Even though I know deep down that I'm loved, I constantly feel like I'm searching for something more.

When I speak of being alone, I'm not referring to the lack of presence of another individual. I'm alluding to feelings of loneliness within my inner mind. I like to describe loneliness as an emotion in itself.

It can be unpleasant in nature in which there are feelings of disconnection from others. Physically, I can be surrounded by a group of friends, but deep down feel as though there's something missing. For me, these feelings come in waves and can be extremely unpredictable.

I consider myself to be an outgoing individual, but I struggle in finding like-minded people. I actively find myself searching for people who understand me from an emotional standpoint. It's important for my friendships to be centered around genuine connections in order for me to combat these feelings of loneliness. My openness and willingness to allow new people into my life attracts a wide array of people but doesn't always result in the close connections I desire. While communicating with people comes naturally to me, I would find myself creating these almost artificial-like friendships with forced conversations that made the loneliness feel more real.

Ironically, my desires to create these close connections that I speak of has me in this vicious cycle of pushing people away due to a past experience of failed friendships. My failed friendships have created feelings of anxiety towards meeting new people and an overall lack of trust. I experience hyper-awareness which makes me over think every change in tone of voice or action of another. My developed skepticism makes it hard to grow healthy friendships as my first instinct has become to push them away to avoid getting hurt again.

The conflict between my desires and fears has been an on-going battle of mine. The more I search for fulfillment, the more I start to feel such intense feelings of hopelessness and self-doubt. I'm so focused on what-if scenarios, that I forget that friendships take time to develop. I've learned that patience is key in creating lasting friendships and that I should stop letting my fears control every aspect of my life.

I've realized that it's important that I go into friendships with an open mindset from this point forward. By actively searching for this sense of fulfillment, I end up becoming disappointed and pushing away potential friendships. While controlling my feelings of anxiety might be a challenge, I plan on practicing patience in meeting genuine people and cherishing those of whom I currently surround myself with.

It's great to be eager to create friendships, but forcing something that's not there creates feelings of hopelessness. If a past friendship of yours hasn't been successful, do not let that discourage you from creating mutually beneficial friendships.

In hindsight, every unsuccessful friendship is a learning experience.

These feelings of loneliness are only temporary and you will find people who are good for you and your soul.