Thursday, April 2, 2015

On Pride & Loneliness

I have been a loner for a long time, both on purpose and by accident. I am a pretty textbook introvert – I love my alone/quiet time, I need it to recharge. It’s important to me. But more times than I would like to admit, I’ve been alone simply because life has worked out that way.  There have been many times through school – middle school, high school, college and grad school – where I have just found myself without people. Some close friends moved away. Others I thought were close friends just decided they had better things to do. Boyfriends decided they had people things to do… the list goes on...

What I am now realizing in my adult (Am I even an adult? I question it at least 3 times a day. Everyday. All the days.) is that, at some point, I developed a certain pride in being alone. It became kind of a badge of honor that I learned how to be ok by myself. That I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted because I had no one to hold me back. Don’t be confused, I think those are awesome things! We should all be cool with rolling solo and taking the time to have a full life while doing so. Herein lies the rub (Yup. I got all Shakespeare on you. It’s all the above mentioned schoolbook-lernin I’ve been doin).

Somewhere along the way, it flipped from being something I took pride in into being a pride issue. I think it became a defense mechanism of sorts – and then I just decided to adopt it as my life philosophy. It’s one thing to be cool with being by yourself and confident in it, it’s quite another to be so satisfied that it ends up hindering you. Now it’s work, intentional and mindful work, to let people into my life. Specifically people who could change the course of aloneness for a long time or forever. I’ve been doing life one way for so long – I’m too proud to change it. Too proud to give away that badge of honor. Too proud to be content in the fact that accepting help and becoming vulnerable to others is actually a much healthier thing to be comfortable with. It’s a pretty great way to be alone for a long time for a stupid reason.

Full disclosure, I hadn't planned to shoot this day. But then I did. That's the whole story. Aren't you glad you read it?

I was very satisfied with myself for learning to be ok alone – but the truth of the matter is, I didn’t do much. The reason I’m ok alone is because God was there to comfort me all the (lots of) times when I low-key, inadvertently slipped from simply alone to lonely. The reason I can be confident in being alone is because I’m never truly alone. And who am I to give myself all the credit for that? Changing a lifestyle is slightly terrifying, but sometimes necessary. There’s no such thing as being “set in your ways.” That’s essentially code for (I’m too lazy or scared to change stuff so I’m just gonna cool out right here in this comfort zone. K thanx bye). There is only what you recognize in yourself and how much you are willing to endure the discomfort of change. I guess I’ve decided to endure… what are your thoughts? 
Here’s something to help you get in your feels....

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