Very recently, I came to the conclusion that I have always been something of a lonely individual. I assume it originated as a consequence of being an only child with no real friends growing up.
I’m tempted to say things like “All my life I was either a little apart or a little away from everyone else” – and that’s true – but it just makes me sound cliché, pretentious and like I’m trying very hard. In some ways, we were all a little apart or away from everyone else – there’s nothing unique in that.
But I suppose it’s because very early on in my life, I realised that I truly only had myself on my team, and so I found such a home within myself. It’s a small one-bedroom apartment, but it is so full of art: paintings, photographs, books and music. The walls are drenched in colour, the floor is soaked in emotion. We never have a dull moment in this house.
Because it was so full, we never really let anyone in. We never felt like we needed to.
As I grew older, I met a lot of people that I liked. Somehow, a few liked me back, and thus began my foray in to the frightening world of friendships. These friends got tours of the house, they decided to set up relocate their own beside mine. Of course, with time some moved, some stayed. The true friendships remained.
But of course, my house – it is all me. Now, I don’t see this as a problem. I’ve found such a comfort within myself – other inhabitants would cause hinderances – no matter how much I love them. I fully blame my anxiety for this. And so, after living alone, I decided that, it is best for me to live alone. I need, want and like my space and freedom. It’s also very much an only child thing.
Here’s the deal though. Right now, I’m literally living in a house with other people. And it’s making me realise the cracks in my metaphor. There’s something messy, frustrating and infuriating when you’re living with other people in the same house. But that’s what makes it so wonderful.
Moreover, I have discovered that I am falling in love, and I can’t really, properly do that if I don’t let someone else live inside this house. Not just to visit, but to linger for a little longer and experience what others might not. To feel the fabric of the couch, the colour of the wood, the flecks of paint on the windows. The scratches on the walls, the water leaking through the flooring, the chipping paint covered by paintings.
I realise upon finishing the previous sentence that my title is misleading. I’m not exactly speaking about loneliness. I have before – here on this page – but right now, I’m speaking from the same road, but I’m standing by the underpass. I’m not saying that I’m no longer lonely, I imagine, that will stay. I’m too stubborn to buy myself a new house or redesign the existing one. And I’m sure, even if I did, I l would live in it the same way. I will stay the same, I will remain, other people will not. But, I shouldn’t let this loneliness make me put bolts on my door. Letting people in isn’t always a bad thing.
Within my core, I should remember that dependance on others is an absolute no. The keys to my house should always only remain with me. At the end of the day, no one will give you the love and care that you need like you will. And that might sound a little sad – but it really isn’t.
There’s no greater joy than in having fun with yourself. (That sounds kinda masturbatory – but I guess it kinda applies to this situation too?) There’s nothing like watching a movie you’ve seen a billion times before with a pack of chips and beer, or dancing wildly to your favourite album on your own. Painting with water colours on the floor, frequently gazing out the window. Being the wildest you’ve ever been with make-up. Being the person you truly are and not being a person at all.
There’s no peace like knowing that you don’t need anyone else to make you happy or bring you fun.
I suppose that’s the experience I’ve gotten out of my loneliness. It doesn’t feel as sad anymore. Of course, I have days where I wished I didn’t chose such solitude. Sometimes you want to scratch the walls, rip pillows. But such moments, despite how devastating they are, will pass. And after all, scratched walls and torn pillows are no less important than pretty paintings and perfectly presented bookshelves.
cover image: https://unsplash.com/photos/eWqOgJ-lfiI