I looked up from my book, startled by the loud noise of a door opening in our community house.
Thank goodness! Someone is home! I thought.
A few minutes passed and still, there were no roommates in sight. Walking over to where the noise originated, I found the door blown open by the wind. No one was coming home. I was still
I don’t get lonely very often; and when I do, I usually self-medicate by reading, whipping up a new recipe, going for a drive, or writing. But tonight was different. Being alone wasn’t something I could push away — it was my reality. Friends sent me pictures of their nights out on the town. My dad sent me pictures of the whole family at a wedding. My grandmother Facebooked “Everyone was out at the house today, except for Lauren.” All in succession.
I wrote about making friends last week, but as I said before, that’s a process … not something you can force. Knowing that I had no one in the area to call who was available, I threw the blanket off my legs, put my book down, rose from the couch and went for a walk.
A few blocks into my journey, I saw a birthday party of inflatables taking place at a corner house. Children were laughing. Some parents were hugging other parents goodbye as they drop their kids off. Others stayed to watch the little ones have a good time.
Their community and experiences gave me joy.
At one point or another in life, we will all be outsiders. There will be loneliness. Hearts will ache for home. And you can click your heels all you want, but a pair of red shoes won’t magically take you there.
In these moments, there are two options: wallow in the loneliness, or, take a walk. Receive joy from the world around you by looking for beauty and community where you originally saw desolate darkness. At the end of our loneliest nights is the dawn of a new day.