what does it take to be lonesome?
when i was 15, i saw rilo kiley perform for the first time. i heard jenny lewis sing out from the First Avenue stage that "with every broken heart, we should become more adventurous."
broken hearts come in all shapes and sizes, caused by problems substantial, inconsequential, and existential. broken hearts result in lots of things - getting tattoos, going blond, accepting job offers, moving to new cities, buying plane tickets, one more glass of wine.
at 23, i moved into my own place. a tiny, perfect studio in the heart of my favorite city. the move received praise from some and criticism from others. there were college friends saying they could never do what i did; there were friends jealous of my newfound freedom.
when i was little, i hated sleepovers, hated playing at friends' houses. i had such terrible separation anxiety. i just knew something bad would happen if i wasn't at home. i would be lying if i said i didn't have the same fear when i signed that first lease.
bad things did happen, of course. boyfriends. bad jobs. the passing of loved ones. so it goes.
and so i went, moving almost 2,000 miles away from familiarity. and i found out that i'm good at being apart. for the most part.
at 24, i moved from Minneapolis to San Francisco. i left behind all of my family, all of my friends, and a dense network of professional and artistic opportunities. it was the scariest thing i've ever done (and one time i got a piercing at a shop in the basement of a Chinese restaurant, so i really mean that).
after moving, it hit me that i knew no one in California, let alone SF. i had acquaintances that popped up or friends from way back in high school who had also relocated. but i didn't have a support system in this new city.
i didn't have one, so i had to make one. never the type to fear sitting by myself at a table, this seemed like an easy task.
brunch. movies. museums. bars. dinners. in the last few years, i've embraced my inner Carrie, in SF and beyond. i've travelled to Seattle, to Portland, to Atlanta, to New York. only when venturing out into the big apple with nothing but a map and a vague plan, standing in front of 30 Rock surrounded by the unknown did i realize - i've gotten good at exploring on my own.
it also helped me to realize that i'm tired of it.
not so much of being alone, but feeling lonely. i kept turning to make observations to someone who wasn't there.
it takes effort to meet people, to not meet people, to go out and be outgoing. to swipe right or left on potential friends or lovers. it's so much easier to stay in and watch all the Netflix and then watch it all again. to never leave the couch and order in all meals.
sometimes that's all i want to do.
but that's boring. that's bad.
that takes no effort. takes no work. it takes nothing at all, being lonely. really, loneliness takes from you - so much conversation, so many silly facts and inside jokes, all the awkward pauses. you know, the cool stuff you see on all your favorite tv shows.
now i'm 28 and i'm looking for those broken hearts. i want the good stuff, the fun stuff, the stuff that makes you feel stuff. i want stories. the kind you read about, the kind you watch. we all know Leo Tolstoy said, "all great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” (and as Notorious B.I.G. said, "if you don't know, now you know.")
and so right now, i can rest and see which story is coming next. waste no effort and just hope something good comes my way. or i can act, and create my own story. either way, i'm protagonist, but one certainly sounds more adventurous.