Archive for December, 2010

lonely around the holidays?


Loneliness is an interesting feeling that feels magnified around the holidays for many.

Why do we feel lonely? Why do we feel the need to be defined by our relationships with others? Why do we feel that we need one other person to complete our lives? Obviously social contexts can’t be ignored, but why does it play such a major role in the central theme of our lives? It’s a western mentality, and one of which I’m not proud to be a part.

Unlike the hippies and hopeless romantics, I don’t think love makes the world go round. I think the world goes round because…well, it just does. In the words of Ron Burgundy, “It’s science.” Now don’t get me wrong, I think love is an amazing thing, whether it’s real or thought to be real – but the world will keep spinning no matter how fast your heart beats when you see your partner, no matter how much compassion you feel for strangers, no matter how tightly you squeeze your kid when you say goodnight.

i will follow you into the dark (NOT!)

A couple weeks ago I trained with a master-level martial arts instructor – by far one of the most interesting people I’ve met in my short lifetime. One of his key [paraphrased] tenets was: “You are born into this world alone. You die alone. Anybody else that plays a role in your life is a bonus.” Now I don’t think he means “alone” in a depressing, empty-room kind of way. It’s just simple fact, said without arrogance or pride. And no matter your point of view, he has a point. Life is not a Death Cab for Cutie song where when one soul dies and another follows out of love. SPOILER ALERT: Life is not “The Notebook” where the couple dies together in a warm bed holding hands. Books and movies like that just irritate me – they paint this romantic picture of life and death that is unrealistic and yet easily sways the minds of the fickle and the love-starved. Too many good people die in such painful and abrupt ways for me to believe that, leaving behind loved ones who will always wonder what their last thought was about.

Bottom line: there’s only you (sorry Rent fans). If you spend too much time investing your emotion in others, you’ll only be happy part of the time – when you’re with them or when you’re thinking about them, whether those thoughts are conscious or subconscious. So don’t feel the need to be defined by a significant other in order to find happiness – you can only find that within yourself (feel free to gag now).

And that’s all I have to say about that.