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Art has replaced my friends

I'm going to admit something I haven't dared to really say out loud. But have thought it, felt it, and known it for a while now.

Art has replaced friends.

Yup. I said it.

And what exactly do I mean? Well, I know it's a bit loser-ish to admit this as well. But for a long time in my adult life, I have had severe friends envy. I have many friends yes. But they were spread out thinly. And because I moved countries and jobs and lives so many times in my life since turning 20, I didn't have a core group of friends I stayed close with. I mean, there were some very good friends from school, and we catch up often over the phone and occasionally in real life, but because we don't live in the same city, we aren't the default friends group you just hang with by default you know. Sorta like Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha. You know. And this envy wasn't casual. It was a deep sickening feeling of loneliness, and loser-ness. It really was. The lock downs during the pandemic made me feel it way way more acutely. Who were my tribe? My people? I didn't have any. I was living in a foreign land. Away from family. No close friends to feel safe and grounded with. I was a lost soul. Who didn't belong. And I was close to being 40 years old. Yes I had my husband and kids. But something deep within me craved for a tribe. For a group of people to deeply belong to.

I envied immigrant community groups that lived close to the city who had each other. Families and uncles and cousins and just people you know you would be hanging out with by default every weekend. There was no need to making plans with friends. There would be a routine, a ritual you just had. There would be no effort, no rejection, no uncomfortable conversations with new people you would meet. I was so over that already. I just wanted my tribe.

And when the pandemic hit, I had already been living here in this quite lovely community of like minded people. People who moved here to Warburton all loved nature. And were mostly creatives, healers or builders of some sort. It was gorgeous. But the lock downs meant community events were cancelled and there was no mutual place where people just met and hung out. There were no school drop offs for mums to chat and have coffee after. It was horrendous. I felt so so so alone. And if a few days would pass where I didn't speak to another adult, I would feel myself disappearing and going mad.

And then I found art. This new creative outlet I never had. before. I wanted to paint all the time. I realised, I didn't need my social cup filled as much anymore. The cup was somehow filled with my paintings, and of course, sharing it on instagram. And having the validation, support and likes from people all over the world about my art! Gradually, I realised I could go for days without speaking to another adult. I did not crave human interaction as I had previously did. In fact, I would sometimes avoid social situations and chose to stay home to make art instead. It was crazy.

Had I become an introvert overnight? Where previously I needed social interactions to energise me, to fill me up. But now, I almost find it draining and I love my solitude time so so much. What the hell was going on? I thought. Do all creative people feel the same way? Was I only a social being because I needed to fill some kind of hole inside me, that was now filled up by art? Well, the answer is yes. It was. And how insane was that?

Not only had I started to ignore my friends. I started to lose interest in food, in how I looked, what I wore, the state and tidiness of my house, going for walks. And I started to remember images of crazed artists that live in their basement just creating, forgetting the world outside, slowly going crazy. You know, the Van Goghs and what not. Those stories. Was I on my way to that? I started to not dream about travel anymore, new places to visit etc. I didn't care about dreaming of a new home for our growing family's needs (I used to scroll real estates sites all the time) All I was obsessed about was painting, painting supplies, and getting better, growing my business. It's like I had this fire and energy I have never had before. 40 years plus of my life before, I had not found something I wanted to so this strongly and with this much passion. Not even yoga.

So whats my point with this entry. Well, not much. Except to describe this turn of focus for myself. I now enjoy this freedom of feeling lonely or loser. I don't crave that belonging to a tribe anymore. I really don't. I can move anywhere and live anywhere now, as long as I can keep creating art. It's like so many of my life priorities have moved to one side to let this new passion take its place. I even have stopped feeling depressed. A depression that just comes from nowhere, at night usually, and I always believed it's rooted in my not being belonged anywhere and that sense of feeling lost. But I think I'll save that for another post. Let's keep this one light. Which is - Art has replaced my friends.

If you are my friend and you're reading this. I don't mean to say you have been replaced. HAHAHA. I still love you, I still love spending time with you, And I still want to be friends! It's just that I am probably not as desperate and needy as I perhaps was before. (Even if I didn't show it, I was). And I feel unburdened by that. I apologise if I haven't been in touch for a while though. I am in a race with myself to make art as much and as furiously as I can. Like I'm trying to catch up many many years of not creating. So thank you for being patient with me. I still love you.

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2 ความคิดเห็น

Oh my goodness! Yes! This is everything I couldn't put into words and I'm so happy to hear someone else feels it too!

Crystal Tan
Crystal Tan
28 มิ.ย. 2566

Sorry for the late reply! But hahaha yes!!!! Friends are overrated. HAHAHA

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