It never ceases to amaze me how isolated you can feel in a room packed full of people. How lost you can become in your own thoughts, how foreign you feel to the civilization you're surrounded by.

My social development class emphasizes the importance of collective bonding, personal relationships. How necessary it is, as human beings, for us to connect and identify with one another, to establish relationships.

Sitting in my carefully chosen lefty-desk, far enough toward the back to remain inconspicuous without revealing my anti-social tendencies, I feel my eyes burn with the onset of tears.

No, I fume with frustration, don't be so fucking pathetic.

I employ the classic strategy of pinching right above the bridge of my nose while looking up. To this day, I'm not sure whether this technique truly works, but I'm confident that the mere act of doing it serves as a distraction, and therefore, a solution.

The truth is, I can't stop thinking about the relationships in my life—or the lack thereof. Most of my friends are in California, but I wonder if this serves as more of an excuse than a fact. Why not meet new people? Why not branch out?

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Making friends had always come easily in specific contexts: track and soccer teams, photo shoots, writing workshops and anything involving creativity (yes, I still ache for the California Summer School of the Arts). But here, in a dismal town in which my life consisted of jumping through hoops in college while essentially roboting my way through two jobs, I felt completely cut off from human beings—even when surrounded by them. There was some fundamental disconnect that seemed to distance me from them, some flaw in my conversational flow that lead to dead silence rather than back-and-forth dialogue.

I can talk for hours about anything I'm passionate about, I can rant and rave and make chipmunk noises, but I stutter and stumble when I try to engage in small talk with strangers.

I want, more than anything, to be a stupid college girl who is thrilled with one night stands—which I have yet to have—and to be infatuated by the boys here who specialize in surface topics. The courting conversations (or lack thereof) are more shallow than baby pools. No, I don't want to "hang out" when I hardly know you and you text me at 10:00 at night thinking I can make time for you in the same evening, simply because your schedule doesn't reflect mine.

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In high school, this drummer I had an immense crush on actually gave me the time of day. Advice. Inspiration. Fun facts you won't find on popsicle sticks. The truth is, I didn't really care about Marquis de Sade—but that never stopped me from reading all 799 pages of 120 Days of Sodom, just so I'd have an excuse to borrow a book from him.

I miss all of the crushes I had in high school. In California. In Portland. Those damn boys who stuffed butterflies in my stomach.

I've finally had to stomach the realization that the Eugene boy I've invested so much time in, the one I've cared about ever since I met him, will never play a crucial role in my life. It's hard to sever relationships like that because you're basically sawing your heart in half—a messy procedure—and sacrificing comfort and routine for loneliness and the unknown.

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But when you feel deflated after every time you hang out, when you're the one bringing up books he will never read because he um, doesn't read, you know that it's time to move on.

When the nicest thing he can say to you at dinner is, "Well, your tits look nice", you know the lack of poetry has become a problem. This makes it easier to run, not walk, away—and to be shameless about holding the leftover crispy honey shrimp hostage when you drop him off at his house.

Yet despite failed romantic relationships and entertaining the idea that I may be a single cat woman for the rest of my life, I'm finally finding comfort in the stability of change. I'm holding onto those far away friendships that have endured the distance, and will, in a matter of months, become less distant. In the meantime, there are phone calls, text messages, and emails reminding me that I am never truly alone.

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In the meantime, I receive a response from an editor after I submit a recently-written piece, and he says that I have "excellent syntax and style" and he wants to feature my work on his website. I find myself glowing, infinitely more flattered by an editor's email response than the "compliment" given at dinner by the guy I gave my heart to.

There will always be chocolate, Sephora, the gym, people who read and write and want to read my writing, pretty lighting, Sex and the City, Rolling Stone interviews, Californication, OMG shoes, Stephen Colbert, and comrades who still contact me despite my goldfish-like attention span. Donut dates, the relief of finally finding an amazing roommate and living close to campus my last year of college. Photographers who inspire. Free T-shirts and free Costco samples.

In my martial and family therapy class, we're learning that the role of the therapist is to help people reinterpret reality. To focus on what they can do, not what they can't. To recognize patterns, to identify alternatives.

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For the first time in a long time, I'm finally starting to do this for myself. Now I only hope I can provide the same service to others, to help them reinterpret their reality the same way that others have helped me reinterpret—and redefine—mine.