Ups, downs and loneliness

Last weekend I was feeling pretty down. I had just arrived at my friend’s house and was sitting in my car when I had the desire to write, weird I know, but I’ve learned to make the most of inspiration when it strikes. I was in one of those slumps where I just wanted to be left alone, but also not, if that makes sense.

I wrote the following:

There is a certain irony that I write this outside my friends’ house as I’m about to enter on this sunny Saturday day afternoon, but I guess the mind is a complex creation. The fact of the matter is I am incredibly lonely here in New Zealand. I do wonder if my memory plays tricks on me and if this has been the case in Sydney and London too. Sure there have been numerous occasions when I’ve felt a connection but right now that feels like a distant rose-tinted memory.

It’s difficult to move to a new city, and in a lot of ways, Auckland feels like a new city. People and places have changed, as have situations. I fantasise what it would have been like to be one of those people with a huge circle of friends, the type who can fill a whole bar, and I guess I am, unfortunately, my community is scattered all across the globe.

It seems surreal to feel so isolated when I live in the most open country in the world right now, especially when so many of my oldest and closest friends live so close by.  It leaves me wondering if there is something wrong with me. I feel fine, healthy even. Just isolated and terrified that this is how I will always feel.  I’m not sure what the answer is. A relationship? No, maybe I’m just scared of not fitting in, or feeling like I matter. Who knows, all I know is that I’m probably not the one who feels this way, and oddly enough, that brings a little sense of hope.

“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke” ― Vincent Van Gogh

I read something a while ago that said the reason humans fear loneliness or being an outcast is that only a few generations ago that would have meant certain death, either through starvation or being attacked by predators.

“I am lonely, sometimes, but I dare say it’s good for me…”― Louisa May Alcott

I got out of my car and went inside and was welcomed with hugs, and warm smiles and was invited to come along to a birthday BBQ someone I’d never met. I really tried to talk myself out of going but I’m so glad I went, I ended up having such an awesome time. I met some great people, ate good food, had stimulating conversations and laughed harder than I have in a long time.

“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it…” ― Nicholas Sparks

When these challenging emotions arise it often feels like they will never end. Sure, this week since hasn’t been all sunshine and kittens but it’s nice to remember that we can draw on these previous experiences as evidence that it won’t always be like this. I also find doing something I know I enjoy, even if I really dont want to always helps. For me that’s yoga, sitting at a cafe, walking amongst nature and swimming in the ocean.

“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.” — Mandy Hale

When I speak on these sorts of things there is always a fear that people will think I’m miserable. I don’t believe that is the case, I feel that these experiences need to be discussed more openly and with compassion. Life isn’t always easy, sometimes it feels like nothing is going how we want it. But I fully believe that we are never given any challenge we cannot overcome. 

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” – Haruki Murakami

These types of scenarios played a role in renaming my website too. We have these romantic ideas of how life should be, but beauty comes from the polarity of emotions in the human experience.  Our romantic ideals versus our often challenging reality, which, in a way, often makes positive experiences so much more profound.

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