So, I am just going to be honest here and say it: I’m growing weary.
I’m finding it hard to put on a brave face and I’m genuinely feeling lonely for the first time in my life. I made a social post about this recently and I had over 60 comments between Facebook and Instagram with people saying, “me too”.
People who are married with kids said they were lonely.
Retirees are lonely.
Young people are lonely.
I’m single and live with my 9-year-old son 50% of the time. He’s been gone with his dad for the last 3 weeks, during which time I have pulled off the final tattered bandaid. It feels like the final straw of my ability to say “I’m good” with a chipper voice when you ask me how I’m doing.
Now when you ask, I want to say “I’m lonely.” I’m starved for connection, I’m starved for hugs, and I’m starved for seeing people’s faces and laughter with huge smiles! I miss impromptu dinner parties and long chats with girlfriends on my couch while we drink wine and laugh and cry, and laugh till we cry!
I’m so sick of making a wide berth around every person on the sidewalk and grocery store as if they have a disease that could kill me. I’m sick of looking over my shoulder in line somewhere to make sure the person behind me isn’t standing too close. I’m sick of noticing people whose mask is hanging below their nose, or worse—their chin. I’m sick of pretending that Zoom meetings are good enough. Because they are absolutely not the same.
Of course, I feel guilty complaining. There are so many people who are truly suffering from a multitude of reasons. And I don’t take the blessings in my life for granted. But I’m still lonely. And if I don’t say it I might become too withdrawn to help others. So, I’m writing this as a salve for my heart and to make me feel more connected to others, just by saying my truth.
I have had a long-held belief that humans are here for connection. Connection to ourselves, to others, and to nature. I believe that every question could be answered by thinking about what would bring about more connection.
• Who should I marry?
• Should I get married?
• Should I take this job?
• Should I move?
• How should I parent my son?
Every single one of these questions could be answered by feeling into what would bring more meaningful connection into my life—and it would be the right answer.
Also, I’ve been wondering something: was I always lonely, but kept busy so I didn’t feel the subtle nagging of loneliness? Was all of the outdoor adventure this past summer a way to keep loneliness at bay? Did I feel lonely before COVID even came into my life? Is this a chance to reassess my life?
I am thinking the answer to most of these questions is yes.
Answering these questions brings me back into gratitude. Because once I know something, I can do something about it. My life is my creation and I am at choice at every moment. I know we have many more months of restrictions and physical distancing, but I am committed to taking this time to really look at all areas of my life. I’m taking stock and making plans.
How can I foster a deeper connection to the people in my life? How can I show up more fully, more vulnerably to allow others to do the same?
My hope for everyone on earth is that this pandemic has shined a huge, bright light on what is most important, and on the other side of this we all make choices to foster more connection in our lives.
I hope to see you soon. Even if it’s just an eye-crinkling smile, for now.