Loneliness is an interesting feeling.
Upon graduation, or if you were one of those not-college types, whenever you had the means to do so, there comes a time in everyone’s life where we are expected to spread our poor, little, struggling wings, fly the coop and become devoid of our parent’s protection, guidance, and monetary support.
But that’s totally okay, because we’re moving into the city.
The city, whichever one you choose to call your home, is the true American dream. Getting out of your hometown is just the tip of the iceberg. Success in the city you choose is the fulcrum of happiness and the epitome of making it out alive.
So you do your research.
You find the city that has the hippest music scene, the best deals on brunch, those hole-in-the-wall dive bars where everyone becomes a local. You find that city, and it becomes your dream. It becomes your destination.
Because moving there is so much better than living at home. There’s so much to do, there’s so many new faces to meet, and jobs to attain. But what they, whoever they are, don’t tell you, is that it doesn’t matter how many tall buildings, restaurants, bars, and people there are in that city.
Because you’re going to be lonely.
And you’re going to struggle.
And you’re going to feel what it’s like to be on your own.
And you’re going to realize that feeling alone never crossed your mind or factored into your equation.
Because loneliness is an interesting feeling. Especially when you don’t plan for it to happen.
We live in a world where we are constantly connected. Cell phones, applications, social media, and, if you absolutely have to, verbally.
And even though we have all the means to communicate, it still doesn’t shake the feeling of being completely and utterly helpless. Because at the end of the day, we are on our own, in a new place, and it’s bound to happen.
The thing about being lonely, is it’s actually a good thing. When you move to a new place, regardless if you know people, but especially if you don’t, you get to truly find what you want for yourself.
You may move to a new city with dreams of becoming a teacher, and end up in the very field your father advised you never to pursue. Or realize that living with roommates is more trouble than it’s worth, and paying the extra money each month is better for your sanity than the few extra bucks you’ll spend going out to avoid them anyways.
We do ridiculous things to avoid boredom. The same goes for being lonely.
Because loneliness is an interesting feeling. You’ll find ways to combat it.
Maybe you suddenly get the urge to take up cooking, join a yoga studio, or train for a half marathon. You’ll meet people along the way, find a few friends here and there. Start building up a core group of people with whom you enjoy spending time.
Once you’ve moved away from home, the place where you were forced to spend time with people because you lived in the same place, you get to start over, you have the ability to find the people with the same interests, values, and goals.
You are not confined to a certain group of friends because you’re not popular, or don’t play sports.
Real Talk: No one is popular in the city. And if you think you are, you must be a celebrity or have a very inflated sense of self, and I’m going with the latter, because no one knows who anyone is unless you’re in an immediate circle of friends.
Loneliness is an interesting feeling. So get comfortable with it.
At the end of the day, you’re making strides to better yourself. You’re moving out, moving on, and moving into a new city. Get comfortable with being the person that has to make hard decisions, and take heart that if they go wrong you can only blame yourself.
Get to know yourself, figure out what you want, where you want to go, and who you want surrounding you while you get there.
But most importantly, know that you’re not the only one who is lonely.
We’ve all felt alone in a city with tall buildings, millions of people, and tons of activities.
It’s part of growing up, and that takes time. No one just uproots their life and has roses, butterflies, and rainbows greeting them when they walk in the door to their new apartment.
Most of us move and are greeted with rainy days, a mattress on the floor and a bank statement with a less than desirable account balance.
Because loneliness is an interesting feeling, but I promise you’ll get through it.