On loneliness

I am lonely.

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.

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3 comments

  1. Ari

    An interesting article. Thank you for sharing this personal experience. Loneliness is a strange concept. A sense of incompletion, of abandonment, or of just not feeling connected to those around. I have often felt completely alone when surrounded by friends and family. In truth, even my closest friends I can only cope with being in their presence for 4 hours maximum before I need to separate myself from them.

    Society has drawn up so many “norms” that we must all fit into. And when we don’t, we feel disconnected. Being female and not wanting children, gets me cast out from many who see such a thing as “wrong.” Not being a drinker, so not joining the friends at the pub…”wrong”.

    I feel people have lost a lot of the ability to connect. Even with all the “social media” we have actually become less social. No one listens, we all just wait to speak, all have something to say and never care what is being said to us.

    • 2Karl

      Yeah I can relate regarding the not drinking, and the paradox of only being able to handle the company of friends briefly. I don’t use social media (besides wordpress, which I guess is kinda social). Thanks for reading!

  2. Jo

    Everyone is individual, which means no two people are the same and generally there has to be an exceptace of difference, not judging someone by our own standards. So long as people are enjoying the life they live, not hurting themselves or others, then they should be entitled to absolute freedom. Therefor, no one would need to sacrifice anything!

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