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This article is more than 2 year old.

Let’s unpack a brand new set of 365 days solely for us

Mini

As we go into yet another year, a brand new set of 365 days to be unpacked solely for us, let’s sort out our social needs.

Let’s unpack a brand new set of 365 days solely for us
All of us go through the occasional desire to be left alone. To not be disturbed, made small talk to, to be left to own devices. But most of the time we are just waiting for the right company. And that waiting, complicated by the urgency to not appear needy, could put anyone bang in the middle of the road to loneliness.
We move from small towns to big cities, from junior positions to senior designations, old classmates to new co-workers, from shared apartments to penthouses. There are prizes in life for giving up the old, the comfortable, and swinging like a trapeze artiste for the untried risk dangling in the air. Which brings us face to face with ourselves, not another soul in sight. And though quality time with self is necessary, so is some respite from self.
This is exacerbated by the growing conviction that the rest of the world is having a whale of a time. Wherever you look there are people going to parties, couples coochie-cooing and mothers kissing their little ones. The married think the unmarried can run out and meet anyone; the unmarried think the married have company right in their home.
It would seem everyone comes kitted with a companion – all except you. So there you are on New Year's Eve, alone or with those who make you feel alone.
Social isolation is just as thorny as having no family with you or being at loggerheads with your best friend. There we are, suddenly all on our own, with no one to talk to, to turn to. Which is just about bearable as long as we are stuck in our routine, our bodies like soldiers moving in military precision to the march of some universal drum. But when that breaks down, when routine is either suspended or becomes irrelevant, we miss eye contact with the world in general and with a single individual in particular.
It is as debilitating as any other affliction – this solitude we did not ask for.
Two recent books that paint a vivid picture of ‘alone’ are Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Both Eileen and Eleanor are single women waiting for life to happen to them, they are biding time, tapping feet, and then, well, life does happen in the form of the people they meet and the past they didn’t quite leave behind. Both characters are a good study of what being absolutely alone can do to the psyche, to passions, to ties with peers.
No shame in admitting we need someone. If not a custom-made human being we can pre-order on the internet to appreciate our cooking, to like our jokes, to bring gravitas and levity into our lives, then anyone.
As we go into yet another year, a brand new set of 365 days to be unpacked solely for us, let’s sort out our social needs. Do we have that banter with the shop guy, mild flirtation with one member of the opposite sex (especially if you are married), someone elderly to be kind to and a special someone who will notice if we slipped into a coma? Throw in a pet or two, a child, even if a niece or nephew, a gym or Zumba class and we are all set. Hello 2019!
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