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Loneliness: Doomed to Love Yourself

Sophie Dugas 


Via The Marginalian

Ocean Vuong, one of our generation’s most magnificent poets, once wrote in a poem "& remember, loneliness is still time spent with the world." Modern views of loneliness don’t leave much to be desired; most people who occasionally wander around the Internet may think of this emotion being personified by Reddit “incels” or so-called “Disney adults”. Before exploring some facets of loneliness, it’s imperative to define what this idea implies—is it an emotion, disorder, or gloomy part of the human psyche? 

A fair share of fleeting flings taught me how to navigate different forms of love. I have kept my most precious friends and have had to let go other who meant the world to me—these things sometimes just happen. As crappy books, fanfictions, and movies taught me, I waited for the moment of pure recognition. The most prominent idea upheld by romance is that someone else is waiting to complete us in perfect symmetry. The idealisation of unions is a longstanding idea descended to us from the Greek myth of separated bodies, and you might be lucky to have someone else describe you as their “twin flame” or “soul made of the same star.” When I thought my day would come, I was faced with loneliness rather than the aforementionned pure recognition. However, instead of being distressed, I found myself content, understanding, and even hopeful.

One of the first times I remember feeling lonely was when I forged a strong connection with one of my closest friends. We seamlessly completed each other’s philosophies, and discussed events of our lives through microscopic lenses of analysis and detail for hours and hours. We improved each other, we called each other out on our bullshit, we bought each other flowers when nobody else would, we listened to the same songs over and over again knowing they would forever be tainted by the sound of the other. Naturally, it hit hard when I could not find pure understanding in this relationship though I felt this person was one of the people to whom I felt closest to in my entire lifetime. I figured that if they could not break this curse of loneliness, nobody could.

Still, my hunt for love continued. I longed for this unspoken understanding in other relationships; people I loved for years who my action, thought, and morality down to the last detail. My task was repeatedly unsuccessful until I found who I genuinely consider to be the love of my life. The expression is taboo for young people like me, but insofar as I use these words today without fear, this feeling will be preserved in a time capsule. They are wickedly intelligent, ever-loving, and perfectly pig-headed. I am reminded of them everywhere: the light buzz of sunlight on a heaving summer day, the black coffee from the broken-down market, and dried flowers used to make far-too-expensive perfume. In this revelation, I thought of how ideal the opportunity was for pure recognition. But, the dread of loneliness overcame me. Now, you must be asking, "What was the point?” Well, the lack of an answer is, ironically, the answer. 

Love is a state of the world. Though loneliness may come unexpectedly, love does neutralize it. We must learn to view the omnipresence of loneliness as an opportunity to reflect, rather than a brake towards love. Loneliness is a by-product of the simple fact that we will always be ourselves, and nobody else. You cannot experience the world as somebody else, but only with somebody else because you are you and they are them. You love old-smelling books, they collected thousands of DVDs. You find beauty in molecules and photons, they idealize life inside of books. They get chatty when drunk, you isolate yourself in self-hatred. 

The scariest part of loneliness is that it is innate to the human condition. Being different from the people we love and care can be an isolating thought, but it makes love and loneliness worthwhile and unique. Pure connection will not be found by giving up on love. Don’t let loneliness stop you. Let it open doors. Let it learn to find the beauty in yourself and others. Allow it to reveal the uniqueness of yourself and the world. Let it teach you that you are who you’ll be stuck with forever but in the best way possible. Love like loneliness is the state of loving because, let’s be frank here, it kind of is. Find beauty in the places worth finding beauty, which is almost anywhere.


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