Sea of Pure Alone and Feelings


by Manuel Meija, United World College Maastricht
07 February, 2022
Illustration by Manuel Meijia


I’ve always lived in cities and never felt dessert as a do now. Uncountable times I’ve laid down in the bathroom floor hoping for anyone to get in, just to be physically compatible with my sense of solitude. And yet never happened, there was always something, there was always someone to watch you…

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I’ve walked past the moat in the dark, as a sad song blasted out of my heart as I struggled to hold back tears, tears that never fell. I’ve holed myself up in a claustrophobic corner on a four people dorm and stared at the empty walls. Because no art, photography, or memory was able to glance my day. And yet I keep going, there was no time for a mental breakdown. So I hold myself and pretended that nothing was going on. And then I discover a ‘community.’

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I started organizing events, games and tried to do uncountable, so my calendar would explode and not my heart. I seek for a community, for friends and family, but I forgot about myself, till I stopped feeling. So I started living trough others feelings, hoping for ephemeral states of mine, for sparklings in moments and for a reason to not drop. Now some of that people, some of those smiles take off before time, they went to look for a house, and they only left me with a Platonic Love with a lonely soul.

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I became a ghost on campus, a walker of the night, a lover of the moon and a moaner for the sun. I can’t sleep, my bed reminds me of all that ‘this is not and should be’. And yet every single fucking time I’ve talked to a firstie or applicant I’ve followed their game and encourage their expectations because there is no adult here to talk with and aspirations is the only that keeps us moving.

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I’ve cry in front of teachers, I’ve asked them for help, but it wasn’t related to their subject, it wasn’t academic and thus not help was offered. I guess it makes sense, no? What an adult can do with a sad kid that is only thousand of miles away from a sincere hug. The only help that they offer is to explain the challenge you’ve enrolled into. But what when the only reward is something near to anxiety and depression?  They have told me, is going to be fine, but what when the only way you can breathe in is through a filter and tobacco. And the only way to keep going is to alienate everything and focus on IB because you don’t want a funny email about ‘Jeopardizing’ your place. What if you know what is happiness because now you don’t have it anymore. 

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And to be fair the best moments of my life have also been here, but they could be more if there was a real support for us. But the support that I got is the dirty mirror that remains me to get out of bed and pretend, and tell yourself that ‘this’ is the highlight of my life. 

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But those days never vanish and sometimes tears me apart, I when I started looking back, I looked for a home, but there was no such a thing anymore, it was just nostalgia and physicality.  I’ve been so far from so long that the only home that remains is my soul, and sometimes not even that. 

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I’ve been with someone, in the same place, at the same time, and felt a million miles away. They wanted one thing and I wanted another, and we both thought that caring about each other could somehow bridge this abyss. Until we stopped caring about each other and moved on, and found someone else, to feel some sense.

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I say goodbye to the people I care for at the end of DP1, not because of summer break but because I thought I wasn’t coming back. I didn’t go back ‘home’, but I walked towards my solitude, and I hold to that. To those late nights at corner stores, to those sunny parks on ‘others’ lands. In the dark, in the coldness of solitude, I sat down after walking from nowhere to nowhere. There was nothing than me and my backpack, so I leaned to fulfill a wide-open space, a foreign language and culture just to feel home again. All to feel myself, just to find myself and feel happy again. And I was happy, and I was walking, so I decided to came back, to not drop, hoping for something different, for something cozy. It last a week. 

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I’ve felt alone in a sea of peers, in a mensa party, and wondered where loneliness comes from. I connect briefly with someone and then fall apart, and I repeat that cycle again. Uncountable times due to the nature of residences. But never last.

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Now I just think of them, of the ones that commit mistakes, and I asked myself. What is a mistake? Who is the mistaken? They were part of those moments, those that were enough to keep me going, the ones that were there when I feel about to shatter and break. The ones that you pull the warmth of their hand to you, and then you try again. But today I found Mensa loud as always, but voices are left, voices of ‘mistakes.’ 

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Yes, I signed to this thing, I signed to these rules, I signed to these ideas but the only I get back is ‘being accountable for my mistakes but not for my success. I found my friends, I found my passions and I continue to find myself, not because ‘this’ place encourages me to, but because ‘this’ has harmed me so much that the only way to keep breathing is to move on. To be cold. 

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To all those warm hands, hugs, and more that keep me going. 

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-From the residences, 

from my soul

Mejia.

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