Hopping onto my old bike the other day, I pedaled around Albuquerque for nearly two hours. Found books in a giveaway box. Kept some, delivered some to a Free Little Library (Take a Book, Leave a Book) around the corner. Breathed in the high desert morning air. Watched walkers and car drivers and fellow bicyclists. Enjoyed my own company.
Then, later that day, I had a lunch visit with a friend. But, afterwards, as we were saying our good-byes, I felt the sadness of detachment and the lurking darkness of The Blues. Feelings of loneliness have been blanketing my heart this past month more often than usual, and I am trying to figure out why.
It seems the older I grow, the more I prefer to be quiet and alone when I exercise, explore, cook, create. Have I been spending too much time alone?
How, then, do I strike a balance between the replenishment I receive from solitude, and the connections I crave with other humans?
Saying goodbye to my friend after that lunch, I felt heaviness, but a stirring of this heaviness, at the top of my chest, where my sternum approaches my neck. It was as though the sadness was leaving my heart, and it was ready to attach itself to words leaving my mouth:
Can I come with you?
I wanted to say it, I nearly did, but I didn’t because I knew he had a busy afternoon planned.
We parted ways and I walked home to my empty apartment.
Not just him – everyone is occupied. We’re all working and recovering in various ways. Friends are building foundations or tearing them down. Family members are far away and busy. And here I am with my own life to tend to, my own dreams to fuel. The great world keeps spinning.
I don’t need to change these realities and I don’t necessarily want to banish my sadness. I would like to keep asking questions and learning:
What would have happened if I’d admitted to my friend how lonely I felt that day?
How often should I be silent and brave in my solitude?
This is part of the Who but You? living alone series. Check out the other posts under that category’s name!
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