Pack Animal

girl alone in crowd

I miss the days of being a pack animal. Freshman year, when my friends and I would work on homework sets together, set out in a group to walk the corridor of Lake Avenue searching for dinner together, fill the hallways with a gravity well as we just hung out together. I miss those days.

I felt accepted. I felt I belonged. I had a family. I had a with. I had some place I was expected. Some place to be missed from.

Things feel so disparate now. My friends are scattered throughout the hallways, a clump here, a clump there. And I belong to none of those envious alcoves. I am in a hallway by myself. Alone.

I desperately, painfully hate being alone.

I have spent too much time being a loner to go back to that now. I grew up on my own, choosing work over interaction, achievement over connection. I felt guilty if I laughed with people, blaming myself for “being too loud” or “smiling too much.” Hanging out with people used to feel like a sin. Now it’s become a lifeblood – one that is running dangerously thin.

I want to click again, to meld back together. I’m panting for a place among my friends again. I want that family, and I want it now. Because next year – it’s all going to go away. Next year, effectively all of my friends will have graduated, and I will still be here, because I missed first term and have classes to make up. They will move on, and I will be left behind. Alone. Again.

I understand why lions call it a pride, badgers a company, baby birds a clutch. I am clutching with flailing hands to the last of my congregation.

I desperately miss being a pack animal.

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2 Responses to Pack Animal

  1. yourothermotherhere says:

    Sometimes we stumble in the here and now because our sight is set to looking behind us.

  2. Russet says:

    It sounds like to me that you’re isolating yourself, however unknowingly. Go back to church and sit with someone your age. Introduce yourself. Make a new friend. Sure, easier said than done, but sometimes it really is that easy. If people aren’t coming to you, go to them, love.
    If your friends are spread out, pick a group of them and sit with them. Maybe it’ll feel weird at first, but if you let them back into your life I’m betting they’ll welcome you back into theirs.
    You have nothing to lose.
    Most importantly, go back to church. Go back, my love. Sit with someone new each time, introduce yourself every time. Surround yourself in that atmosphere again. Swallow your fear and anxiety surrounding such a thought and take a leap of, pun intended, faith.

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