Thursday, 19 February 2015

Lonely


I'm very outgoing. I will talk to anyone, although the other side of me, my grumpy ambivalence, stems that loquacious aspect of my personality. My point is that I don't struggle to socialise and haven't since I reached my adult years. Those who know me will back this up. Now let me tell you something I doubt many will agree with at first but, on reflection, they will probably muse "Yeah, I can see that" to themselves.

I am lonely. I am one of the loneliest people you will ever meet. And nothing will change that. This is my fate.

Now this is not one of those pleas for help or attention. I want to impress on you, dear reader, something you should consider when you hear someone's opinion, feeling or insight. Let me explain with a few notions of my own that are deemed peculiar.

I don't like pets. I don't find them cute or adorable. I'm not afraid of them. I just think they are a hassle. They smell, they need constant attention and seem nothing more than an odd hobby that involves months and years of effort. They are nothing more than a living, breathing ornament to me. Utterly pointless. People say this makes me heartless, despite me having my reasons. It is a general consensus. Almost no one agrees with me. So a tiny slice of me is alone in this world.

I don't like to travel. I don't buy into the hype that it broadens horizons, invigorates the mind or grants someone an insight into who they are or what they should be. I have visited three different continents, a dozen countries and numerous urban & rural areas. None of them changed me. They were nice distractions. Nothing more. Travelling is something I would consider a hobby. I see plenty of people take a gap year and go backpacking around the world. They don't come back as some well rounded citizen, ready to make society a better place. They come back with a tan, a few stories and then an irksome knack of constantly mentioning the amazing time they had. People say that I'm a fool, despite me having my rationale. It is a general consensus. Few people agree with me. So a tiny slice of me is alone in this world.

I don't like to dance. The very act of dancing was my personal experience of the Emperor's New Clothes. I did it because everyone else did it. I figured it was easy to do that and be accepted. I went to parties and clubs, shook my thing and then would wonder why I spent a night doing something I didn't enjoy. So I stopped doing it. My movements, no matter how much I practised, felt clumsy. It didn't reward me in any way. I felt painfully self conscious. It seemed everyone did it because they could forget who they were and make a fool of themselves. Fair enough but I'm comfortable being me and I don't want to be the jester of the court. People say that I'm a killjoy, even though I don't like it. It is a general consensus. Not many people agree with me. So a tiny slice of me is alone in this world.

I don't really like cake, with a few rare exceptions. People tell me this is weird, because I'm not possibly allowed to decide what I do and don't enjoy to have in my mouth. It's a general consensus. Please excuse the pun but a little slice of me is alone in this world.

It goes on. Now, I'm not saying that because I don't like these things that other people shouldn't like them either. I have no problem with people enjoying pets, travel, dancing, cake or anything else I don't like. I'm saying that because I don't like what you don't like, it doesn't mean that you have to tell me that I'm odd. Or weird. Or heartless or anything like that. Interestingly, people tend to become the labels others put on them. So if that critique is intended to spur someone out of the opinion you think is wrong, it is likely to have the opposite effect.

People are different. They entitled to like things that may be deemed unconventional but that shouldn't mean that they are stigmatised for it. Every time someone is told by the crowd that they are bizarre or stupid for having their feeling, despite their sound reasoning or lifelong experience, it isolates that part of them. People become ashamed of that side of them, hiding it away or labelling it as a guilty pleasure. Why should someone feel guilty for who they are, if they are causing no harm to someone else?

You know what? I am odd. "Ain't no thing like me, except me." That should be enough. That should be okay. It isn't. People don't want associations. They want to be understood, to be appreciated, for their way of thinking to be listened to. It doesn't have to be accepted or united with. You just need to be agreeable, even if you don't agree. Someone having a different opinion than you, even though it is contrary to the universally accepted norm, won't destroy your feeling on it. So don't destroy them with loneliness. Otherwise, slice by slice, it is cut away until you feel cut off. It never heals. It never changes. You stand in the most crowded of rooms and you're lonely. Not alone. Lonely.