So in September I chose to take on a season of singleness (3 months, although I’m thinking I’ll make it four and see out 2014 without another bad date).
I did it mostly to figure out how to overcome the loneliness that has been haunting this usually single extrovert on and off for the better part of 12 years. And the ironic plot twist that the rest of you saw coming:
I finally realized around Day 30 that I can’t overcome loneliness.
I have to figure out how to accept the reality of it.
Yeah, sure, YOU know that. But it was a big punch in the face to me.
Because I have felt fairly resentful of how much I want to love and be loved by a special person and how that special person hasn’t shown up. And I’ve heard you tell me it’s just as bad in relationship, but the truth is that I’ve never had a relationship over 4 years, and in those relationships, I’ve been pretty consistently happy and not at all lonely, unless the guy wasn’t incredibly bright and I found myself really badly matched on the intellectual front. But I’ve been outside of that kind of relationship far more often than in it, and I think that in every previous relationship, whether I ended it or the other person did (or he did and THEN I did, or any other configuration you could create), I know that both of our lives are better as a result of not being partnered.
So after a little more than a month, my big breakthrough so far is that I have spent a lot of emotional energy trying to avoid lonely. And I’ve been lonely anyhow.
An incredibly wise friend of mine pointed out that my path sounded a lot like his battle with depression: “I eventually realized I needed to stop avoiding it and recognize that it’s a part of me. Then I’m better equipped to actually deal with it in healthy ways.”
So that’s my big learning.
That, and I’d give up ever having another orgasm if I could just get someone to design a really good online fundraising platform for the Oakland Peace Center.
But that may have more to do with having spent all afternoon trying to get Nationbuilder to work than with my spiritual practices of exploring grief in relationship to singleness.