I realized something today… I feel lonely more times than I feel alone. Does that make sense? I find myself sitting at a cafe right now listening to a group of friends at the next table sharing stories and laughing. I have to refrain from jumping into their conversation… I’m just a random person drinking a glass of wine by myself working on my laptop.
Last week I was in New York and surrounded by a million people. There I wanted to be alone at times, but I was rarely lonely. I was surrounded by my awesome blogging friends. It surprises me that I yearn to talk to people who understand me or my life. Whether that is fellow bloggers or full-time travelers or my closest friends or, in this moment, random strangers.
I’ve noticed lately that I have become uninterested with people who say they travel, but what they really mean is they take vacations and then write about it. Living a life without an address is an entirely different beast.
Not having any place in the world where you need to be is the most freeing and constraining idea for me. I know most of you dream of such a problem. I guess it isn’t a problem per se, but my daily reality. I have no place I need to be. No place that requires me to be present, no place or person that would cease to live or exist if I never showed up.
Think about it.
So why do I feel constrained sometimes by being so free?
I guess I *want* to feel wanted or needed. The only person I have to show up for is me. There is no one else. If I make the wrong decision the only person that is accountable is me. If I make a wrong turn or decision, the result is totally on my shoulders.
Some call it being independent or self-reliant. I am that in spades. I don’t *need* anyone in my life but *want* someone. There is a big difference.
So why do I feel lonely? I think it is because even though words come out of my mouth, they are not often understood. We hear things with our own perspective and experiences. Well, very few people come to the table with my background. Did you know there are less than a dozen solo female travelers over the age of 40 in the US? My tribe in life is extraordinarily small.
I am so cerebral that it is hard for me to get out of my own head.
July has been an overly emotional month for me. I can’t talk about 99% of it and I certainly can’t write about it. In a different vein, I’m now staring down travel decisions that I am, for some reason, unable to make. It feels like I was in a similar space last year… eerily similar, honestly. Last year I decided to stay in Alaska for the winter and ended up renting a couple places for a few months in between major travel trips.
When I head back to AK (sometime in the next two weeks), I have no place to live. I’m debating renting a place for a couple months or just traveling around the state and seeing places that I haven’t been able to. I know my friends in AK want me to put down roots there.
The hard part is that I don’t know what I want anymore. I did recently and threw caution to the wind and went for it. The result wasn’t what I had imagined. So I am sitting in the place that I absolutely hate – not truly knowing what to do next.
At this moment I feel so very lonely even when I am not alone.