Tired, I stumble into my house. An unfamiliar silence and stale air wash over me. The house seems to grow larger in front of my eyes. The rooms are darker, the air painfully silent. As I walk down the hall I slowly realize how an empty house can make one feel dreadfully alone.

My home is now in my sole custody again. In many ways, I enjoy the solitude, but it also makes it tricky to fight that creeping twinge of loneliness. The inevitability of this crippling feeling is daunting. It’s a reason we venture out in constant search of the comfort of being connected. It’s also why once we find those connections we strive so hard and sacrifice so much never to lose them.

A coworker told me about a friend of hers who is battling with life. Self-destructive, alone, and shutting herself away — she’s lost. As I was being related this story, I thought how it takes a lot to battle life on your own. How we all walk similar paths: this thin line of needing to rely on others and having to rely on ourselves to make it through, to continue on. I feel friends are a luxury, so without your own inner power to pull yourself up from the depths of despair, you are doomed. Thus, the importance of being alone in order to realize yourself, to be comfortable in who you are, and not see yourself only as a reflection through someone else’s eyes.

As, once again, the day has come where I amass age, I feel even more comfortable in my solitude, yet I gather more solace than ever in the sodality of others. Then, in a flash of remembrance, a feeling appears. That somehow, alone, we are not complete. And the amazingly momentous transformation that happens when you suddenly find you are no longer part of a “we” and are now solely an “I” is reciprocal. And for every transition, every relationship that comes and goes, no matter how much was gained, we also lose a part of ourselves, and alone we struggle once again to redefine who we are. Yet, without those vital moments of interpersonal contact, we are just untested theories of who we would want to be. Everyone seeks their own defined self; sometimes it just might take someone else to actualize it.

“Someday, in years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But, the real struggle is here, now, in these quiet weeks. Now, it is being decided whether, in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long continued process.”

—Phillips Brooks


Current mood: exhausted
Currently listening: A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Sound Track by Vince Guaraldi Trio


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