I am lonely and alone.
I first wrote down that statement in my blog notebook in 2014. My mum was desperately unwell that year, being admitted to hospital on a monthly basis. No one in my circle had a loved one that was also gravely ill. I felt like the universe had unfairly singled me out. Being the odd man out was a very trying, very tiring, very lonely experience.
My mum has passed on, but I still feel lonely and alone. Of course there is some hyperbole in that statement given that I have a fantastic group of people who are there for me. But in my quiet moments there is an emptiness in my soul I cannot ignore. When I am not distracted by my current read or favourite TV shows. When I am not writing, working, or hanging with friends. Is this grief? Maybe. Maybe not. Probably not though as I have felt this way for a long time, not just now that I am the girl with the dead mum.
I want to tackle this loneliness from two perspectives: platonic friendships and romantic relationships.
As much as I love my friends, and as much as they are there for me, they are not my mum. In a previous post I talked about how there are some things only mum got. I miss having someone to talk nonsense with. There were times, as I droned on and on about some rubbish topic, all I would get was an mmmh from my mum.
“Are you listening?” I would have to check.
“Of course.” she would reply.
And then we would go back to her punctuating the conversation with well-timed mmmhs. I can imagine a lot of the time she did not give two shits about the nobody-cares-stories I would ply her with. But her presence, coupled with those well-timed mmmhs, was more than enough for me. None of my people are able to fill that gap now that she has passed. Nor do I expect them to.
I have not been on a date this year. Absolutely no one has asked me out. When I tell people this they do not seem to believe me but it is true. Sad but true. There are days I wonder if a boyfriend would make me feel less lonely. And then I snap out of it and get my shit together. In Paper Towns John Green says:
What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.
Which is true in all relationships, romantic or otherwise. Humans are capable of so many things, but at the end of the day we are just that. Human. We are limitless and limited at the same time.
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
That is a quote from For Women Who Are ‘Difficult’ To Love, my favourite Warsan Shire poem. So yes, deep down I know that a boyfriend will not make my lonely go away. But when I come home yet again to my empty apartment I cannot help but wonder. I do not live far from my office so even with traffic I am home in less than 30 minutes. There are days I appreciate the solitude. Other days I cannot stand coming straight home from work. On those days being alone from 5:30 till when I go to sleep is too much of a stretch. So I go to bars not far from my place to catch happy hour as I read or write. See if I will possibly meet new people. And I never do. At least not anyone with potential. It is always just fuck boys. And I get home feeling lonelier than ever.
Obviously this will not last forever. Nothing does. In the meantime I am allowing myself to feel what I am really feeling, and that includes this suffocating cloud of loneliness. As Alessia Cara says, I gotta trust my lonely.