Sunday, March 24, 2013

Lonely or alone?


   I was just a kid. It was was a hot July afternoon where you could feel the heat driving into your head if you weren't wearing a hat. I was wearing a hat. A ball cap. Back when wearing a baseball cap meant you were playing baseball. Which I was. Little League. Complete with scratchy wool uniform. I remember I was sitting on the end of the bench, next to Boo who was our catcher. (No, I don't know why he was called Boo, but he was a great catcher.) The reason I remember this day was that I felt so lonely in the middle of game, sitting with my team, with a bunch of yelling fans. And. I was trying to figure out why I felt like I didn't fit in. I felt that bad in the middle of a game that I got lost in the feelings and trying to figure it out. I wasn't a good hitter. But, I was a good pitcher and played first base and the team was doing well. No one on the team seemed to dislike me but I never had a sense of  "belonging." That was sad because one of the reasons I wanted to play sports was to belong and be part of something. I felt like crying.

   Now this feeling of being alone has been with me most of my life. I just never felt part of anything. It has led me in a good direction. I like martial arts, reading, hiking, mountain climbing, I do well in studies, I do pretty well in any arena that doesn't involve a team. I like people. Have friends. Really enjoy working with groups. But. Still don't feel like a part of anything.

   What triggered all of this was some conversation I was having with friends the other day. One person was saying how alone they felt and the depression they were feeling. I started thinking.

   Alone or isolated. I like being alone, lots of times I isolate myself on purpose. It's why I like solitary activities or ones with just a few people involved. I am a cat.

   I finally realized after all these years that what I was feeling was loneliness. Here is what I mean by that.

   It is that innate sense of the bridge between you and I. It is the ability to discern that no matter what there is always going to be an invisible wall between you and I. And. No matter how much I love you, how we are bonded through blood and experience, we are all born as individual units. Now I think that some of us may feel that gap more than others. I really don't know. I do know that I am really aware of it.

   I posted about the hole in the middle of us. This is the one on the outside. We all carry an invisible shield around us that no one ever quite gets through.

   No one told me when I was a child that this was a reality of being human. I kept thinking there was something wrong with me. It's just one of those bittersweet truths that we humans need to carry with us.


   I think it's a good thing for the most part. We feel so much because of it. We try so hard to communicate to fill the gap. We create, love, laugh, and cry to fill the gap. We might do other things like hate to fill the gap too. But all this makes us human.

   You are never alone, I am here with you.
   when we feel loneliness,
   we can sit together,
   shoulder to shoulder,
   and know there is nothing wrong,
   there never was.

Love, Bryan

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