So, here’s some honesty for y’all:
I have spent a lot of time this past year being lonely.
That is hard to admit because loneliness oftentimes feels like a code word for weakness. And who wants to seem weak? No one.
But I believe there is great beauty in weakness, in vulnerability, in admitting your struggles.
I worry about what others think of me too often, and I worry about how admitting how lonely I feel will make me appear. But it’s not like I don’t have anyone. If anything, I’m proof of the fact that even having wonderful people in your life does not mean that you are exempt from these feelings. Everyone feels lonely sometimes.
Being lonely also seems strange when I think about how many people I have in my life. Part of the reason I moved back to St. Louis was because this is the place in the world where my family and friends are centered. Most of my family (immediate and extended) is less than two hours away. My parents are an hour away. Other family members are less than 15 minutes away.
I have wonderful friends in St. Louis from college, from studying abroad, and other places. I have wonderful co-workers and live with two great roommates. I volunteer, I am involved in my church, and I leave my apartment to socialize, I swear.
But the fact of the matter is all of these things–all of these people–still aren’t enough.
There are still moments where I feel achingly lonely. For awhile I tried to pin it on simply missing community, but it’s more than that. I felt this way in college, in Rome, in Boston, and still now. Some of it is likely due to my personality’s disposition towards melancholy, but I think it goes beyond that.
Sometimes we just feel lonely, whether’s a moment or a season of our lives. But I think it’s most important to remember, that even when we feel lonely, there are plenty of other people out there who are in the same boat. It’s normal, and it’s unavoidable–and that’s okay. In fact, it pushes us to seek out true connection even more than it would have otherwise.