitional period of life. I’m not sure the difficulty in making or maintaining friendships is something really talked about enough xx

  5. Reply

    Alice

    19th May 2017

    I feel that I may be the turn-it-upside-down kinda person filled with self-confident delights…but then there’s space for us all! I totally agree, it’s both sad and refreshing that in your twenties your friends do dwindle in numbers but become more meaningful as those who stick around are food for the soul and make you the best you can be! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    • Reply

      Alex

      30th May 2017

      When you’re not that person I think it’s easy to blame yourself for any solitude or loneliness you feel – especially when others, clearly having a good time are right in front of you. But you can’t force friendships. People come and go and often it has nothing to do with you, but where life is taking them. xxx

  6. Reply

    Amelia May

    19th May 2017

    Beautiful post and it’s very reasurring to read. It seems we’re very like minded on the idea of solitude. Radiant pictures. Xx

  7. Reply

    Hannah

    20th May 2017

    I can relate to this post so much, I have also found friendships difficult in my twenties. Most friendships from School and University seem to fizzle out when you reach your twenties. Like you being alone isn’t an issue for me either but it would be nice to meet some like minded people who love cosy nights in and walks in the countryside! x

    • Reply

      Alex

      30th May 2017

      Thanks Hannah ^_^ And I do love a good cosy night and walk in the countryside – I’m sure we could be friends! xx

  8. Reply

    Mimmi

    20th May 2017

    This is beautifully written, and I can relate so much. I’ve always found it difficult making close friends, and I’m also a bit of a quiet, thoughtful and unadventurous person. Most of my closest friends (who aren’t many at all to begin with) aren’t people I see on a regular basis. Instead, they’re scattered around the country or even further away. I think I’m coming to terms with the fact that I’ll always be a loner and that it’s okay to not have a girl gang (which I always wanted!) and that the important thing is to value the individuals that you really enjoy spending time with.

    • Reply

      Alex

      30th May 2017

      Thanks Mimi. Here’s to those of us who are quiet, thoughtful and unadventurous! I was always someone who grew up feeling like you should have your girl gang or tight-knit group of close friends. But sometimes life doesn’t work out like that and I shouldn’t blame myself for that. Who comes into your life – or often who leaves – has very little to do with you. xx

  9. Reply

    Grace

    23rd May 2017

    Written so well! To an extent, I can relate. Making friends in your 20s–and holding on to said friends–outside of college is a challenge. Being alone is just as good sometimes as being around new people ha

  10. Reply

    Lucy

    9th June 2017

    I totally agree with everything you said – I have lots of ‘friends’ that I meet up with regularly but no one I would be able to depend on in a crisis. I’m lucky in that I have a great boyfriend, a close family and like time to myself but I’ve always felt let down with the friend side of my life! University certainly excentuates the feeling of missing out and I had many hollow friendships and let downs over those 4 years. It’s reassuring to hear someone who is bright and attractive also feel like this, and be brave enough to say it! Thank you for such a candid piece, I’m sure it’s touched many more people than those who have commented xx

    • Reply

      Alex

      10th June 2017

      Lucy! Thank you so much for this comment! I was really touched to read it. I’m so glad to hear I’ve perhaps provided a piece of writing that’s helps in some way. Thank you for letting me know xx

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