Sleepless Solitude: The True-Life Journals of a Xanax'd Millennial (Part 9 of 12)

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September 20

September 20

Following a quick session with my boyfriend (read: left hand), I went to bed around 10:45 p.m. last night. Come to think of it, am I in a thruple with my hand and cell phone? The three of us certainly spend a lot of time together.

Amidst my pre-bed self-care, I’d apparently forgotten to set an alarm. Naturally, when I rolled over this morning, glanced at the clock, and realized I had 15 minutes to get ready for work, panic ensued.

Oh, one more thing. I had the strangest dream sequence last night.

Dreams are really fucked up when you think about it. I mean, I had a full, Florida-based feature length film about Granny and Grandpa happening in my head while I was asleep last night, and I barely knew either of them before they died. It was very odd. Totally random. Dad was also in the dream. Despite looking the same as he does now, Dad was my age and was absolutely hammered after pounding back a bottle of vodka. I’m not entirely sure what any of that was supposed to mean, but it happened.

Big Bird was at her veterinarian this morning. Even though I was on time for work, it wouldn’t have mattered if I wasn’t. Actually, it doesn’t matter to Big Bird at all. It matters to me. The later I arrive at work, the longer I have to stay to make up for the lost time.

Overall, my workday was alright. I focused on making a PowerPoint and doing some data entry, but mostly I trolled the internet as per usual. I also made a few calls, and ate my lunch while watching Netflix. Big Bird had her usual Tuesday meeting, so I was alone in our office for most of the day. At one point, Big Bird also sent me an email and asked if I would run a shopping errand for her. In other words, I was literally asked to leave the building. It was heaven. Today was a good one.

I left The Clubhouse at 4 p.m., then raced to the gym for a quick session. I was slightly annoyed, as I didn’t have enough time to do even half of my 1,500 sit ups. Damn this wedding. Tonight was Kate and Adam’s rehearsal dinner, so I took the car out and drove north to the venue after my quasi-workout. The majority of this journal entry will be about tonight’s rehearsal.

For the first time throughout this whole wedding saga, the fact that I am standing with Adam and his groomsmen on the other side of the altar really hit me.

Listen. I’m not bawling my eyes out over here. Back in May at Cousin Ashley and Oliver’s wedding, I mentioned all of this to Oliver. Despite being part of Kate’s bridal party, I’ve been asked to stand on the other side of the altar with Adam’s crew for the actual ceremony. While talking to Oliver, he recommended that I do whatever the couple wants.

“Don’t ask any questions,” Oliver said. “Follow instructions, and be quiet. Wedding planning is stressful enough as it is.”

I get it. This is not about me. The wedding is Kate’s day, and the fact that I am standing on the other side of the room is not something to make a fuss about. And I’m not going to. I would never mention this to Kate. But, goddamn it. This is my journal. I’m allowed to vent here. It’s a safe space!

What bothers me about this situation – and I suppose hurts me on some level – is that the idea of being “separate” has always been such a recurring theme in my life. Standing across from Kate and the girls tonight, I was instantly transported back to elementary and high school. Growing up, all of my friends were girls. Yet, as a boy, there were many instances where I was forcibly separated from those friends due to the way society has conditioned people to think.

In some cases, fine. The separation might make sense. For example, when staying in hotel rooms or camping on overnight trips – especially when I maintained the idea that I was “straight.” I understand that. However, the sole reason for me standing on the suited side of the wedding party is because Kate and Adam want their pictures to look symmetrical. I actually told Big Bird this today, and she couldn’t believe that I had been asked to do such a thing. Finally, someone with a bit of common sense. Who knew it would be Big Bird and her peanut brain! Even the woman at Freeman Formalwear said that she had never heard of a guy being a bridesmaid. What the fuck?

It’s 2016, for God’s sake. If any of this has to do with the old-fashioned notion that a man can’t have female friends or can’t be in a bridal party, well fuck that. I am so tired of feeling like an outsider, and that’s exactly how I felt tonight. I know I do it to myself at times. I get it. I am very good at alienating myself. But, that’s coming from me. Whether it’s social anxiety, some subconscious desire to be “different,” or just not being comfortable with certain people, all of that is my decision.

Unfortunately, this wedding situation was not my decision. If it were up to me, I would be standing beside my best friend to witness her take a huge step into a new chapter of her life. Instead, I’m stuck beside one of Adam’s groomsmen who I barely know. I’m watching from the sidelines. That’s what it always is. Kurt watching from the sidelines. People don’t understand what that feels like.

