This will come as no surprise to long term readers of this blog (if there are any), but really I wanted to explain how my particular loneliness manifests.
You see, I have friends. I have good friends. And yet most of the time I still feel alone. The majority of my friends are married and some have kids too. Although this means that they understandably have less time to see me, I don’t begrudge them that. It’s not a path through life that I wish to take personally, but it is the path that makes most people happy, and seeing my friends happy is good.
So why am I complaining? Am I sad that I’m single? Well, not really. I’ve come to learn over the years that perhaps I am simply not built for romantic relationships. They never work. Some readers may tell me that I simply have not met the right person, and by doing so they will be driving at the crux of the matter: there is no right person.
I have always been very independent. I’d rather do something myself than get someone else to do it for me. I’m decisive and have little trouble choosing what restaurant to eat at, or where I want to go on holiday for instance. This independence has led to me having a number of fantastic adventures and exploring some wonderful places. All too often these adventures have been solitary.
I can be impulsive. I get an idea in my head and I act on it. I usually take adequate precautions and make necessary preparations. To many people this is terrifying, but I thrive on that fear. The discomfort is what helps me develop. A few years ago someone I cared about deeply told me that I was fearless and she was a coward. I’m not fearless, and I never was; I’m just ready to face that fear.
I have a worldview which is “odd” by societal standards. I hate TV. I don’t use social media. I disagree with the concept of pet ownership. I don’t drink, smoke or take drugs. I go through periods where I crave human contact and periods where I crave solitude. I am fiercely independent and would prefer to use an inferior product which I made myself than a superior one I bought.
My loneliness does not exist because I don’t have friends. It exists because I often feel like the only member of my species. My loneliness persists because I do not know how to fix this without sacrificing who I am.
So work was called off today due to the snow. I figured I might as well make the most of it so I went for a walk round the reservoir, into town and back along the canal. The snow drifts on the east side of the reservoir were so deep they swallowed my legs, and I could help but laugh as I struggled to get though them.
When I was about halfway round, I notced a robin watching me from a tree. He seemed pretty fearless and I was able to get really close and snap this great photo:
This wasn’t the only bird; there were about six of the little guys all sat in the trees around me, eyeing me inquisitively. Then, one of them flew right up to me and hovered in front of my face. Instinctively I held out a finger… and he landed right on it and started looking at me expectantly.
I couldn’t help but smile in wonder at what was going on. I had a robin perched on my finger while all around me robins and bluetits flitted between the trees. My friend tried pecking at my hand and then realised that I wasn’t particularly tasty.
I continued along the path and then realised that the birds were following me! A red-breasted escort, so to speak. I held out my hand for another little robin and on cue, he hopped onto my hand:
Despite the -4°C temperatures, I couldn’t help but feel a warm feeling spread right through my body. It really was a magical experience, and one that I will not soon forget.
If you’re at home due to the snow, take the opportunity to go exploring – you never know what joys await.