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When a moment of loneliness really hurt, this loner realised the importance of creating the community you truly want to have.
I am a loner by nature. But like any other social animal, I also love to have good company.
This resulted in me being that quiet child of the house who joined in a family get-together and celebrations with zest but always had her ears plugged into the Walkman or her nose in a book. Where doing the above were not possible, I preferred to listen. Given my nature I always thought that I would fare great when I was all by myself. But I was so wrong.
I have mostly lived away from home, not to mention having close family members and friends settled in different continents. This is how things are and have been for me.
Nevertheless, the occasional reunions and the daily connecting on VoIPs kept us all feeling like a close knit family. But very recently, when I had been particularly feeling low I scrolled through my phone contacts to browse through people whom I could have a close heart-to-heart with. It came as a shocker when I scrolled through pages of contacts and found only five people, (two of them not very available) to have a conversation with.
Needless to say, my already low energy levels dropped even lower. I understood what loneliness felt like and my erstwhile confidence of faring well by myself seemed to stagger. But here I was with staggering confidence, trying to feel better all by myself.
I thought of all those times when as a young girl, I sat through family conversations simply listening, feeling a part of everyone and just being close to people. I missed having people coming over unannounced back home just to drop off something that they had grown in their own vegetable patch (because they cared enough). I missed friends coming over because they just felt like it and staying back till after dinner doing homework together.
In this age when even family members do not communicate face-to-face because the social media has better things to say, I felt very strongly estranged, lonely and sad. I realized the importance of being in a community (composed of the right people of course!) A community of close friends, family, grandparents and younger ones staying all close together.
Thankfully, while I pondered alone about the things that hurt, a friend called up. Half-willing to talk lest I give out my state of mind, I picked up the call.
‘Hi!’, ‘I was just feeling lonely so thought of calling you up.’ She said.
‘Sure!’, I replied, tell me…and we spent the next few moments engaged, forgetting all about my own loneliness.
I had always been the kind of person who was very choosy about connecting with people. I connected with only the ones who matched my vibes. Given my loner nature, it was impossible to connect with people who did not match my vibes or drained me completely.
I still do not associate with people who drain my energy, but most importantly I realized that I need to adjust with others who are not exactly to my liking. Aren’t other people adjusting with me as well? After all, a human connection is all that we long for. Then, it occurred to me that I do not exactly vibe with my best friend. We are completely opposites. It’s because we accepted each other the way we are we found that soul connection that had been drawing us to each other. It’s important that we let people be the way they are and find a commonality and then grow a relationship. How drab the world would be if all had the same thing to say! What would a loner like me listen to then?
That day changed my perspective. While I made it a point to delete all the contacts who do not make much sense, I also made it a point to reconnect with those whose vibe did not match exactly with me like a jigsaw puzzle.
Taking the Dalai Lama’s advice that ‘Happiness is not something ready-made but comes through your own actions’, I reconnected with all the people who were geographically close to me. In a week, I had a dinner invitation, a camping proposal, a barbecue plan, people coming over for play dates with their children, for a dinner at home, for someone’s grandma’s 80th birthday!
The takeaway – Community is important. It is important not to be judgmental and accept people as they are and try to connect. Relationships take time and one should give it time.
I am still a loner. But I have understood the importance of human beings in my life.
First published at author’s blog
Image via Unsplash
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A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple
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