Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Lesson on Loneliness

I very rarely feel alone.

I work full-time, five days a week, in an office filled with four other permanent people and about thirty-five others that come and go throughout the week.

On the weekends, I work a second job at a Community Center where people are hosting parties or working out or coming in to ask what time we have open swim (spoiler alert: never).

I surround myself with people.  Funny people, talkative people, intensely intelligent people.  Old, young, in between, it doesn't matter.  These people make me laugh and commiserate with me when work is tough and give me parts of themselves through stories that make me feel like I'm a part of them

I almost always feel lonely.

It usually happens at home.  I'll come home from a day at work and walk into an empty apartment.  There's no one here to greet me or ask me how my day was.  Sometimes I'll make dinner, sometimes I'll make cereal.  I don't fight over what to watch at 8pm.  I don't wonder if the washing machine is free.  The flowers in the vase are always the perfect bouquet because I picked them out and cut them the length I want them.  I wake up in the morning and don't have to worry about if there's hot water or clean towels or milk in the fridge.  These are all decisions that are influenced by me and only me.

I can't tell people how lonely I feel.  The people I've surrounded myself with are a variety of moms with basketball practice and husbands with wives to spend time with.  My friends have lives very, very different than mine and I spend an awful lot of time thinking about how my life has become so standstill while everyone else's kept moving.  I've almost created this cycle of loneliness for myself because I'd rather lay on the couch in Shondaland than go out and be a third or fifth or seventh wheel.  It's easy to say "well, the grass is always greener on the other side" but I don't know that my grass is greener because I've never seen it through anyone's glasses but my own.

Sometimes people just need to be told they matter to be reminded they exist in your world.

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