When a Party Is the Loneliest Place You Can Be
The world is full of joyous parties, but in many of them, there are lonely hearts yearning to be noticed and loved
“Where are the people?” resumed the little prince at last. “It’s a little lonely in the desert…” “It is lonely when you’re among people, too,” said the snake.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Have you ever felt lonely in the midst of a joyous crowd? Have you ever attended a lively party feeling down within, almost sinking in that sad little corner where nobody even notices you?
I’ve attended one such party during my college days. There were games, food, music and everything else a party has to have, except my heart it seems, which doesn’t really belong there.
I remember one game where a team had to guess the name of the person by looking at the drawings of their teammate. When they had to draw something to describe me, they drew a book, and there was an immediate correct answer — me!
It was supposed to be a compliment, but somehow, I felt rather frustrated. How I wished I were known by other things: by a song perhaps, or by a fancy hairdo, or by a big heart and a nice sweet smile. I guess I didn’t want to die someday and be remembered only as someone who topped her class in academics.
I wanted to be remembered as a real person — someone that mattered, someone that made a difference in another person’s life.
But at that party, I felt as though I didn’t matter at all. I could have just stayed in a corner all through the party, and the party could’ve just went on fine, lacking nothing whatsoever.
“It would be too easy to say that I feel invisible. Instead, I feel painfully visible, and entirely ignored.” ― David Levithan, Every Day
Maybe nobody noticed what’s going on inside me.
Maybe they were too caught up in their fun. Or maybe I lacked the skill to participate, and I didn’t give myself the chance to belong.
All I’m certain of was that it’s been one awful time for me, and it took me many years to have the confidence to join, to play, and to dance again.
I really can’t remember now what helped me overcome that kind of social awkwardness. Maybe I got to be more confident in the person I truly am. Maybe I know my worth better now, that I am not just the books I read nor the grades that I make.
Maybe too, I got to know people better, and I got to know people who believed in me and saw the beautiful things in me.
Maybe I got to know people whose warm acceptance made me feel okay to make mistakes, even to act like a fool sometimes.
The world is full of joyous parties, but in many of them, there are lonely hearts unnoticed, sitting in a corner, wishing to go home and cry to their pillows that seem to hear their cries better than most people do.
If you are one of those people, know that it’s alright to go home sometimes rather than mingle with those who do not understand what you’re going through. You can’t pretend you’re happy just because you’re there. Pray instead and find healing, go where you can be understood, and then go back when you can face the world with a true smile shining from your heart.
But if you are one of those who really enjoy the party, if you’re one of those having the greatest time of your life, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to look once in a while at that sad little corner. You may just find someone trying to reach out but is unable to. You may just make another person smile, and in so doing, find your dances more enjoyable, your happiness more complete.
“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” ― Tahereh Mafi, Shatter Me
Being alone is like running out of breath
is like falling…
And even if you’re
in a crowd of people, it’s like drowning in the midst of them…
Each one a wave
plunging over you
until you start to sink
‘cause there is really
nothing to keep you afloat.
And so you close your eyes and wait…
You try not to think anymore
because thinking only worsens your fears.
All you want to do
is to escape, to find something you can hold on to…
that will not hurt
but show you the way.
A voice that will not put you down
but lead you
into that quiet place
where your feet