We’re Not Allowed To Be Lonely Anymore

It’s taboo to be lonely. It’s taboo to find yourself all alone in a generation that prides itself on being busy all the time. But guess what? It’s happening. You’re lonely, you’re alone, and it feels like it always does. All the Netflix queues and tweets can’t save you from this familiar feeling of alienation.

It’s comforting in a way, it’s comforting to know that no matter how much things change, you can always go back to this place of feeling restless and disconnected. You’re working 60 hours a week, you’re getting drinks with the people you adore, and you’re still finding yourself isolated between the hours of 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. It doesn’t happen as much as it used to, you’re certainly happier now than you were last summer, but occasionally you find yourself exactly where you started: Looking for human connection and coming up short.

Twitter’s nice, I guess. You write down your thoughts and a stranger in the UK responds to them. Gosh, maybe that person in the UK seems cool. Maybe that person in the UK could be my new best friend.

I never want to talk to that person in the UK.

Look through your contacts lists. This is concrete proof that you’ve lived. There’s a boy in there that you named “Josh Hot Dog” because you made out with him in front of a hot dog stand.

It didn’t work out between you two. It was a missed connection, even when you were supposed to be connecting. Lips smacked but nothing stuck.

Look at all these names in your phone. You are so popular. You know people. Why can you not find anyone to hang out with? Why is there such a gap between the people you know and the people you can rely on?

Who else do we have in here? Ex-boyfriend, best friend in California, drug dealer who used to recite his poetry to you whenever you bought something (it took all of your strength not to laugh in his face), someone you used to be friends with but aren’t anymore because THAT’S THE WAY LIFE IS YA KNOW, your friend who lives five blocks away from you but is probably busy and calling to hang out on such notice will make you look uncool. Everyone is supposed to be busy, don’t you get it? If you call someone and ask them to come over, they’re going to know the truth about you! They’re going to know that you didn’t have any plans tonight and you will look soooooooo lame. Honestly, I’m already feeling second-hand embarrassment.

Sometimes being busy only magnifies the loneliness. Sometimes you’re better off just being honest with yourself and lying in bed. Be bored. Enjoy the boredom. It’s so rare these days. Stop trying to fill every second of everyday.

Your phone vibrates with a text. It’s a friend asking to hang out but the thought of responding fills you with immense fatigue so you put the phone down. It doesn’t make any sense. Here you were feeling all lonely and then someone reaches out to you but you don’t want to do it.

You’re crazy. You’re lonely. You’re non-commital.

Just like everyone else your age. TC Mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

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  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/07/we%e2%80%99re-not-allowed-to-be-lonely-anymore/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • http://themorningafterbrunch.wordpress.com deboone

    Reblogged this on The Morning After: Brunch and commented:
    Favorite part:
    Sometimes being busy only magnifies the loneliness. Sometimes you’re better off just being honest with yourself and lying in bed. Be bored. Enjoy the boredom. It’s so rare these days. Stop trying to fill every second of everyday.

    Your phone vibrates with a text. It’s a friend asking to hang out but the thought of responding fills you with immense fatigue so you put the phone down. It doesn’t make any sense. Here you were feeling all lonely and then someone reaches out to you but you don’t want to do it.

    You’re crazy. You’re lonely. You’re non-commital.

    Just like everyone else your age.

  • Ya Know

    so true.

  • http://gravatar.com/rabinito Daniel

    Related, a text that should be a classic by now: http://chronicle.com/article/The-End-of-Solitude/3708/

    • http://twitter.com/mexifrida FC

      thanks for the link. a great read.

    • Francesca

      This completely and totally relevant to my life and my personal experiences of solitude, the fine line between loneliness and boredom, and contemporary interaction. It captured everything exactly as it is. Thank you!

  • myra

    Yup i agree..the quicker we accept this and feel comfortable in being alone, the better…by wanting someone to be there all the time just to avoid those feelings is futile
    as Oscar wilde said to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance :-)

  • Nahid

    This is all I’ve been thinking about all day, as friend after friend ditches me for plans tonight. Guess it’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arbiebaguios Arbie Baguios

    Ryan is this what you were thinking of last night when you decided to stay-in and watch Kathy Griffin?

    • Ryan O'Connell

      LOL maybe hon

  • Jess

    I really loved this article. I think you really articulated what a lot of folks our age are feeling. Sometimes the only word that comes to mind is numbness. Like I can’t stay here but I do not know where to go. Especially the line “Your phone vibrates with a text. It’s a friend asking to hang out but the thought of responding fills you with immense fatigue so you put the phone down. It doesn’t make any sense. Here you were feeling all lonely and then someone reaches out to you but you don’t want to do it.” I cannot tell you how many times I have done this…and then I wallow in self pity that I’m not doing anything as exciting as my friends (which can be conveniently viewed every newsfeed update on FB). I’ve been trying to move to a new city for the last 6 months (haven’t even decided on which city – thrown resumes out to many…) so I’ve kind of given up on the city I’m in. But in the meantime, life keeps going. So, thank you for this article. It was inspiring to hear I’m not alone in this bubble!

  • http://khungchiuming13.wordpress.com khungchiuming13

    Reblogged this on Never Stop Learning..

  • soy

    Ryan, this is perfect. It’s crazy to think our similarly we’re all feeling! My fatigue personally comes from the knowledge that going out has a 50/50 chance of relieving me of my loneliness. You have a nice time with your friend, but then you don’t see them for another 3-4 months. Or you think to yourself “Dang, I’d love to do this every Wednesday!”, and then you’re self conscious about seeming desperate. My best, most 90s-esque relationship is with my damn dealer. Show up unannounced in the afternoon, smoke a bowl and discuss politics, our dying parents and life in general. Rinse and repeat every 2 weeks :)

  • daniellepowell

    “Lips smacked but nothing stuck” — i love that

  • CChar

    Your article is so true, I have been having these “existential” moments lately, while in a life-transition period. Being comfortable in our own skin-thoughts-decisions-loneliness is crucial. Why everyone seems to be lonely nowadays???

  • http://harrisonwilder.com Harrison Wilder

    I remember the first time I was ever really all alone. It scared me crazy. I went out and got a part-time job at TGIF.

  • Bubblejumm

    Oh my, how sad and true.

  • Christine X.
  • James

    Great article. Now this is the kind of writing I love seeing from you.

  • Valerie

    I swear its so scary how much you’re in my head Ryan! I love it.

  • http://methanefarts.wordpress.com methanefarts

    Reblogged this on ONE BIG SUNFLOWER.

  • Suraiya Sarwar

    This is the reason you’re one of my favorite writers on Thought Catalog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thetkproject Theadora

    This is great… no longer will I suffer in silence, knowing there are other crazy/lonely/non-commitals out there

  • Monica

    This is amazing.

  • Monica MKC

    Maybe we lived too fast and just aren’t used to slow, lonely days.

  • http://smilefadesinthesummer.wordpress.com twistedbloke

    Reblogged this on smilefadesinthesummer and commented:
    Truth…

  • aoi

    Reblogged this on embracing independence and commented:
    You’re crazy. You’re lonely. You’re non-commital.

  • http://tiffanylui.wordpress.com Tiffany

    Loved every word of it.

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