Day #4 – Loneliness
How in the world do you turn loneliness into something positive? Well, I am not entirely sure. I am going to wing it. I will just write and see what my brain spits out as I go.
I know this can be the loneliest time of the year for some people. The holidays are just another reminder of the people they do not have in their lives. The loneliness only grows and can become stifling. However, this time of the year can also help people as well and being alone might not be all that bad.
People are lonely other times of the year besides the holidays, yet as the holidays approach they can feel lonelier than normal. They can focus on all the negatives and who they don’t have instead of what they do have and when someone does reach out it can be the lifeline they needed. It may be a personal card with a thought-out message inside, or a quick phone call. Both of these are common occurrences during the year, but just as with loneliness, the increased amount of people reaching out to each other can help counter act the rising amount of loneliness. So chances are most of the lonely people will get someone to reach out to them, you just hope it is the right person.
I used to spend a large part of my holidays by myself. I would go running or anything that could get me away. I did not want people to be with me. I wanted the isolation and it felt better than having anyone beside me. There has to be other people like me. People who would prefer the companionship of trees or roads to the companionship of other humans. I did not feel lonely, I just wanted the time away from everyone. People during the holidays turn all lovey-dovey and it can be overwhelming at times or they can become balls of stress, or worse abusive and angry. If you are not the type of person who likes those different types of attention to begin with, then all of it can make you nauseated. I was one of those people. I was happier alone than I would ever have been with other people.
Did I still understand the holidays and what they are about? Probably more than most people, because when you are alone you have a lot of time to think and reflect. I know that it is a time to connect and show people how much you care, but to tell you the truth, I don’t want that. I don’t do friendships where I have to stay in constant contact and check in with people. It is too draining to feel like I have to do that to keep someone as my friend. Instead, if you want to be my friend then understand who I am and accept me for who I am. I will not call you all the time, but if you want to call and need something I will be there for you. The holidays can force people to feel like they need to do something for each other. They need to show the other person how much they care. If I need that reminder then you probably were not on my list of friends anyways (which that list, for me, is extremely small). If you knew me then you would know I would rather wait until all the craziness is over, then we could catch up if it is needed. Why would I want to add to your already too busy life right now. If I am a friend then I won’t and I would expect the same in return. Giving me the isolation I crave could be the best gift anyone could give me.
Does this make me a sad and lonely person? I don’t think so because a lonely person would be someone who craves the companionship of someone else but cannot get it. I do not crave that companionship. I am perfectly fine being by myself and away from all the madness. I am not sad about this, nor do I feel like I am missing certain things. I am who I am and I do not feel the need to change that just for the holidays.
Now to complicate everything that I wrote, I can say that my wife did change my view a little. Do I crave the alone time during the holidays? Yes, but I also do crave her attention and her time. I also want to be around my kids to help make things special for them. In both of these situations, I can say that I am not the driving force behind me wanting to be with someone during the holidays, but rather I want to do it for them because of how much it will mean to them. And I want them to be happy. I can stand the holidays and even be happy at times when I am with them and they are happy.
My wife did this to me when she started having me over for holidays when we started dating. I began to see a new experience and that not everyone was as crazy as my family. They all seemed to enjoy each other and were happy. They played with each other and tried to make each other happy during this time. Sure they had the occasional disagreement, but it was always short lived and quickly forgotten. I know by this time I would not change from who I was, so seeing this did not make me all of a sudden want to be around people during the holidays. However, it did show me that you can create an environment where people did want to be together and they all seemed to enjoy each other. I still got my alone time while we were dating and even now I can still take time to myself. My wife has kicked me out of the house before (lovingly) just because she knew it is what I needed at that time. But I enjoy happiness. So I like being around people who are happy. By being with her family I got to surround myself with love and happiness rather than what I had waiting for me somewhere else. I never expected any of their love, attention, or happiness instead I just wanted to be in that environment, just not for too long. Now, I crave that special environment for my wife and kids because I know it will make them happy. So while I may want to be alone, I also want to be with them to make them happy as well.