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The delay

by Lauren Sutton about a month ago in relationships

A story about fitting in

In 2019, I was supposed to graduate. I could’ve graduated. But my family couldn’t come and I couldn’t afford summer classes. So I spent another year in an unwelcome theatre program. Where the same people get to grow as artists, being cast in every show. I wanted to fit in and feel included, but I just wasn’t. I would be excluded from parties, events, hangouts. I became depressed. I wanted to make the best of another year of program, but my anxiety took over.

The thing is, I’m quiet at first. When I get to know people I become insanely chaotic, but at first I’m quiet and shy. I watch people and see how they act around each other. I see and hear others being talked down to by their friends. I see the competition taking over friendships. I wish I could go back a year with the class I was supposed to graduate with.

It wasn’t always great and I still felt excluded, but I wasn’t around people who got drunk all the time. I was trying to build a future and get ahead in the world. I had some friends from my class that will be my friends for life. But I was stuck with this group of theatre majors for a year.

I got by, I got depressed- like really depressed. Not to the point where I was going to hurt myself, but it was still pretty bad. I spent most of my days in my room alone. My partner worked 50-60 hrs per week and so I never saw him.

Then I had an idea when walking downtown. A cat. I could adopt a cat. I’ve been wanting one for quite some time and I felt it would be good for me. Boy was I right.

This cat, calypso, brings me ultimate joy. I feel so much love from her and give so much in return. When she purrs on my chest as I drift off to sleep, I am the happiest I have ever been. I mean sure, she doesn’t like going on walks or hikes. She doesn’t like being held or picked up. And she screams at me in the morning when I’m trying to sleep, but the love is still there. Even when I take her to my hometown and she hides under the bed for an hour as soon as she sees her carrier, the love is still there. Even when she decided my hand was a toy and my jugular was a chair, there’s still love.

Okay I may be there exaggerating things a bit, but when I whistle she runs upstairs to cuddle. Like how cool is that?! People can’t do that! Or I guess they could but it would be weird.

Anyway, that’s the story of how I overcame my depression and became a cat lady. I mean sure, she’s an ahole, but she is so much better than people.

But in all honesty, she did help me with my depression and anxiety and therefore, allowed me to feel less excluded in the world. It got to the point where I didn’t care what others thought of me, and that’s very refreshing. And then Covid happened.I lost my graduation, my internship, my feeling of safety. I spent a year with my partner only for him to move out and break my heart before coming to his senses again. I tried virtual teaching before realizing I am awful with technology. But honestly, Covid is a completely different story from this one. I won’t tell you how horrible I felt and alone I felt. I won’t tell you how I tried so hard to keep myself busy only to run out of things to do every day. Think of me as rapunzel, locked in her tower with painting and reading and singing and dancing, baking and cooking, but with a cat.

relationships
Lauren Sutton
Lauren Sutton
Read next: The State
Lauren Sutton

theatre perform, designer, illustrator, writer, and advocate.

See all posts by Lauren Sutton

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