My Old Friend
Comfortable. Crushing. Enveloping. Loneliness is the first discomfort you feel, the first warning sign in your life that you might be in danger. Mother returns and all is well. She leaves and it slides back around your neck, resting heavily on your shoulders.
After some years, it feels like it has always been there. And in a way, it has. It never quite left. In the absence of others, it wraps itself around you more and echos your thoughts back to you. You’ll never be alone as long as you have yourself. The inverse gradually becomes true, as well: you’ll only feel like yourself as long as you’re alone.
Friends and lovers come and go, leaving behind scars and closing the gate to the world just a bit more on their way out. Each person lost makes it easier to breathe in loneliness’ embrace. Being alone feels more natural when you lean into it. Eventually, it’s all you feel.
You’ll encounter people who love the burden wrapped around your shoulders and encourage it to sink its roots into you. Their presence hurts in a familiar way. You will hold onto that comfortable feeling, that lifelong friend that is loneliness, and never want to let go.
Letting go means being truly alone. It means losing the one constant that has followed you throughout your life and delving into an uncertain world with more promise than you ever imagined. This is your new discomfort, but once you get past it, the world is finally yours to explore and love deeply. You need to break your comfortable ties with loneliness and keep moving forward through the tension to find your peace — one that will never weigh heavily on your shoulders.