Luminary

To Fridays: #1 — The Cure for Loneliness

Recently, my roommate has been giving me the same advice when I talk to her about a boy (or boys, in general): “Just be friends and see where things go.” She also told me I was being a “creeper”, which, in her definition, meant that I was coming off as too desperate.

I won’t deny it: I want to go out on a date — a real date. The last time I actually went out with someone felt like ages ago. There have been several near misses: some guy asked me out for dinner, but never actually followed up on it… even after I gathered up what’s left of my courage and called him up. Some other guy was supposed to catch the non-“Toby Maguire” Spiderman 2 with me, but somehow, that plan fell through. We just never made any other plans.

Image Credit: Georgia Ho
Image Credit: Georgia Ho

I couldn’t figure it out. Was there something wrong with the way I carried myself? Maybe I just wasn’t interesting enough to date. Or maybe… It was as my roommate said, and I have officially become a “creeper”. You know what they say: Boys can sense creepers coming from miles away. Maybe every time they sense a creeper, there’s a voice saying, “Run, you clever boy, and remember.”

Thing is, like you and everyone else on this earth, I don’t like the idea of being alone. I can joke about being the cat lady 40 years down the road, but put me in a house with 12 cats and no way out and I’d probably go insane in less than 24 hours.

So yes, I have been searching for an out to this madness. Asking my friends things like, “How do you create opportunities to spend time with someone you’d probably never really meet?” or “Why hasn’t this guy followed up on our date?” Overthinking every little detail, every text, every word, every smiley. In retrospect, I can definitely see where the “creeper” comment is coming from.

I can’t help but think that I’m going about this the wrong way. I can write all I want about being patient and waiting for the right person and being the right person and how it is “okay not to be on a mission to find someone to fall in love with all the time”, but I can’t deny that that urgency is exactly how I feel. Right now, at this very moment, I feel confused, alone, and so very, very afraid.

Image Credit: Matthias Ripp
Image Credit: Matthias Ripp

I’m afraid of the deep dark hole of loneliness, of having no one to turn to in the middle of the night after a horrid nightmare, and no one to grow old and make silly jokes with. I’m afraid of the lives my friends will inevitably build with their future spouses, and being left on the shelf. I can’t tell if that is a societal fear or if it’s just human nature, but I think I need to come to terms with that. I won’t be positive and optimistic twenty four seven, and sometimes things might get me down. And that’s perfectly okay. It’s time to acknowledge that fact.

You know, it’s easy to tell yourself to change your mindset. It’s easy to put it down into words on a screen or on a piece of paper you put up on your wall, just so you can feel like it’s something concrete already. What’s not easy is to live by those words. I know I haven’t been living by mine.

I haven’t stopped worrying about my future. I still want someone to teach me how to ride a bike, like I’d dreamed of as a child. I want someone to take me ice skating. Sometimes, I wish someone would alleviate the loneliness I feel. I’d send smoke signals into the world, hoping for some kind of answer, singing, “Can anybody find me somebody to love?” complete with the long, drawn out musical note at the end.

Image Credit: Alex (eflon)
Image Credit: Alex (eflon)

But maybe I forget that the cure for loneliness doesn’t just come from your friends and family. It comes from yourself. Whether that is spiritually, emotionally, or a secret part of yourself that no one else knows, we just have to remember that we are not alone in this.

As Plato said, “Love is the name for our pursuit of wholeness, for our desire to be complete.” We, as human beings, have struggled with being alone for as long as time itself. Everyone searches for something to fulfil ourselves, something to make us believe that we are not lost in the darkness, that we can be seen by someone, that we can be heard in the crowd.

I think we may be so afraid of ending up alone that sometimes, we forget that we have ourselves. And not only do we have ourselves, we have each other — we forget that too. We must remember to see and hear ourselves — to love ourselves first so being alone wouldn’t feel so daunting. But, more importantly, we should also remember that there’s nothing wrong with being scared of loneliness. It shouldn’t paralyse us, or make us feel less than others. Instead, it should be what propels us forward, and what makes us take that first leap into the unknown. Because no matter how lonely we might feel, we are not alone.

To Fridays is a weekly column that hopes to be able to give you all the encouragement and love in the world. #tofridaysvp

 

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