on loneliness.

If I could sum up time lately with a feeling it would be loneliness.

I haven’t written words lately because I feel like I’m drained of meaning and have nothing to say. I either have gushy “the world is beautiful!” moments or raw “the world is harrowing!” moments (which is like everyone, ya know?) but I just can’t seem to come up with anything that matters. And feelings feel whiny and unappreciative. So baby and puppy pictures it is. And I guess when I think about “who am I lately” or “what’s going on with me anyway” it just comes down to being lonely.

But 1. That feels whiny. And 2. Makes it seem like I don’t have friends. And I have some of most kind and loving people on my side who have walked through it all for me. Which I guess is why it feels so damn whiny to even say I’m lonely.

But I guess it’s a soul thing and you can’t tell your soul how to feel.

Here is the thing: I have people surrounding me. I have friends in other cities to call. I have a mom and sisters that I have relied and been loved on more than ever (which is an incredible blessing). I have a best friend in Andrew. But I don’t have a community. I’m an outsider to friend groups. And I’m alone a lot. A lot a lot. And I’ve experienced the difference and gotten burned from it in the past and so you just have these reflections of late nights at camp when you were younger or sitting in basements with people connected by literal or metaphorical fires. And these seasons burn in your mind and then it’s Friday night and your husband is out of town and the thought “I should call a friend” to come over goes in and out your head so fast because you. just . don’t . know.  

This week I got physically sick and trying to heal with a baby constantly needing you is hard. And on Sunday morning, the tears fell, because this is my soul. I’ve covered up trying to fix or heal my own soul because I can just project being busy or needed on Hattie or Chief or high schoolers. And it’s not just “running out of steam” or being tired. It’s loneliness.

But are you okay? People always want to know. As if an outpouring of emotions has to be sealed with an answer the whether the crack that the spill came from is fixable--

Yes! And. No! Does it have to be one or the other? I don’t think so. Life is not really about being happy anyway and we often use “okay” as a synonym for happy. I think (if you really embrace your humanity), we’re all just a mix of okay and not okay and happy and not happy- at the same time- not one after another. We can’t seek happiness as our ultimate end.

It’s really just easiest to not care. I can count the times I have cried in the past year on one hand (okay, maybe two). Part survival, part callous. There is a hardness and a desire to project personal pain upon the landscape of a broken world, because when you compare small, trivial sadness to war and hunger and suffering and death-- it just. does. not. matter.

But loneliness runs deep. And I’m learning that comparison (in the way that you just repeat your privilege to find a muffle of complaining inside your heart) is no way to truly find life.

This feels whiny. And I may regret and delete this later. But I’ve avoided by Bible and journal and basically anything that would mean dealing and processing with the mess of myself in a long time. And this feels like a start. Cry it out. Write about it. Move on. Be okay. And not okay. Just, for the sake of your own soul, be honest with yourself.