While my low-level constant loneliness swells into high-level constant loneliness this time of year, I’m endeavoring to let it take me into my full capacity for tenderness toward the stranger and affection for the windows of homes I’ll never be invited into. I’m grateful to be a person who yearns, even though times of delicious longing are balanced with moments of excruciating ache.
I’m not going to say that loneliness is a gift, as I’m well aware of the suffering it can cause, but, as with any emotion, there are gifts within it if we pay attention long enough. Can we begin to see loneliness as something inevitable, and not something wrong with us? Can we see it as the very thing that makes us swoon over twinkle lights, and buy extra food at the supermarket to contribute to the donation barrel? I’m most generous in my times of loneliness because I feel the most interdependent on my fellow humans—especially the ones I don’t know.
I too often miss the beauty of any emotion when I treat it like something to be distracted from. This season, I’m giving myself the right to be lonely: whether because of holiday cookie FOMO, wanting to leave a party, or because I pass some twinkle lights on my way home. If it leads me to more tenderness, then so be it. Tis the season to be achy.
Do not identify with your profession or degrees, they are merely small derivatives of your personality of a specific point in time; do not fix your house surgically to eliminate all traces of living when guests come; do not create a false sense of self based on your social media posts, look around your room and see who you really are; do not derive pleasure from the simplicity of your opinion or beliefs if they came to be the way they are by implementing a tunnel vision of perspective, instead ask yourself what is the other route; do not be biased through thinking other people are biased; do not think you are open minded if you compare it with the narrow mindedness of others, opened mindedness believes in openness of everyone, no matter how close they seem; do not think others are a threat to you, if this is the case then the only threat is yourself; do not laugh at others if you do not understand where they are coming from, not everything works the way you think; do not think you can do everything on your own, this leads to a lonely life without its solitary pleasures; do not think you found the solution towards a better society through getting together and complaining about how bad the current one is; do not work in terms of what you want in life, but what you want most - it is important to know which desire you will love enough so you let it win; do not think one truth excludes other possibilities of truths, approach truth as a state of superposition; do not think in terms of how things are, think in terms of how things relate to each other; do not be afraid of changing your opinion, be afraid of stagnating in one; do not speak bad of established institutions without first objectively understanding all that they are and stand for, eliminate your feelings when making this judgement; do not think you are different or more enlightened if you choose not to go with the direction everyone is going, specifically if your choice endangers people; do not define subculture as a group of people that go against the establishment, instead see it as something that moves differently from it; do not be cool, be hot full of life, burning potential, challenging questions and difficult paths of growth - embrace the heat that is attached to existence, do not try to freeze it; do not feel weird if you cannot participate in small talk, in fact, make them big. BE YOU without extensions or additions, just you - the living, breathing, ever-evolving, honest, multi passionate you.