Sometimes it just hits you like a ton of bricks. And for me I’m often in a crowded, noisy place when it does. It’s the big L: Loneliness. It isn’t something that happens because of an empty room- on the contrary as I type theses words I am home alone with only the sounds of a ticking clock and a snoring dog filling my ears, and I feel loved, safe, and not at all alone. But then sometimes I am in a crowded mall or classroom, filled with people and noise and energy and hubbub… and I feel alone, abandoned, and isolated. What is it about crowds that reminds us of our inner solitude?
It is as if our hearts become suddenly and inexplicably disconnected from everyone we know. As if, though our bodies walk with companions, our hearts separate, walking alone and unknown. Or perhaps it’s as if we are all sleeping together. Together, but sleeping. We are alone in our own dreams, our own self-made world.
Perhaps our own dreams, our own lives… an existence of individuality, demand a certain degree of loneliness and heartache. Because the definition of being set apart is to be alone, to be separate. The alternative seems to be losing one’s identity in the crowd, meshing your soul with the souls of others, and thus having heart connections but no unique identity. The “experts” claim there’s a gray area, a middle ground, between these two. They say that one can develop deep connections and have a unique identity, at the same time.
But can we? Or is such a line more of the worldly gobbledygook demanding a total surrender of individuality and nonconformity? It is rather a frightening prospect that such a balance is possible, because if it is then we all are needlessly either missing out on companionship or individuality. Perhaps deep down we separatists feel that the notion that separation is necessary for total fulfillment of personal potential is more romantic than a balanced approach. Could it be that we are egotistically seeking an elevated identity for ourselves by living in emotional isolation? Or is it the hard and cold fact of life that we each must choose between happiness and fulfillment?
Is it just me or aren’t these a depressing lot of questions…? Well you’re welcome for the thought-provoking post and the depressing questions I raised. Haha.