Loneliness is not a disease or an epidemic. It is neither a subject easy to discuss or define. It is definitely not a subject to discuss in social situations, among mother's groups at the playground or the pool, even though I'm pretty sure it is a common denominator among us all. An invisible link holding us all in place, the reason we turn to one another. The reason we reach out, blog, speak, smile.
I have plenty of friends and yet...
I have even managed to maintain somewhat of a social life and yet...
I try to go out once a week and have made friends with the other writers at the cafe where I go to work and yet..
I am not shy. Nor subtle. I am not a wallflower or the quiet girl across the room. On the contrary. And yet...
...Most of the time I feel lonely.
Unable to socialize as much as I would like. Spending my days taking care of Archer and then writing by myself.
I was warned of the loneliness that came with being a mother. The shot social life and fighting the crowds of faceless faces, the voices that sound the same, the park-life rich with cliches and clowns. I was told it would take some getting used to, waking up every morning, going through the motions. I was told to make friends, to get out there, to be around other mothers who might be in the same boat-- paddling the same seas. Like the first day of school with babies on our backs instead of Jansports.
I would never tell anyone in person that I feel lonely much of the time. And if you called me to talk about it I would change the subject. But staying home most of the days, alone with Archer. Most of the nights, in my pajamas at 9pm, face against the window, watching the world and the lights, listening to the music, the laughter, parties, people my age who can stay out all night, sleep in until noon.
I thought eventually I would come to prefer this life of quiet nights, that I sewed my wild oats, and experienced enough irresponsible years before my pregnancy at twenty-three. I thought, "I could use a change" and I could. I did. Except lately? I can't help but miss it. I can't help but miss breakfast with friends on the weekend at 1pm. I can't help but miss the loudness of nights and quietness of days.
And no matter how much I love my life and the people who are in it, I usually feel completely alone. And sometimes it's too much to bear without telling somebody or something other than paper.
Because I'm a grown-up, now. And grown-ups talk about their problems instead of masking them with makeup, elevating themselves with high heels and running off like a wild thing down the boulevard in search of old friends. In search of the missing pieces from yesterday and the companionship of something both new and exciting and old and familiar.