but don't pity the lonely
being alone has been vilified for years. it should come as no shock that so many regard it as a depressive pit of despair- we've been trained to think this way. it's commonly understood that the crazy cat lady lives alone and speaks to no one but felines. everyone knows the man seated alone at the diner must be waiting for someone to join him- he couldn't possibly be solo by choice.
somehow throughout time we've come to believe that sadness and loneliness go hand in hand; that no one could possibly want to be alone- let alone thrive when left to their own devices.
feeling alone and being alone are two different animals. truly being alone is something i've never been. lest it be family, partners, friends, coworkers, or friendly-faced strangers; i've always found something worth holding onto in other people. all my life, i've clung hopelessly to the belief that people are inherently good. it's a challenge to hold onto that mentality when those who surround you do things that (for lack of a more eloquent wording) make you sad but if you believe that everyone is rooted in evil...what does that make you?
the line, "you are the company you keep" continues to swirl around in my head and i can't help but shout back, "WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS, NOT CLONED SHEEP!" i've witnessed my friends do things i couldn't fathom doing. in turn, i'm sure they have seen me conduct myself in a manner they find foreign and bizarre. i know that the world is pretty fucked up, but i dismiss that as my mantra and try focus on the good.
alone is a tough title to keep while still remaining positive about the world around you. when you remove yourself from society, every one and thing has no choice but to live up to all of your expectations. how can anyone prove you wrong and encourage you to trust again when you won't allow them in? how could anything be more than you imagine when you don't give it the chance to?
the most depressing thing i heard this summer came out of the mouth of someone who was very close to me at the time. she was going through a rough breakup and was beginning to loose faith in humanity. with tear filled eyes she turned to me and said, "i know- i'll just sleep with her ex! that will show her!"
this sweet, kind girl wanted to destroy another emotionally to justify the pain she was in. i understand hurt- we all understand being betrayed but when did this mentality of 'getting people back' become king? i've been driven to loneliness by none other than myself, but the actions of peers have forced me to question my return. do i want to come back to a world that encourages us to hurt each other when we feel wronged?
the only thing i do know for certain is that i can only focus on my own actions. judging others for living in a manner that i deem unfit is no better than the bigots who flick off my car for my HRC sticker. it boils down to a simple difference of opinion. hate can be hidden in many forms, including that of 'concern for others'.
i can now admit that negativity and anger have clouded my vision for far too long this summer. while i'm still baffled by the behaviors i witness, i'm also ready to bat away the cobwebs and return to life. i can either live in the snowglobe-dream-world i've constructed for myself or i can engage with real life and take it as it comes.
being alone can be restorative and cleansing. my self-ostracization has brought me closer to myself and given me a greater understanding of how people interact with each other. to my lonely friends out there- remember, through this painfully connected world no one is ever truly alone. as long as you still have the strength to lift up your hand...someone will be there to hold it and even if no one is there, hope isn't lost. you are stronger than you could ever dream. you don't require anyone in order to become who you will be. we all have the ability to both rise and fall, it's up to you alone to choose what path you take.