My Kind of Lonliness

Loneliness is one of those universal feelings that we can all recognise, yet it’s not something we talk about enough. Funnily enough, talking about it could be the cure, so how are missing that obvious irony so easily? 

There are different types of loneliness, and different feelings effect people in different ways. Personally, I felt it as a teenager when I couldn’t fit in, in new cities when I didn’t know people, in terrible relationships and when I lost prominent people in my life (through death, breakups, relocation…). Right now I’m feeling it because although I have a few incredibly close friends, I’ve lost a few friends that were very important. The people who I trusted, but weren’t my main source of emotional support. The few I could have fun with, but I didn’t see all the time. Obviously every friendship is different, but if you want to try and squeeze people into imaginary boxes then they were the circle just outside my very close friends. All of them gone, over the last 3 or 4 months. Poof. Vanished. 

They all have their own reasons of course, and I’m not arguing with them. Most of them found girlfriends and just stopped texting me back. One had the guts to actually tell me that his girlfriend felt uncomfortable about our friendship. I respect that, it’s upsetting, but it doesn’t surprise me that he was the one to come to me honestly. I know that was hard for him to admit. Ultimately, his honesty is one of the things I love about him. That and the fact that he was the only guy friend I had that I never worried about wanting more or judging me based on the fact that I am a woman. Interesting really that his girlfriend is uncomfortable about our relationship considering I appreciated it for exactly the opposite of what she’s worried about.

Don’t get me wrong here, I love the people in my life. But I’m not sure they’ll appreciate me messaging them 20 times a day with mildly humorous memes when I’m bored. Before, this was spread, now it’s condensed and I feel like an irritant. I’m an extrovert and I’d happily spend 5 or 6 nights a week with people. I don’t think my close introverted friends would appreciate that either. I don’t want to be needy, but I’ve lost people I love, that featured in my life daily and I don’t understand why. 

Another thing that bothers me is that I’ve been dropped for girlfriends. I feel reduced down to a “threat” that I don’t relate to. It makes me feel like I did something wrong. I know that’s not true, but when I’m sat by myself with no memes coming my way, it’s easy to convince myself otherwise. 

In my mind, I guess that’s loneliness. Those times when I feel unwanted and unimportant. A big part of any relationship is knowing you have an impact on the other person, so when you feel like your predominant impact is negative then the need to isolate yourself can over take any want to reach out. 

I read today that loneliness can be worse for your health than smoking, drinking and obesity. I can see that. Sometimes it physically hurts. I’d argue that it’s taken less seriously than anything else that has that kind of detriment to health. 

So if talking helps, like it does then most things, then I think we should talk about it more. This is probably why I posting this. I’m writing about it to help me, but posting it gives me the hope that it might help someone else. That makes me feel less lonely, the idea that talking about my problems openly might help someone else. I do feel a little better. Even though I’m still alone. 

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International Women’s Day 2019

For anyone that knows me, it probably isn’t surprising that International Women’s Day is better than Christmas for me. I spent years trying to work out what my passion is when I was a kid. Seeing so many people discover their “things” and grow into themselves was awesome, but hard. I felt lost. It’s only more recently that I’ve realised that my passion is women. The fight for equality and the changing conversation about what that really means is what I care about. Everyone has a fire inside them and this is what lights mine.

I’ve talked before about how men could have more of an impact on the conversation (and lets be honest, stop violating and harassing women, that would be grand) and there’s still a long way to come, but I love this day because it really reminds me how far we’ve travelled and how proud I am to have so many amazing women in the world and my life.

Scrolling through social media this morning, I loved seeing different people’s perspectives on who they consider inspiration. Mothers, sisters, friends, colleagues and prominent women in history, they all matter to people in different ways. Each post was brimming with love and positivity. Two things we could all use a little more of.

When women show their emotion, their hysterical. When they take charge, they are bossy. When we stand up for ourselves, we’re crazy. But not today. We share our feelings and connections to other women, why they matter, and how they have changed us and we become empowered. We embrace our natural femininity and stand proud.

Equality was never about being the same, it’s about having the same opportunities. The problem is, the world is built for men. Everything from technology, work places and even health care (heads up ladies, signs of a heart attack look very different for us compared to what’s advertised). Through the battle to gain opportunities, we’ve become round pegs trying to fit into a square world.

Personally, I am incredibly emotional at times. That doesn’t make me crazy and difficult (like so many men in my life have told me), it makes me deep and complex and interesting, and allows me to connect with people in a way that that so many can’t. I cut through the bullshit and I’m honest. This doesn’t make me any less lady like, it means I’m fed up with placating society’s expectations of me. I love doing my make up and wearing “girly” clothes sometimes, but I want to be respected for my mind and my work, and what I wear shouldn’t be a consideration in that. Today, I am reminded to be proud of all these features I hold, and so many more. I will remember to question the people in my life that try to hold to their own standards and I will not be gaslighted into taking the easier way out by making myself smaller and easier to consume.

Thank you to all the women in my life that have shown me the way. That there is more than the path set for us by society and for paving the way to make it easier for me to walk my own way. I see you, I love you and I will never stop using my voice to hold you up.

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