I’ve been a college dropout for a semester’s worth of time now, and for the past month, I’ve been working part-time at a market research firm. In between shifts and durimg days off, I take solitary walks around the city, listening to new music, listening to my mind. While this may sound good, it only feels half of how it’s supposed to feel.

I live in a city where, when you look around, friendships and relationships and all other kinds of “ships” are present. That’s a good thing, but it somehow makes me feel sad and alone. There are nights when all I really need is a person to talk to, laugh with, and touch, but I have no one. There are times when the one I call home is not enough to keep me warm. There are times when my own hand cannot wipe my very own tears. There are times when my words of self-encouragement are not enough for me. There are nights when I experience my inner self cry from loneliness.

Part of me wants to chastise myself for feeling inadequate and discontent, but is it a sin to feel these things? For two weeks, I have been scribbling the same words in my journal over again: IT IS NOT A SIN TO NEED A HOME IN A COLD, LONELY CITY. As introverted as I am, there are times when I need people—their presence, energy, vibe, aura—to lift me up on days when I feel like floating garbage. It’s sad, though, that when I send out needy, “rescue me” text messages, I get nothing. And when I need to be alone to recharge, people come hustling at my doorstep.

Everything feels and looks unbalanced, unnatural, inorganic. Why are things in my life discordant? Every night, I ask the universe these questions. Every night, still, I get no answer. Or maybe I already have the answer, which I am too stubborn to notice and accept.

While I may suffer too much from demanding more from the universe, I hold on to the hope that all will be OK soon. After all, I can always go back to forgiveness. I know I can always forgive myself. ♦