Solitude Smacks

Occasionally there are days (like these) that fall upon me with all their weight, blind me with the reality that only a slight shift in perception would prove my life is not one, in fact, of freedom and whimsy, but one instead of isolation and aimlessness.

Today, I’m missing the comfort of companionship, the familiarity, perhaps, of romance.

The feeling of walking up to someone who doesn’t just see me approach, but actually sees me, who is approaching. I want to be recognized with loving eyes.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve just finished a good book (The Razor’s Edge) that I’m feeling blue. That tends to happen, like a soft breakup. Or that recently I popped in on old friends in Los Angeles. Icing the cake, my parents just paid a brief visit.

Tastes of connection littered my past week, amplifying with their contrast the smack of today’s solitude.

Before this year, I’d scoffed at the idea of feeling lonely. I couldn’t conceive of it. But it’s been over a year of nomadism, and now I can feel it…sometimes.

Community, I’ve learned, counts..

But this, I remind myself, is partly what I asked for. I wanted difficulty, I wanted struggle. I wanted to starve myself of society and become skilled at enjoying the hunger.

And truthfully, hitting the road seemed the easiest way to write my book without having to be employed or pay rent.

one person walking alone

Normally, I do well. I reflect and joke in my mind, enjoying my own company. I stay productive, I go to bed happy.

This morning I woke energized and ready to work. But somehow between preparing breakfast, cleaning the kitchen, and getting lost in a whirlpool of an hour’s worth of shopping Amazon, I lost heart. (It was probably the Amazon.)

Then, I had to work on a writing project about my childhood. I had to contact an ex about something. Tonight’s plans with a friend were canceled. Three lost connections, bam bam bam.

I spent the rest of the day listless, forcing my way through bouts of typing amidst bouts of maundering through the house.

To force myself out, I committed (to my journal) to go to an art walk downtown. Mainly to socialize myself—an effort I have to make more and more often.

I always hope at these public events that someone kind will talk to me; I seldom feel outgoing enough to reach out on my own. Striking up a conversation seems to amplify the fact that I’m alone, that I’m standing there reaching out to a stranger just to be speaking aloud with someone.

It may be my ego stopping me, but that’s where I am. It may just be who I am.

So now I’m standing on a sidewalk outside a gallery, writing this. Connecting in the best way I know how at the moment—that is, with you reading.

And in a way, I’m feeling that connection come to life.

And in a way, I’m feeling better.

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