So-So

How are you today? How’s your life going? What’s school like? Having fun? Are you busy? What about your friends? Do you like them? Have you become especially close to anyone yet?

How are you feeling?

You know how ponds can be very small, but at the same time extremely deep? That’s what the question “how are you feeling” feels like to me. You can skim the surface of the question with some light, cursory answers, but you won’t really address the deeper issues. Maybe it’s hard to express those feelings. Maybe you’re not sure what you’re feeling. Sometimes, it’s hard to feel at all. Life throws a lot of emotional circumstances at us, but not many affect us as much as people we want in our lives. Whether we actually have them or not…

Love songs tend to come in a variety of tried-and-true flavors, each catering to different emotions. You’ve got your sweet hopeful songs, your sharp sad songs, and all the shades of feeling in between to choose from. So-So (by Baek A Yeon) occupies this nice blended area that colors its’ melancholy undertones with bright pastels and hopeful vibes. It’s this section of the love song ice cream aisle I find myself in the most often, feeling that same yearning for clarity in all of it. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though, into the song!

I haven’t tried going to the doctor for lovesickness, but I should try sometime. 

 

What I love the most about So-So is that it captures the uncertainty and cautious longing of that stage in singleness when you aren’t in a relationship, but kind of do and don’t want to be. Right off the bat, Baek crystalizes that uneasy feeling when she sings

I’m not picky
But I’m not attracted to anyone
I go out once or twice, keep in touch for a few days
But only awkward air flows between us

Being a self-proclaimed introvert myself, I fully understand the weirdness of the “getting-to-know-you” stage in a relationship. People are amazing, mysterious, wonderful, scary creations that are hard to understand. Combine that with wanting to find someone who understands you in particular, the whole relationship process gets even harder. Dipping that first toe into the waters is really scary, especially when you don’t know where the water will take you. Will we become friends? Does she like the way I talk? Does he think I’m being creepy? Should I text them back now or in a few minutes? Do I seem too needy? The questions flow, and the uncertainties grow. Shaky. Unsure. Awkward.

Didn’t know a broken heart could be discovered via x-ray. You learn something new every day.

Anxiety leads to doubt, which is the mother of fear. Fear is an ever-growing stain on our emotional health that grows the more we feed it. Trying to beat it by simply “trying harder” tends to breed even more fear, and I find myself thinking:

It’s so frustrating, it’s so strange
Things keep going awry
What is the problem?
 

Whoever I meet, it’s so so
Being alone is so so
My heart’s not fluttering but I don’t feel bad (so so)
I’m losing my senses, I’m forgetting how to love
I don’t remember

I want to feel love. I want to express love. I want to give someone love. All of this desire just presses on my soul, and yet I’m not sure what to do with it all. I meet people, get to know them, maybe find some attraction. Maybe she’s cute, maybe I think she’s really mature and cool, maybe I love her spirituality or her personality. But overall, I don’t feel that surge, that emotional high that you’re supposed to feel. I feel…normal. But love isn’t normal, right? I’m not finding that experience of love that I think I should find. Being with people is…so so. Being by myself is…so so. Like Baek, I feel like I don’t even know how to love.

I don’t think my problem is that I don’t know how to express love. My problem is that I don’t think I know myself enough to know when I feel love. Either while I’m giving or receiving, I don’t often have surges of emotion or sudden moments of “That feeling is LOVE!”. Because of this, I’m uncertain of how the love I try to express is received by others. Do they know that I like being with them? Are my jokes not really that funny? Do I come across as too abrasive or weird? Do they just tolerate me without really liking me?

Even Baek can’t be bought with flowers.

I make an effort but it’s so so, I try but it’s so so
My heart’s not moved, it’s not fun, it’s just so so (so so )
I don’t even remember when the last time my heart raced
I wanna like someone
I wanna be in love

Not gonna lie, the more I read the lyrics to this song, the more I realize how spot-on Baek’s lyrics line up with my emotions half the time. Putting myself out there doesn’t work. Pulling out of my comfortable shell of individuality doesn’t magically make me more sociable. In fact, it seems to heighten my insecurities more than anything. Naked turtles aren’t seen in the wild for a reason, so it’s no wonder that I feel so unsafe when I make myself so vulnerable. I seem to be one of the few with this problem, however.

I do get jealous of couples (they must be happy)
But I’m not lonely (it’s bearable)
My phone is quiet, my weekends are empty
I just hate being in front of the TV

So many people around me seem to have it all together. They have their special person. They know who they are. They know their love is true. I’m here unsure of everything. Yet I’m okay with this somehow. I feel alone, but not lonely. I feel there’s something missing, but I’m not crippled without it. How does this work? How can I be sure of anything?

My journey is singleness has been quite the interesting ride. Like Baek, I’m happy to be single, but I find myself wanting more than that. Like the Apostle Paul said, I’m enjoying that I can focus on “how to please the Lord” (1 Cor 7:33) and keep my focus on establishing myself as a person. Yet, I really want to be able to share this experience. I want to be able to let out all of the emotions of my day on someone who’ll get it. I want to lay my head in the lap of someone who’ll listen to my ramblings and still love me by the end of it. I’m happy to be there for everyone I know, but I also want to have someone there for me.

At the point where my contentment and discontentment cross, where am I?

It seems really trite to say, but that’s where God comes in. He’s already promised that He’ll never leave us or forsake us. He promises to be our Comforter and our satisfaction. He knows all things and has the best possible plan for our lives. So we really don’t have a reason to worry. That doesn’t mean that we won’t have our struggles though. God is a lot like a fire extinguisher at times: extremely useful and can be your only hope of safety when fire comes, but only if you use Him. Even so, just being aware of God and trying to trust Him doesn’t mean that our struggles will magically disappear. He does, however, give us the grace to endure through our struggles.

I can’t say that I entirely enjoy being without a girlfriend when so many people I know are happily in a relationship. Yet at the same time, I can’t tell you that I’m not enjoying my time “on the market”, as it were. Waiting for God to bring me my special someone can be hard sometimes. But I know that it’s worth it in the end. To wait for someone who will be perfect for me, who will love me and I’ll experience their love and my love for them…it’s a special feeling. Far from being simply so so.

Sam

I'm a student who loves God and manages to balance school, games, books, anime, and Asian culture while staying slightly sane.