In the city, we never talk about the three things we should talk about the most: money, religion and loneliness. I’ll start with the latter one.
I bet you’re not comfortable right now. In fact, I bet you’re biting your nails or scratching your nose or rubbing your elbow. I bet you’re sitting on the verge of your chair, just like me when I’m typing these lines, and I bet you don’t want to have this conversation.
Truth be told, nobody does. A couple of summer weeks ago, I talked with a friend and he confided to me that loneliness is his ultimate fear in life, the horror scenario he dreads the most. “Even Avicii was lonely,” he whispered, as if loneliness was a severe sickness you can – and have to – to cure.
There’s no cure for it. Every fifth person my age is apparently friendless, but I vote against using solitude as a synonym for loneliness. Avicii was lonely, and so are all of my friends, because loneliness is sticky and versatile and fits in everyone’s lifestyle. You can be perpetually surrounded by a crowd and still feel isolated, that’s a well-known fact we all have a first-hand experience with. Yes, you too. Stop denying it.
Every person in my life admits they feel lonely sometimes, but God forbid we talk about it sober and loud. We’re so terrified of being seen as Big Pathetic Losers that we forget that all of us, human beings, are Big Pathetic Losers by nature. Throughout our lives, we form families and football teams and faculty boards and Pinterest groups, but everyone enters and leaves this planet on their own. Loneliness should be our default, yet it sounds like an accusation.
You’re lonely? Wow, your life must be such a failure.
I’m so tired of stigmatizing loneliness. Generation Y takes so much pride in embracing individuality and uniqueness, so why oh why are we so afraid that our individual, unique trajectories are leading us into isolation and despair? The sole lonely thing about loneliness is that we hide it from each other – and so we move to shared flats and call our exes at 3am and socialize to exhaustion. Chances are, only Headspace and your Google history know about it.
Would knowing you’re not alone make you feel less lonely?