To add insult to injury, one of the other bridesmaids tonight was under the impression that I would be getting ready and traveling to the wedding venue with the guys, too. Pardon me? Is this a Newmarket thing? A small-town thing? A plea of insanity? Rural ignorance? I’ve come to terms with the fact that my life always has, and probably always will be like this. However, I think it surprised me tonight when I was reminded of it, as this kind of separation hasn’t happened in such a blatant fashion for so long.

Is the wedding itself going to be worse? If anything, growing up and living through these situations has given me a thicker skin. You learn to be alone. Perhaps that’s why I am so comfortable being by myself. For example, when I travel alone. I tend to live my life in such an “I’ll show them” fashion, but deep down, these things still hurt me. “Same but different” is not the “same” at all. I don’t think I’ll ever fit in.

Aside from all of the above, I also met Natasha’s boyfriend for the first time tonight. After a quick introduction and handshake, almost a year of waiting to meet Konrad had finally come to a close. Was that so fucking difficult?

I don’t know if I have any standout first impressions of Konrad. He’s a nice guy, I guess. I’ll freely admit that I have this weird, overly protective brother syndrome with Natasha and her love life. I realize that I can be quick to judge her boyfriends. That being said, one thing I did notice tonight was that Natasha seemed quite comfortable. Relaxed. This was a bit of a first for me to witness, which was great. At the same time, that’s also not saying much. In the 20+ years that I’ve known Natasha, Konrad is the first boyfriend of hers that I’ve met. Still, Natasha didn’t seem like she had the facade on that she sometimes wears when she meets a guy out on the town. That’s a good thing. My second impression of Konrad was that I didn’t know how he was so fucking tanned. Maybe it’s a Polish thing. Maybe it’s fake and bake. We’ll never know.

Lastly, and this is the only negative I have to add: Konrad gave me career advice. I understand that he was only trying to give his two cents and perhaps provide me with some practical advice about “finding what it is you love,” but motherfucker, you need to have several seats if you think I haven’t been trying.

Here’s the thing. When someone tells you that they hate their job, don’t get preachy. All you need to do is toss them some generic encouragement, and then immediately switch the fucking subject. When Konrad asked me what I did for work, I even joked that I didn’t want to talk about it. Read the room, Konrad! To be fair, this was mostly because I didn’t know the guy. There should be a fucking rule that requires you to know a certain amount about a person and their history before you start with the Oprah’s Lifeclass lessons.

All in all, Konrad seemed nice. I’ll be honest. I was struggling with a lot of social anxiety tonight, due in some part to my rude awakening about watching Kate get married from the other side of the room. As a result, I didn’t do a ton of socializing outside of my regular girl group. At least now I’ve met Konrad, though. It will certainly make getting to know him a lot easier. Natasha is my best friend. As with Kate, all I want is for her to be happy. Genuinely, truly happy in every sense of the word. I don’t want Natasha to make sacrifices – she doesn’t have to.

After the rehearsal, I drove back downtown while listening to Mariah Carey’s “Outside” on repeat. I cried a lot tonight. I feel very alone.

It’s September 20. Wow. Just over three months left in this place. I really need to call Uncle Jack.

It’s hard to explain

Inherently it’s just always been strange

Neither here nor there

Always somewhat out of place everywhere

Ambiguous

Without a sense of belonging to touch

Somewhere halfway

Feeling there’s no one completely the same

Standing alone

Eager to just

Believe it’s good enough to be what

You really are

But in your heart

Uncertainty forever lies

And you’ll always be

Somewhere on the

Outside

Early on, you face

The realization you don’t

Have a space

Where you fit in

And recognize you

Were born to exist

Standing alone

Eager to just

Believe it’s good enough to be what

You really are

But in your heart

Uncertainty forever lies

And you’ll always be

Somewhere on the

Outside

And it’s hard

And it’s hard

And it’s hard

Irreversibly

Falling in between

And it’s hard

And it’s hard

To be understood

As you are

As you are

Oh, and God knows

That you’re standing on your own

Blind and unguided

Into a world divided

You’re thrown

Where you’re never quite the same

Although you try, try and try

To tell yourself

You really are

But in your heart uncertainty forever lies

And you’ll always be

Somewhere on the outside

You’ll always be

Somewhere on the outside

— Mariah Carey, “Outside”

Goodnight xo

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