Earlier today, I came across a set of words that captured my attention. “I am sorry I have taken so long to answer this question… I have carried it with me all this time, wanting to answer, but never quite knowing how… Aloneness and loneliness are two very different things… I spend much of my time alone; I always have. I have learnt that being alone, as bereft as it perhaps feels to some, is busy with meaning and disclosure. For me, it is an essential place that intensifies the essence of oneself, in all its rampant need. It is the site of demons and sudden angels and raw truths; a quiet, haunted place and a place of unforeseen understandings. A place of unmasking and unveiling. It can be industrious or melancholic or frightening, sometimes all at the same time, yet within it there is a feeling of a latent promise that holds great power…aloneness holds moments that tremble on the brink of revelation and great change. And then there is loneliness, which is aloneness without choice, an enforced condition that yearns for recognition, to be seen and to be heard… It struck me that your question didn’t have to be answered, but simply acknowledged; that to reach out to you, as you reached out to me, could in itself be the answer and, perhaps, a remedy…to say to you, you are not alone, we are here, and that we, a multitude, are thinking of you.” (Nick Cave) I don’t know that anyone reads this blog anymore, but a friend of mine from Texas recently asked why I didn’t invest more time on it. So here it goes – a bit of expression. Where exactly have I been?
Prior to living in Southern California, I was living in Rochester, NY. I traveled often, but that was my home base. Since 2014, loneliness and isolation has been the name of my game. The last of my closest best friends left Rochester in 2014, and although I was in a relationship and I was deeply in love, it was the start to the loneliest years of my life. In 2016, my relationship ended and a slew of other things occurred (one too many) and I entered a complete hermit mode, which I have not been able to climb out of, though I relocated.
I wouldn’t say that I’m depressed. But I am unbearably anxious. I’ve managed to relocate, grow my career, and continue to live what would be considered a relatively fruitful life, mostly materialistically. Yet in all the external advancements, I haven’t shared my life with anyone. Everything that has occurred has mostly been internalized, sometimes expressed via writing, otherwise kept within. I’ve spent about 75% of my time entirely alone, in isolation, in the past 5 years. Yet when you meet me (or if you look at my social media), you wouldn’t be able to tell.
As a matter of fact, yesterday when I entered the gas station, the woman attendant said I looked happy, approachable, and friendly. “You have lucky friends.” I entered my car, blasted music, and cried. Yesterday, was the first time in months that I allowed myself to cry. I cried many, many tears. Tears yearning to connect with others. Most of my meaningful connections this year have occurred spontaneously – when my out of town best friends have come visit. While in San Diego, I’ve gone out a total of 11 meaningful times (with others – not counting outings with those that visit from out of town): (1) Beach with my former roommates on my first day of my lease (Oct 18) (2) Mexico with my former roommates (Oct 18), (3) A night in Gaslamp with my former roommates (Apr 19), (4) Dinner with my current roommates at a restaurant (May 19), (5) Private beach day with a former co-worker, (6) 3 outings with my friend from Orange County, (7) Ocean Beach and Old Town with a friend from College, (8) Catching up with a high school friend that moved to SD. (I also interacted with 3 fuckboys – one of those fuckboys I interacted with more than once, a couple of times – but the central yearn of my plea is meaningful – hence me not including them on my list). The rest of the items that are shown in my social media (from Joshua Tree to Big Bear to <insert CA bucket list item>), I have done entirely on my own, with my camera. I have been a solo traveler since ’16. Traveling about 80% of the time – the other 20 in my “home”. While I’ve always made shallow connections in passing – they don’t include exchanging names, numbers, or forming any sort of deeper connection. The exception: I met a nice girl at my best friends wedding in Houston back in March. She asked for my number and has stayed in contact since – she’s the one always initiating. She’s the one that asked me about my blog. So here I am – being busy with my self-absorption, living only within, completely having forgotten to live without.
I’m going through my astrological right of passage – my Saturn Return. It happens for us all around the age of 28 (give or take some years). To understand what area of your life Saturn will affect you look at both its constellation placement and its house. In my case my Saturn is in Capricorn in the 7th house. The 7th house is traditionally ruled by Libra. Libra is the house of relationships, partnerships, and connection. This is my life challenge (according to astrology at least). My loneliness has amplified the traumatic experiences of the past years. There’s so much that’s been unprocessed, unwitnessed, untold. It’s all been stored within. I’ve had to find outlets – nature, exercise, yoga, writing – but no humans. Barely humans. Where are the humans? I don’t trust humans. Not event therapists. Not anymore.
A part of me thinks that I’m just broken and unworthy of human connection. I sincerely don’t mind being alone, but I do feel that the weight of loneliness is too much for me to carry. My friend from OC has been begging to see me- I just don’t feel like making the drive. I travel so much – that my body has been begging me to stay put, to rest. She leaves me a VM text: “You’re one of the strongest people I know.” Am I? Lately, I certainly don’t feel like it – I feel useless, numb, empty. Why don’t I deserve to be around people? How am I pushing people away?
I go to the beach everyday I’m here. I’m now remote – so I no longer even have co-workers to interact with. The ocean, since the beginning, has been my greatest source of solace. For some reason, in her presence, I don’t feel so lonely. I momentarily feel ok.
I’m currently reading Rachel Brathen’s To Love and Let Go and I wonder – when will I meet the Andrea to my Rachel? Or the Macha to my Andrea? A soul sister, my gemela, my angel, my guide. Most of my friends are interested in finding their Dennis, but me — I want to find my Andrea. Friendship is far less fleeting than romance. I want one solid, close friend that lives in the same area (geographically) that I am – even that seems like an impossibility.
I go out pretty often. By myself. You won’t find me at bars, clubs, parties, huge festivals, or events (not my scene and not a big drinker), but you will find me exploring. Exploring new spaces – I’m rarely home. Yet I can’t seem to meet people I truly connect with. Maybe some day I will.
I don’t know if anyone will read this. It’s flow of consciousness, not my best writing, doesn’t feel particularly cohesive, but you know what IT is? Raw. Raw, unfiltered, less than pretty emotion.
Where are my people? But more importantly, where is my friend? My best friend? Si mi Andrea lee esto, espero que todo este bien. Que no te sientas sola. Que la vida te esté tratando bien. Quizás con compartir estas palabras, me encontraras más rápido:
Your light, your feet
In the sand
Take care of that beautiful soul & body
I love you machita
For all the roads we have walked
And all the roads left to walk
I love you
Andre ❤ Macha
(To Love and Let Go, Rachel Brathen)
“Gracias gemela por el amor infinito. Por todos los caminos recorridos y los que faltan por recorrer.” (To Love and Let Go, Rachel Brathen)