Safe to say this was the year of loneliness, yeah? It’s the year I may have kind of understood that loneliness is a curve, not a state. Not a condition I need to cure, but a set of emotions I can look to when they are in my face. This year, mostly due to circumstance, I unconsciously became intimately close to many kinds of loneliness. Having only caressed the edges so far, 2020 was a deep dive into what happens when I let loneliness bloom inside of me. When I let it take me, become me, grow roots inside of me.
Talking about this always brings responses ranging from, “Is everything okay?” and “Can I be there for you?” which while I appreciate always gets me thinking about our default association with loneliness as something to fight, quell, fix.
2020 has been like a whole canvas made of every pantone colour of loneliness in the shade card. I have felt hope, settlement, peace as much as I have felt restlessness, anger, grief and brokenness emerge from it.
I’m lonely because there’s nobody around me.
I’m lonely because they left when I thought they’d stay.
I’m alone, and this is nothing like I imagined it would be.
I’m alone because I chose this.
I’m alone, and I needed this.
I’m alone and I love it.
I’m alone, I don’t think I could ever have it any other way.
I’m alone because this is how I understand my need for love and tenderness.
I’m alone because I have forgotten how to be with others.
I’m alone because this is how I wait for someone to reach me.
I’m lonely in how heavy this feels and there is nobody to share it with.
I’m lonely from being on my own for so long now.
I’m alone even when I am surrounded by folks.
I’m lonely, but it fits.
I’m lonely, I’m drowning in it.
I’m alone and that’s alright sometimes.
I’m alone doesn’t mean I am lonely.
I’m alone, and it doesn’t need fixing.
I’m alone, it is true.
There is a balm in sometimes inviting in emotions that we are usually tempted to power through and overcome. There is strength in familiarity with them, strange and upside down as that might seem.
Don’t surrender your loneliness so quickly. Let it cut you more deep. Let it ferment and season you as few humans and even divine ingredients can.
One year ago: Christmas is coming