I’m Mr. Lonely…

…errr…Miss Lonely, but that’s not the name of the song.

It’s been about a month since I last typed here, though it doesn’t seem like that to me. I’ve never had a great sense of the passing of time. Nothing much has changed, but I have, just within the last few days, had a bit of a realization. I mean, it’s not something that was particularly mysterious or difficult to figure out or surprising, and I really did know it before, but now…I identify with it more and am more consistently cognizant of it, I guess. Or, maybe it’s more important now.

I’m lonely.

I, the shy introvert with social anxiety, who is almost never alone, am very lonely.

I’m also homesick, though I’m home. I don’t know what else to call it. It’s a feeling I used to have somewhat frequently, that I just want to go home (even if/when I’m already there). It’s not really about being home, but having some level of comfort/belonging/something I can’t quite name. It’s not as much a thing as the loneliness, but it’s there. They work together, I think, making this vague, ambivalent, apathetic haze that is my life right now. Fun times.

It’s not as bad as that description makes it sound, I suppose (though I can’t tell how you interpret the words; maybe you think it sounds lovely). I’m okay. It’s just…kind of empty, in an unnecessary but still lacking a simple, direct route to fulfillment sort of way.

Lately, I’ve found myself drawn to stories that are not my typical fare (not that that means much considering my eclectic choices, but still). Binge listening to teen “dystopian” novels that are more “maximum predictability and stereotypes about love of all kinds and pretend struggles with little actual excitement or development of any character/world/plot” than interesting stories. And a Disney Channel show. Because why not…or because somehow it’s comforting and escapist…but still not really what I want (and not only because I’m much, much closer to 30 than the 13 these things are created for).

I want hugs. I want people who want to play games with me, or get ice cream together, or hang out at a bookstore or talk about nothing and everything for hours because ideas are grand. I want regular interaction in person with people I like (who aren’t my family or people I have appointments with or children I’m lucky enough to teach 60 minutes a week). Even just one person.
I want to do things, actually feel like I accomplished something or had fun by the end of the day more often than not. I want to stop feeling like I’m just floating through life unattached to it, desperate for some sort of grounded feeling, lacking connection and meaning and interest and passion and direction. Also, more hugs. Hugs are wonderful.

How this is accomplished…I haven’t a clue. Well, maybe one, but three clues are needed before sitting down in the Thinking Chair to figure it out. (Blue’s Clues references are a thing people get, right?) I still feel this when I’m with people and doing things. When I worked at camp, I lived with 20-30 people for 11 weeks. We were close (well, some of us). But even then, I often felt lonely. Living with roommates and hall neighbors/good friends in college wasn’t much different. At least there was hope and occasional reprieve then.

I went to my best friend from kindergarten’s wedding reception this weekend, and actually had a fairly lovely time in spite of the number of people there I didn’t know. Mostly, another friend, her boyfriend (who I hadn’t met before and who I actually conversed with without increased anxiety, ’cause I can sometimes do that now), and I played some games, ate food, and developed a theory about dads in the ’80s/’90s in which any that didn’t have Tom Selleck-style mustaches were probably aliens (and we talked with the bride, of course). That was nice. I want more of that, but I don’t have access to it. Even ignoring the current physical issues that keep me from doing some stuff, I’m not driving and there’s no public transit or taxi or sidewalks or Uber/Lyft to get me to places to do things and meet people (or go to places where I already know people). Plus that whole social anxiety thing is still a thing.

So, that’s life it seems. It’s really not too bad, all things considered. Thanks for reading what became a bit sadder of a rambling than I planned…well, okay, I didn’t really plan anything.

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