I am 24. For some people, I am young.
But I feel like I'm older than I should be, considering where I am in life. In case you didn't know, I'm still pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in my third semester. It has also been said by many of my friends—IRL and online—that I'm mature beyond my years, although I'm not sure if that is true. I'd like to be so, of course, and I try to be more mature than myself all the time. Maybe that is why I consider myself old at 24.
At least, I feel I'm too old to hold on to fake friends and to keep one-sided friendships.
There have been times in the past when I try so hard to keep in contact with someone who's never bothered to do the same with me. Oftentimes they do not respond as enthusiastically as I hoped they would—or at all even—and I end up feeling tired and frustrated. Why don't they like me? Is there something wrong with me? When I talk about this to people who care about me, they advise me to leave these people alone, to stop trying to be friends with them—which is obvious, of course, but I didn't see this as a solution. I wanted to befriend them so much...except it's not them I wanted; it's someone like them who cares about me and whose principles are aligned with mine. And they're clearly not that kind of person, so why can't I let it go? I was doing myself and these people a disservice. I must have annoyed them a great deal, while also torturing myself in the process. Who's got anything to gain from this then?
It's not that different from a crush, I suppose—which is also my area of expertise when I was younger. My family and friends clearly saw that I was torturing myself, trying to get a guy's attention—except, with friendships, it felt much more confusing and much more frustrating. I couldn't see that this person had no interest in me and there's actually nothing wrong with that.
Hope you're not thinking I'm a victim so far, because I've also been on the other side of the door. I've also had people who try so hard to befriend me, to connect with me and be kind to me. Yet, although I don't hate them, I can't force myself to be comfortable around them. So I would humour them and hang out with them when they ask, but I wouldn't talk to them first because I don't want to put myself in that uncomfortable position. Because I know what it's like to be them, I try to be kind to them and give an appropriate response whenever possible. But we would probably never be best friends, no matter how much we try to fake it. And that's okay, they're not bad people and neither am I. We're just at different wavelengths. If we were to become best friends, we will have to change the very core that makes us...well, us.
When I was younger, I would most likely pretend to enjoy other people's company just to survive. It didn't matter that I didn't fit in, I just had to pretend I did. But I'm 24 now, and I don't have as much energy to waste on people who just don't care about me. All that time and energy trying to patch up something irreparable could be used to make the world a better place—or at least to reach my dreams. I'm not going to stop being kind to people, of course, but I'm going to stop wasting my time for people who don't even spare half a second of their day to think about me.
I'm 24 now and that should mean something.