- How can it be that on any given day we see scores of people, but feel lonely and isolated?
- Why is it that we have hundreds of friends, but no one to share with?
- Where can I find people who I want to be friends with, and they want to be my friend in return?
- Who wants to admit that they feel isolated?
- How can you share that you feel alone, if you feel uncomfortable talking about such personal subjects with your friends?
- Are they really your friends if you can't talk about these things?
When I turned to the internet, to feel less isolated, I was really surprised to find out how many people felt the same way as I did. These same questions kept cropping up, again and again. No one really had a good answer for why it was so hard. It used to be so easy, so natural, I used to be surrounded by people. Why did that number dwindle so quickly? Why could I not find these people now that I was older?
I had blamed myself:
- I'm too introverted, not outgoing enough.
- I'm too weird, no one wants to be around me.
- I'm too busy, I always say no.
- I don't keep in touch, if I don't call, they won't call either.
- I'm too quiet, I don't have anything important to say, or the will to say it.
All this self-hate, is frankly self-defeating. It doesn't really get at the root of the problem, which is for the first 18-20 years of life you were surrounded by your peers and you had tons of opportunities to mix and meet. The moment you enter the world as an adult, you are never going to have it that easy ever again. Nothing in your previous experience prepared you for the day when you had a job, your own place in a new town, and none of your original support system. You aren't surrounded by your fellow students, and you didn't really choose who your neighbors were, or your coworkers either. There is no guarantee that you even will like them, or you will have anything in common.
Of course understanding the reason why, is not the same as having a solution.
I wandered around facebook, I guess I have 458 friends. I went through the list, there isn't anyone there who seems out of place. They were my friend, at some point in time. That said, I don't think I have talked with hundreds of them for months or years. Obviously there are those I want to hold onto, because they were very dear to me, and those I still see on a regular basis. But honestly, are there 10 people who I am close to? 5 people even? Am I going to spend the remainder of my adult life on the long and lonely road?
Yes I have my fiance, who is best friend, lover, and companion all rolled into one. But being together is not a substitute for friends, or for not feeling lonely. We can feel lonely even when we are together. I know when he starts making phone calls to his friends, scattered across the country, that he feels lonely sometimes too. I wish I would do the same thing, but I really hate talking on the phone.
It might be a subtle point, but depth alone is not enough, there needs to be breadth with depth. Breadth really represents the possibility, if you spent enough time, maybe one day you could be close.
I'm interested in what you guys think about this, if you have felt this way too.
Molly : )