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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

One is the Loneliest Number

After a weekend in AZ visiting the sister and baby in their new home, I arrived at Sea-Tac having not arranged for anyone to pick me up. I had decided to take the lightrail home. I felt good about it being a good steward of resources while simultaneously exercising self-reliance. It’s a fierce duo. Go. Me!

I was on my walk to the train when I was overcome with a realization and then a feeling. The realization was that this was the first time I had arrived home and there was no one to meet me. No one waiting to see me, no one anticipating my arrival. The realization was soon followed by an overwhelming and palpable feeling of loneliness. Not a woe-is-me-pity-party loneliness but a very real sense of singleness and solitude (trust me, there's a difference).

As I neared the train platform I thought, "I'm about to start crying in public. Don't be the crazy person that cries in public!" Which obviously just freaked me out more. My while I held back tears the pep talk continued with, "You're not really alone; you have great friends and family and people who care about you. And even though you're alone now, you won't always be and least you're not in a miserable relationship that where you would be dreading to come home." (My memory paraphrase). I texted a friend familiar with this feeling and of which we've had multiple conversations about. His response was empathetic which is probably the best I could hope for.

Sitting on the train waiting for it to depart the station, I sat continuing a pep talk in the same vein but mostly the "don't be the crazy person that cries in public." But my resolved was failing, I could feel it. Tears welling up and I was pulling out every trick in the book to stop them. At that same moment my resolve began to fail, a tiny blessing graced my life. I received an email with an enthusiastic invitation of a favorite couple friend of mine to join them for dinner. The email contained the following sentences: "We miss you. We want more of you. Say yes and make us the happiest couple on the planet." (You'd have to know them for that not to sound weird.)

What began as moment in time of isolating loneliness turned instantly to a moment of the complete opposite. Warmth and love. A simple invitation had never meant so much to me or reminded me that I am not alone, but in fact quite the opposite; surrounded by the best people who show up and participate in my life and give me more that I could ever have hoped for.

So cheers to the best of friends, train rides, not crying in public and perfectly timed invitations. 


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