The widget on the left column tells me today that I have six days until my second blogoversary. It snuck up on me in a way very unlike it’s approach last year. Last year I kept an eye on it; last year I tracked it’s arrival not unlike a hunter watching her prey.
Last year I could hardly wait on the blogoversary. I believed that it’s arrival would signal my own arrival, that everything would somehow be okay, that the hard part of the journey was over. In many ways, this was true. My second year blogging has been better in countless ways than the first was. The first year blogging ended four days after my divorce was finalized. As I look back it almost seems as though I was in a downward spiral that first year, and the second year has been about pulling out of it.
I recently read a piece by Joyce Carol Oates. In it she says,
For writing is a solitary occupation, and one of its hazards is loneliness. But an advantage of loneliness is privacy, autonomy, freedom.
This got me thinking about loneliness, about the many different ways there are to be lonely. I say this because of the different versions of lonely that I have known in my life. When I started this blog I was smack dab in the middle of the kind of lonely that lies just below the surface. In that lonely there was no privacy, no autonomy, no freedom. I was partnered, but alone. I was unseen, unheard, unknown. And unloved. Being bound to a person who could only his version of me, unable to recognize my freedom to say “no,” unaware of how much bitterness I was swallowing every day just to survive—that was a vastly different kind of lonely that what Ms. Oates describes above. The loneliness I’m talking about here was pushed down deep inside. I couldn’t acknowledge it, or the jig would be up.
And then the jig was up. All the pain that was pushed down for so long, all the loneliness I had been too afraid to acknowledge, it all came rushing out. To be honest, it overwhelmed me. I drowned a bit in it. I then knew a different kind of lonely. This kind of lonliness can see nothing else, cannot see out of the fog. This is a heavy lonely, a solitary state, and we’re just fine alone, thankyouverymuch. Though I fought it at times, at the time of my first blogoversary I was deep in the fog of that lonely. I could barely see past the nose on my face, and didn’t really want to. That lonely stays numb, that lonely refuses to open it’s eyes to the possibility of something else. That lonely is so afraid of something worse than this, that it refuses to consider anything that might be better.
Then, of course, there is the lonely that I have been feeling lately. This lonely looks around and sees my solitude and feels a deep ache for companionship. This lonely longs to be seen and heard and known. And loved, of course. The thing of it is, though it is uncomfortable at times, I can truly see this loneliness for the gift that it is. I am awake to it, it does not numb me. Feeling these feelings, looking around with awareness, wanting to let people in—these all taste like being alive to me. These feelings will push me to step out of my comfort. These feelings will lead me out of the loneliness.