This began as a quick Monday column – the kind I like to do, short. Punchy. Uplifting. Like some fruit, fresh squeezed. Or delicious woman, fresh squeezed.
But it’s not.
Could be titled: to be continued …
Most days, for most lonely people, that’s our best accurate painfully true label which inhabits our consciousness like a shelved book, nuzzled up against ones called irrelevance, unworthy, invalid and do-it-yourself self-helpers from the best seller lists, and some from the remainder table …
Of course we aren’t.
We are vitally alive creative innovators whose minds race in dissertation.
But having nobody to share our brainstorms and idiocies with.
We can keyboard our thoughts anytime but they lack response from the universe – or from anyone as we thirst for reaction and occasional validation from worthy equal sparring partners, ones who challenges us and sometimes let us lean on them.
Only the lonely?
I’m not convinced these realities are only the province of the quiet lonely ones or if they represent reality too for those who don’t admit to loneliness. But I know in my gut, down to my toes, that lonely people get this, feel this, know this and have no voice to say it, no place to be heard because we are a self-audience of one. I’m not counting the dog. True, Gusta listens, but she never answers an invitation to debate.
But seriously, who am I to talk or lecture or counsel? Certainly no expert at helping people with loneliness – I am only an expert at my being alone, qualified to speak of my personal empty space.
Been alone since I was born.
Well, we all have. But those of us who grew up as an only child, we have a special appreciation for being with people because we spent so much time ‘not being with people’. While kids from large families often grow up craving ‘alone time’, that’s a feeling I’ve never had.
But this, this loneliness thing is a different animal – it has nothing to do with how many people are in the room; it is a feeling of disconnection and unimportance, lacking relevance or purpose and craving the tender touch (could be a warm hand or an electronic communication from the other side of the earth).
Reality comes around – goes around, disguised only in our vision of the moment; we need that sometimes, soft words and comforting expressions of support validation. If we alone, we can’t (and shouldn’t) wait around for someone else to give us those things: we need to be there for ourselves, by ourselves, in spite of ourselves …
Someone invited me to write on loneliness. I am confident their intention was to get me writing something inspiring, motivating perhaps, to lonely people. My initial reaction, as ‘coping/denying lonely people’ do – avoidance.
Avoidance of confronting the lonely reality of it, the lonely isolation of feelings and the painful vulnerability of sitting in noise filled room of lovely people – yet feeling completely alone.
Like sitting on a deck or beach or behind the wheel, rolling down a road – just going nowhere, running on empty, out-of-gas in every sense. With or without brave face. Alone again, naturally … was a successful song lyric but there is nothing natural or joyous about it.