The other night, I was talking to my friend about loneliness, how the experience of it has morphed for me over the years. This is a post I can write tonight because tonight I actually don’t feel lonely. It gives me perspective.
So I wrote up what follows, and then, upon re-reading it, realized that I am probably describing all of these ages from the perspective of being 36. I see age 16 so differently now, 20 years out, but at the time, would I have described it as torment? Probably.
I don’t want to shrug off any pain of Younger Me, but I also do want to accept all the growth I’ve experienced over the years. With that said, I present to you a mini-timeline of my experience with feeling lonely. Gosh, there is so much more to be said, but I really did just want to type up a little thing to see how it compared to others’.
Now I think I’ll probably show it to my therapist! 🙂
Loneliness at 11: beginning to recognize that my thought process was very different from friends my age (i.e. undiagnosed OCD)
Loneliness at 16: melodramatic tears over the boy to whom I was “just a friend”
Loneliness at 22: perpetual bridesmaid/wedding guest, delighted for my girlfriends who were the most gorgeous brides– but a little wistful, wondering when I’d have my own special someone
Loneliness at 25: too throttled with anxiety to care too much about being single
Loneliness at 28: too excited about writing to care too much about being single
Loneliness at 31: gobsmacked to see my friends celebrating 10-year anniversaries, changed from wondering when I’d have my own special someone to if I would at all, loneliness became an actual physical pain
Loneliness at 36: almost unbearable when it hits
What about you? What ages were milestones?