You know what’s odd?
I don’t feel lonely anymore.
It’s strange to acknowledge that, because I got so damnably good at being lonely and whining about it. Now–what?–it’s just not a thing anymore, I guess. How did that happen?
I can’t even tell you.
I don’t even know when it happened.
Just, you know…recently I’ve been thinking about things that feel different for me now than they used to, and loneliness is the one thing that really stands out. Or doesn’t. Because it used to CONSUME our summer nights, and now? Nope.
I suppose it would be easier to understand if the loneliness had been replaced by something or someone. But that’s not really it. If anything, I’m less social than I have ever been before in my life…but it’s okay. I’m okay with that. I accept my solitude.
Not that I’m alone, exactly. I have Jester. And my family and the pets in the house with me all day every day…and I see people at work and even have a better rapport with them than I did at my last theatre. (“Favourite Nazi” ftw, I guess.)
But I almost never go out. And it doesn’t hurt me like it used to.
It doesn’t hurt me that I don’t really communicate much, even with the people who are my friends.
And that all sounds so bad, doesn’t it? It sounds unhealthy. But I feel content…so…it should be okay, right? I don’t know. How am I supposed to judge that? By how I feel deep down, or by how this society (and sometimes science) tells me I should be surrounded by friends and family and a “support network”?
I’ll say this though: I think it was all…I don’t know…because of her that I used to react so badly to solitude. But it isn’t right to say that. It wasn’t her fault. But she was everything to do with it. That’s so.
Why not anymore?
Well…I think maybe because, after all the time I’ve known her, she seems happy. She seems to be doing her own thing and to be happy about it and nobody (that I know of) is being shitty to her all the time. And that makes me feel less upset about being far away and about the way our friendship has thinned out.
I expect that if I started to see all the unhappiness creep back in, or if I knew that someone was being awful to her, I’d start to get angry and then anxious and then disappointed at how little I can help her…and then, ultimately, I think I would feel lonely again. Because sometimes you find a person who, without meaning to, you build your internal life around because you are young and formative and you have to latch onto something, haven’t you?
I don’t know how it happened, but whatever exactly *it* is, fourteen-year-old me overdid it so much that twenty-eight-year-old me is the first incarnation of ourself that’s really been able to look around and see that it’s settled down to a tolerable, livable level.
And I suppose that explains the solitude, too. Because no friendship we’ve ever had since then has been able to live up to the way we recall ours being with her. So we have our family and the pets and Jester, and some people that we like to see from time to time, and that is all we need. And it’s finally, finally okay.
What a relief.