Marco Orlando

I had a friend ask me recently “Are you ever happy?” after I had aired some of my grievances online a while ago. The question caught me off guard, and I didn’t really have an answer. But it did give me some time to think since then. We’ve all likely spent a fair amount of time alone in our lives. It’s something I haven’t always had much of in the past, so I’ve learned to appreciate when I have alone time. But I need to be around other people once in a while too. My parents, SUFU, and Animal Crossing have been the extent of my social life since last March when the pandemic first started.


Lately, in my more private moments, I’ve felt empty and hollow inside. I remember growing up, I would try to escape from the issues I was having at school when I would come home each day. Usually it was through toys I played with or shows I watched on TV. Then as I got older, I kept trying to fill this void with things that I thought would make me happy like wrestling, music, clothes or food. These things usually made me feel better, but only for a little while.


I spend a fair amount of time online each day mostly to stay connected with the world around me, not necessarily because I enjoy it. Most relationships feel very transactional to me these days, and it makes me wish I could appreciate normal interactions for what they really are instead of wondering what people are trying to get out of me without having to work for it. It’s been a while since I have felt desirable. I’m not as young as I used to be, and I can’t shake this feeling that time is running out.


Having a family of my own would be ideal as I plan for a future without my mom and dad someday. But I question my ability to raise children and whether I could be a successful parent. Maybe these things aren’t meant for me. Maybe there is something else out there instead. I’m taking college classes and working my way towards a four-year degree. I’m putting in driving time as I prepare for the road test and getting my license. That’s got to count for something, right?


I guess to answer my friend’s question, one of the only real goals I’ve had in life was just to be happy. And sometimes I feel like I can’t even do that right. I realize other people are probably having similar struggles to find their own happiness, and not everyone measures it the same way. It all goes back to that “keeping up with the Joneses” thing and feeling like I’m missing out on something. It’s not much fun being alone with my own thoughts sometimes.


So to wrap things up:

  • Keep checking in on each other
  • Keep each other talking / engaged
  • Remind each other that people care
  • We are kind. We are smart. We are important.


If you are self advocate and would like to share a blog post with us please email Laurie Coldwell at lcoldwell@sufumaine.org   


The Speaking Up For Us (SUFU) blog contains views and opinions of each individual writer. The views and opinions expressed through these channels are purely the bloggers’ own and does not reflect the opinion of SUFU as an organization or any SUFU staff member.

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