How often do you feel lonely? What do you do about it? I felt pretty lonely last week and holed myself in instead of calling a friend or asking someone out to tea. And I know I'm not alone in not wanting to bother people when I'm not 100%. It's hard. It's partly not wanting to interrupt someone at an inconvenient moment, but it's also not wanting to show just how weak and vulnerable we really are.
This past week, after finishing my solitary confinement, I've been asking people about their loneliness, and I've been surprised to discover that everyone feels lonely. And often. And being around lots of people can actually make the loneliness feel even more acute.
It seems another common problem is that we isolate ourselves further by believing that no one else feels as lonely as we do-- that everyone else is happily surrounded by loved ones and eating fondue and partying it up all the time. Right? Well, apparently not.
Not only does everyone feel lonely, no one felt there was any better solution than simply being at peace with the loneliness. So, there you have it. Most of us are born alone, die alone and live much of the in-between alone, too. But, rather than focus on the half-empty, we could be glad for the times we're not alone, grateful for those who make us feel connected and loved, for communities who make us feel like part of the family, and of course, for our families who, in spite of knowing us and our oddities for years and years, still talk to (and maybe even love) us.
So, now, I reach out to you: my secret readers, lurking in internet darkness. I don't know who you are, specifically, but I do know that, on average, thirty people visit per day. And as of yesterday, you've come from 21 states and 28 countries. Ready? It's time to de-lurk. I'd like to shake your hand and say hi properly.
So, tell me about yourself. (You can answer as many/few questions you'd like.)
Where are you from? Where do you live?
Where would you live if you could live anywhere?
How alone do you feel? What makes it better?
What else is on your mind these days?
What makes you happy? What are you passionate about?
How's the weather where you are?
What do you think constitutes a life well lived?
And if you're too shy to post a comment, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's be less lonely today.