I guess there’s a numbing sense of despair that comes with loneliness. It’s not that sad feeling you get like when you just finished a book and lost all the friends in it or go to the supermarket and find that your favourite fruit packer doesn’t work there anymore… It’s that deep cut to your being when you have epic news to share and you realise that there really isn’t someone specific you can think of to share it with. It cuts even a little closer to the soul when you’re surrounded by friends and family who care. But they just won’t really understand. They won’t really get it. They won’t really get you.
When I was little, I used to climb the tree in our backyard and sit on a branch singing all the songs I learnt in Sunday school. I thought I was singing to the birds. Like that princess in that movie. And I believed without any doubt that the little bird that came and sat on that branch that one day flew by for a bit because he heard me sing. A part of me remains optimistic over the probability.
But what I like to think back on is that I firmly believed I was at one with nature that day. That the universe heard me. We were connected. And even if I was only five years old, those songs and that bird changed everything. I never told anyone about the bird. The neighbour came by and told me my songs were beautiful. Which I’m sure they were. But what happened between me and that little bird would be mine. It would be me and nature alone to share it. A secret connection no-one would ever believe true.
And that is why I find the most powerful magic in what they call loneliness. It’s those little secrets you share with the universe that nobody can ridicule.
It’s you laughing at your own jokes. It’s you dancing on your own under twinkle lights. It’s you driving on the highway singing to your favourite songs. It’s you being you without trying. Without apology. Without fear. Without doubt. Without judgment.
Experiences don’t attain their credibility through sharing them with others. It’s you telling your stories to yourself and it manifesting itself in real life through the coy smile on your face.
And that is pretty frickin much everything.
After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning.
And company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts.
And presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans.
And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure.
That you really are strong.
And you really do have worth.
And you learn and learn
With every goodbye you learn.