As the first day of the new year, 2013, nears its end, I keep looking for things that are different than they were in 2012. Some are obvious, like the fact that I have a new job which I am enjoying. Others are not as obvious, like the fact that I am feeling physically better than usual and seem to be slowly, but surely, losing some of the weight I have been meaning to shed for four years.
But not everything is different. The largest cause of stress in my life last year was how dissatisfied I was with my job, and now that I am no longer contending with that, it has opened the way for another concern to take center stage, and it is nothing new to me. I am, and have been for some time, very lonely. I have a best friend, who means the world to me, and she always has my back. I have other friends, who enrich my life constantly. One of them recently said to me “I think you have more friends than even you realize.” He may well be correct, and I value my friends. But that is not the kind of lonely that we’re talking about.
I want to be in love, but I can’t seem to find it. Some might say “you find love when you aren’t looking for it,” or “you’ll fall in love when you least expect it.”
Seriously, does that ever not come off sounding like the hollowest bullshit ever spoken?
Love does not just fall on your doorstep for you to stumble over as you leave the house one day. It takes work, and awareness, and desire. It is much easier to avoid love when you don’t want it than to find it when you are wishing for it. But no matter how lonely I get, no matter how cold I feel at night with no one beside me, no matter how much I miss feeling a hand in mine…love isn’t just appearing out of nowhere. I have to look for it.
I’m not sobbing in my sad-bastard loserness. I’m not declaring my life over because I’m not sharing it with someone. I’m just saying…I’m a lonely guy. That is why I made a wish last night, when the ball dropped and the midnight fireworks began illuminating the sky. As I looked out at the exploding colors, standing amidst a roomful of happy, cheering, boisterous friends and strangers, no trace of a smile came to my face. Because even though I was surrounded by people, I felt more alone than I had felt in a long time. All I heard was too-loud shouting. All I felt was crowded. All I saw was the fireworks display, and the faces of people happier than me reflected in the window glass. So I wished that next time, when 2014 is being opened for business, I could leave behind the loud parties and celebration, and celebrate a quiet New Year’s Eve, alone with someone I love, who loves me in return.
To me, that would be everything…yet it does not seem like too much to ask.